By Sue Moore
Eleven of Vicksburg’s most accomplished high school students of the class of 2018 were presented by Principal Keevin O’Neill to the School Board at its meeting this month. Each was noted as an academic award recipient and member of the National Honor Society. The top four students were asked to name their significant educator as part of the Excellence in Education scholarships they received. Eight of the students won four-year scholar-athlete awards.
Morgan Preston took the highest honors as valedictorian with a GPA of 4.38. She was a starter on the volleyball team the last three years, earning all-conference honors and 2nd team all-state honors. She expects to continue her volleyball exploits at San Angelo University in Texas next year. Her interests are in English and political science as her college majors. She chose Eric Teall as her significant educator because his door was always open to help her with her questions in his English classes. Her parents are Matt and Tammi Preston.
Autumn Locey, named salutatorian with a 4.30 GPA, spent all four years at the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center (KAMSC). She was in the marching band and earned a bio-med science award for a research paper on zebra fish embryos. Her plans include studying biology at the University of Michigan with a desire to go into medicine. Her significant educator was Cheryl Hach from KAMSC and her admonition to her fellow students was to “always challenge yourself by trying to be the best you can be.” Her parents are David and Tracy Locey.
Alexander Smith chose his significant educator as his father, Troy Smith, who teaches film/video in the high school. “It was an easy choice as he pushed me to learn the making of films, which is what I want to do in my future endeavors,” Smith said. He starred as the lead in Tarzan, the school’s most recent musical, participated in marching band, choir and stage management and won Best of Show in the Michigan Student Film competition. He is undecided about his higher education but knows he wants to concentrate on making films. His mother is Shannon Smith.
Austin Bresnahan earned three varsity letters as a senior in football, basketball and baseball for the Bulldogs. He will showcase his skills in the Addix All-Star football game in June as a linebacker. He was co-captain of the football team and will continue to play at Kalamazoo College, where he will major in business and marketing. He chose Daryl Zartman as his significant teacher because “he is fun, a good guy who tells the best stories of anybody.” His parents are Tom and Deb Bresnahan.
Anna Schriemer earned many honors, chief among them was being selected for Principal O’Neill’s Leadership award. She was also chosen as the DAR Good Citizen and science student of the month, served on the Student Senate organizing blood drives, Homecoming and pep rallies. Her claim to fame she was pressed to announce, was setting the passing record in the Powder Puff football game last fall. She was a standout volleyball player. In July, she will leave for a three-week study abroad to Ghana, where her job will be to promote kids’ rights in education. She plans to attend Calvin College to study psychology and medical science while playing volleyball. Her parents are David and Paula Schriemer.
Tanner White was elected senior class president and president of the National Honor Society, and earned his Eagle Scout honors when he was a sophomore by constructing benches for the playground at Sunset Lake Elementary school. He organized his troop members to beautify the playground with landscaping and building improvements. He was a member of the football team, the clay target team and serves as an announcer for the lacrosse games this spring. He plans to attend Kalamazoo College with a focus on communications and a Spanish minor while playing football for the Hornets. His parents are Todd and Tracy White.
Emmaline Miller served as vice president of the National Art Society in Vicksburg and has been in the marching band for four years. She has earned her silver award in Girl Scouts and is working to achieve the highest award scouting offers, the “Gold,” as she has been involved in scouting for the last 14 years. She has completed 50 hours of volunteer work at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. She will attend Grand Valley State University in the Frederick Meijer Honors program majoring in psychology and minoring in art. Her parents are Gary and Suzanne Miller.
Rachel Brewer spent four years with Vicksburg’s competitive cheer team, participated in choir and volunteered to teach Bible school at her church. She will attend Western Michigan University to study biomedical sciences and Spanish with the intention of going on to medical school. Her parents are Steven and Margaret Brewer.
Chase Young took 11 AP classes and played lacrosse for four years. He has become an entrepreneur while in high school, selling “beats” online for hip hop. He intends to go to the University of Michigan in hopes of attending law school. His parents are David and Jody Young.
Connor Seifert was a two-time tennis champion for Vicksburg, playing second singles and fourth singles. He is on the varsity lacrosse team. He is an Eagle Scout and has produced a pair of videos to teach students with severe autism. He volunteers at Valley Family Church with middle school students as a camp counselor. He is debating on studying aviation or engineering at either Western Michigan University or Michigan State University. His parents are James and Katie Seifert.
Avery Slancik is on the all-state academic team for softball, having been on the varsity team for four years, and participated in travel softball for nine years. She volunteers with her church and hopes to play varsity softball while majoring in neuroscience at Hope College. Her parents are Mike and Amy Slancik.