Clippers receive awards, scholarships at Honors Night

Katie Leffelman, pictured right, hands out Rhonda Politsch Memorial Scholarships to (left to right) Lauren Althaus, Andruw Jones, Alexis Morgan, and Lauren Tarr. Brandon LaChance/Amboy News

AMBOY – What a night Thursday, May 26 was for many Amboy High School students as awards and scholarships were received by the hardworking Clippers during Honors Night.

“Our community puts its money where its mouth is,” said Amboy Superintendent Joshua Nichols. “They’re backing up our kids. They’re supporting our kids. It’s not small dollar amounts. They’re putting some serious money down on the table to help these kids become better and go off and pursue things in life.

“It’s completely mind-blowing to me how generous people are in this community to our kids. It’s year after year. It’s not just college-bound kids, it’s also the trade kids. Any kid going off to any kind of school can receive help from the community.”

The first accomplishment awarded saw many Clippers form a line across the stage in the AHS Auditorium as the Presidential Educational Excellence Award certificates were handed to Lauren Althaus, Angel Daszkiewicz, Olivia Dinges, Ian Eller, Mason Ely, Sabdy Herrera, Jairon Hochstatter, Connor Hummel, Andruw Jones, Dana Merriman, Amelia Mondro, Alexis Morgan, Chanlor Pohl, Lauren Richardson, Samuel Russell, Madalyn Shuck, Lauren Tarr, and Caden Wittenauer.

Kelton Schwamberger and Valentin Vazquez were honored for perfect attendance and Kathleen Mekeel thanked the school board, the Class of 2022, and the community for her Alumnus of the Year Award.

The Rhonda Politsch Memorial Scholarship was given to Althaus, Jones, Morgan, and Tarr. Dinges accepted the Jack Zentz Foundational Scholarship and the Knights of Columbus Scholarship with Morgan.

The Depot Days Car Show Scholarship went to Jordan Gulley and Pohl. Ana Lopez-Belmontes, Maeve Larson, and Alexzandra Vaessen received the Shirley Rolf WACC Scholarship, while the Shirley Rolf Memorial Scholarship went to Althaus and Ingrid Larson.

The William & Betty Kidd WACC/SAUK Scholarship was given to Kora Garren, Addison Shaw, and Marie Shaw, the William & Betty Kidd Memorial Scholarship called up Althaus, Eller, Jones, Merriman, Morgan, and Tarr, and the Sylvan & Virginia Leffelman Scholarship’s first-time recipients were Merriman and Kenzie Nickel.

“You always want the next generation to be better than the current generation because they’re going to be running the world,” said AHS School Board President Nicole Jones. “This particular class of 2022 has potential doctors, attorneys, business owners, and trade workers because that’s important, too. A lot of them have already completed certifications with Whiteside Area Career Center and they’ve been able to get a jump start on their Associate’s Degree at Sauk Valley Community College before transferring to a 4-year college.

“It’s nice to honor them and recognize them for all of their hard work over the past four years.”

Agriculture teacher and FFA guru Joe Heavner called many names to the stage as FFA awards, certificates, and scholarships were aplenty.

The Class 1A state champion Conduct of Chapter Meetings team consisting of freshmen Brysen Full, Alainie Wittenauer, Grace Royer, Kenley Wilson, Quinn Leffelman, Tyler Huggins, and Natalie Pratt were brought up as well as the third-place Parliamentary Procedure Team of Schwamberger, Merriman, Emma Dinges, Jones, Althaus, and Ely.

Ethan Pratt won the State FFA Grain Production award, Althaus, Ely, and Schwamberger were named as State FFA Grain Production recipients, and Althaus and Merriman were given the Amboy FFA Alumni Scholarship. The DeKalb FFA Award was received by Merriman and Schwamberger was recognized for being one of three Illinois FFA members to play in the FFA band at the FFA convention.

“Any help is appreciated. But, that’s also one of the things that make me mental though. As much as they give out, I know there is still some money on the table that people could have gone after,” Nichols said. “If we could ever, encourage people to please fill out the application, even if you don’t think you’re going to get something, to just go and do it; it’s worth it.

“As a principal, I used to tell kids, ‘Even if it takes you 15-20 minutes and you only get $200, you’re not going to make $200 in 15-20 minutes again in your lifetime. And some of those are per year. It’s a lot of dollars going toward those kids. I’m glad they took advantage of it. I’m glad they earned it and they had the foresight to go after it.”

Ely won the Sublette Toy Show Scholarship and was then joined by Morgan to receive the Don Schamberger Memorial Scholarship. Nickel took home the Jason Bonnell Memorial Scholarship, Alyzea McKendry was the Educators of Beauty Scholarship winner, and Jones, Eller, and Tarr were recognized as Illinois State Scholars.

Morgan received the P.E.O. Chapter AC Scholarship, Shuck took the Carpenters Local 790 Scholarship and the OSF Scholarship, while Eller received the Reagan Run 5K Scholarship and Althaus the Kreider Alliance Scholarship.

Merriman was honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR),

AHS principal Janet Crownhart presented Jones and Tarr with the Illinois Principal Association Award, Ely with the Amboy Alumni Scholarship, Jones with the Gary Croegaert Memorial Award, and Eller, Dinges, and Olivia Miller with Pathway Endorsement Awards.

Crownhart also named and handed tassels to the honor students, and medals to the cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude students.

Gold Tassel Honor Students (3.0-4.0 GPA): Althaus, Jacob Bickett, Abigail Christoffersen, Nicholas Corcoran, Daszkiewicz, Olivia Dinges, Eller, Ely, Gulley, Herrera, Hochstatter, Hummel, Jones, Larson, Nicole Latta, Elizabeth Malach, Haden McCoy, Riley McNair, Merriman, Miller, Amelia Mondro, Morgan, Baylie Nickel, Kenzie Nickel, Pohl, Richardson, Russell, Shuck, Connor Simpson, Haley Sus, Tarr, Caden Wittenauer, and Haidyn Zimmerly.

Cum Laude (3.5-3.69 GPA): Ely, Hochstatter, and Amelia Mondro.

Magna Cum Laude (3.7-3.89 GPA): Daskiewicz, Olivia Dinges, Eller, Herrera, Hummel, Pohl, and Caden Wittenauer.

Summa Cum Laude (3.9-4.0): Althaus, Jones, Merriman, Morgan, Richardson, Russell, Shuck, and Tarr.

Merriman and Miller were awarded the Amboy Education Association Scholarship, Eller was given the general and Merriman the agriculture Ron & Jake Metzen Memorial Scholarships. Merriman also earned the Sauk Valley College Scholarship with Tarr, Olivia Costner took the Incoming Sauk Academy Scholarship, and Eller won the Dukes Family Scholarship.

Eller joined Olivia Dinges as The Travi Educational Scholarship recipients, and Althaus, Ely, Jones, Morgan, and Tarr were Lions Club Scholarship winners.

Eller was the Amboy News Male Athlete of the Year and Althaus was named the Amboy News Female Athlete of the Year, and Olivia Dinges, Ely, Merriman, Morgan, and Tarr were given Red Cross Scholarships.

The National Bank of Amboy named the Students of the Month (September-May) as Tarr, Merriman, Eller, Olivia Dinges, Morgan Jones, McCoy, Richardson, and Althaus.

Althaus was named the Student of the Year.