AHS announces its Class of 2021 Top 13 students


AMBOY — The top 13 students of the Amboy High School Class of 2021 are Brianna Blaine, Preston Henkel, Brady Jones, Erin Latta, Madelyn McLaughlin, Brian Murphy, Abigayle Payne, Mallory Powers, Matthew Raymond, Calvin Seier, Carter Seier, Nicholas Tarr and Trevor Vaessen.

Brianna Blaine

Brianna Blaine is the daughter of Brian and Amanda Blaine of Ohio, Ill.  She is a member of the National Honor Society (vice president), Spanish Honor Society (treasurer), Leo’s Club and is Class of 2021 secretary. She participated in basketball and volleyball. She received NUIC Academic All-Conference (sophomore & junior), October Student of the Month, 2021 Illinois State Scholar, Illinois Principal’s Association Student Leadership Award, Volleyball Serving Award (junior), and Most Improved Basketball Player (junior). 

She plans to attend the University of Iowa in the fall and major in Human Physiology. In the future, she plans to become a physician or physician’s assistant. 

Preston Henkel

Preston Henkel is the son of Eric and Amanda Henkel of Amboy. He is a four-year member of the football and baseball teams. He received Academic All-Conference and Triple Crown. Jones is the son of Andy and Karen Jones of Amboy. 

He participated in basketball and baseball all four years and in football for three years.  His future plans include getting into a trade of some sort. He is most interested in becoming an electrician. 

Erin Latta

Erin Latta is the daughter of Brad and Sue Latta of Amboy.  She participated in plays and musicals the last four years and won awards for her performance including Best Actress. She placed on the Academic Team for four years and was drum major of the band the last three years. She is a member of Spanish Honor Society (president) and National Honor Society (treasurer). 

She will attend Sauk Valley Community College for two years and then hopes to transfer to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to finish her degree in Psychology. 

Madelyn McLaughlin

Madelyn McLaughlin is the daughter of Jim and Stephanie McLaughlin of Amboy.

She is a four-year member of the volleyball and softball teams and a three-year member of the basketball team. 

She was Academic All-Conference (sophomore), is National Honor Society (secretary), a member of Spanish Honor Society, Class of 2021 Prom Chair, Leo’s Club member, Whiteside Area Career Center September Student of the Month, and Amboy High School March Student of the Month.

She plans to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to major in Elementary Education.

Brian Murphy

Brian Murphy is the son of Jim and Michelle Murphy.

He participated in football, baseball, basketball, choir, and musicals. He was on the Honor Roll and received Most Improved in Football.

He plans to attend Illinois State University in Bloomington and major in Computer Science.

Abigayle Payne

Abigayle Payne is the daughter of Chris and Kim Payne of Amboy.

She is a four-year member of the basketball team and in that sport, she was a three-time recipient of Unanimous 1st Team All-Conference, three-time recipient of 1st Team All-Area, two-time recipient of 2nd Team All-State, two-time IBCA 1st Team All-State, 2021 Sauk Valley Co Player of the Year, and 2020-2021 # ranked team in the state. She was also a member of Leo’s Club, National Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society, was on the Honor Roll four years and was Academic All-Conference. 

She plans to attend Ripon College in Ripon, Wis. to continue her basketball and academic career majoring in Exercise Science. In the future, she hopes to become a physical education teacher. 

Mallory Powers

Mallory Powers is the daughter of Dean and Mandy Powers of Amboy.

She is a four-year member of the basketball, volleyball and softball teams. She was named WREX Rockford Player of the Week in Basketball, Unanimous 1st Team All-Conference in Basketball and in Volleyball, AP 1st Team All-State in Basketball, and IBCA 1st Team in Basketball. She was also a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Leo’s Club. 

She was November Student of the Month, Academic All-Conference and Sauk Valley Co-Player of the Year in Basketball. 

She plans to attend Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington to continue her passion for playing basketball and major in Kinesiology. 

Carter Seier

Carter Seier is the son of Jeff and Staci Seier of Amboy.

He participated in FFA, baseball, and Spanish Honor Society. He was on Honor Roll all four years and earned his Greenhand Degree in FFA.

He plans to attend Kishwaukee Community College to earn a degree or certificate and start working. 

Nicholas Tarr

Nicholas Tarr is the son of Andrew and Rachel Tarr of Amboy.

His extracurricular activities include Class President (9th-12th), Scholastic Bowl (9th-12th, Captain 12th), Student Council (9th-12th, Vice President 11th, President 12th) Spanish Honor Society (10th-12th), National Honor Society (10th-12th, President 12th), FFA Parliamentary Procedure (Secretary 11th), Leos Club (10th-12th, President 11th & 12th), Daily Announcement Reader (11th), Baseball (9th and 10th), Announcer at Volleyball Games (10th), and Golf (9th).

His awards include Illinois State Scholar (top 10 percent of students in Illinois), Illinois Principals Association Leadership Award, AHS Highest Honors (9th-12th), AHS September Student of the Month, FFA Parliamentary Procedure Best Floor Member Overall at Regional Competition, Fall 2020 SVCC Dean’s List, and College Board National Recognition Program.

His community activities include Salvation Army Bell-Ringer (2012-present), Amboy Fire Department Canned Food Drive (2013-present), St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Altar Server (2011-Covid shut-down), American Red Cross Blood Drive donor (2019) and volunteer (2019-2021), Junior High Scholastic Bowl Moderator (2020), Sublette Toy Show clean-up volunteer (2019) and Jack Mabley Center Pancake Breakfast volunteer (2018-2019).

His long-term goal is to earn the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and work as a personal financial planner. He will attend Illinois State University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Finance with a minor in Financial Planning. 

Trevor Vaessen

Trevor Vaessen is the son of Nick and Susan Vaessen of West Brooklyn. 

He is a four-year member of the basketball team and received Honorable Mention All-Conference/All-Area this season and various team awards the past four years. He is also a four-year member of the baseball team and a three-year member of the football team. He is a Co-op Student at Vaessen Brothers Chevrolet, Class of 2021 treasurer and NUIC Academic All-Conference. 

He plans to get into the trades and is most interested in becoming a lineman or working for the wind turbines. 

Profiles missing include:  Brady Jones, Matthew Raymond, and Calvin Seier.