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The Suburbanite
  • Springfield honors Top 25 seniors

  • Springfield High School seniors were honored during the Top 25 Excellence Awards Banquet held on May 9 at the Hartville Kitchen. Each of the 25 honored their most influential educator during the evening. Individually the 25 students introduced and spoke about the teacher they chose.

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  • Springfield High School seniors were honored during the Top 25 Excellence Awards Banquet held on May 9 at the Hartville Kitchen. Each of the 25 honored their most influential educator during the evening. Individually the 25 students introduced and spoke about the teacher they chose.
    High School principal, Cynthia Frola and Superintendent, William Stauffer welcomed the students, faculty and parents.Brittany Alekna was active in National Honor Society (NHS), Haromano, Student Council and as a freshman mentor. On the sports side, basketball and softball, received honorable mention all-county and Portage Trail Conference.
    Future: plans to attend Kent State University (KSU) and medical school to become a trauma surgeon. Influential Educator: Although Alekna said all of her teachers have inspired her, she chose School Counselor, Melinda Weakland who told her in the fifth grade, "Brittany, you will make it and make something of yourself, I know you."
    Cassey Boss attends Portage Lakes Career Center (PLCC) enrolled in Visual Design and Imaging. She plays trumpet in the Spartan band.
    Future: plans to be a full time minister and joining an International Relief Volunteer Program.
    Influential Educator: Boss thanked teachers that have been influential and chose Leona Cable. "Talking with her one on one, she encouraged me to follow my dreams. She is caring and giving," said Boss.
    Ed Brown participates with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and is a member of NHS and the Renaissance program.
    Future: Miami University in the fall, undecided major.
    Influential educator: Dr. Jodi Burgess his calculus teacher."Her teaching always made the concepts clear and her notes were concise while still covering everything in detail. She is very knowledgeable and always gave great helped when I asked questions," said Brown.
    Brittany Champlin enlisted in the United States Army and did her basic training between her junior and senior year.
    Future:  More training after graduation and attend college, majoring  as an Intervention Specialist and attend law school.
    Influential Educator: Nancy Roberts helped Champlin catch up on her Spanish classes after moving to Springfield. "She stayed after school. She tries to get all of her students to succeed and believes in each and every one of us," said Champlin.
    Alexandria Chaplin is an active member of her church and participates on the Bible quizzing team where she ranked third in her district and will compete internationally.
    Future: Attend the University of Akron (UA) Honors College and plans to major in social work and attend law school to become a family law lawyer.
    Influential Educator: After negative feedback from teachers about her writing Chaplin was ready to give up when teacher Jennifer Droppleman encouraged her. "You pulled me out of straight "C's" and changed me into a straight "A" student," said Chaplain. She said she would not be standing there as part of the Top 25 without Droppleman's encouragement.
    Page 2 of 6 - Kristin Davis participated in cheerleading, golf and band. She is a member of Senior Class Council, Haromano, National Honor Society and is a freshman mentor. She coaches youth cheerleading and the Sparkle cheerleading squad.
    Future: attend Mount Vernon University majoring in early childhood and participate on the varsity golf team.
    Influential Educator: "I picked the teacher I had the hardest time with, Denise Denczak. She pushed her students to a point of perfection. She would say, "Why do it if you're not going to give it your best?"," said Davis. "For some reason that has stuck with me and I feel that made me who I am today."
    Nicholas Davis has been a member of NHS, student council and a freshman mentor. He represented Springfield at Junior Leadership of Akron. He is a member of Cross Country, band and Spartanaires.
    Future: Bowling Green State University (BGSU) to pursue a double major in Music Education and Communications. He hopes to obtain a masters in conducting. He dreams of conducting a professional ensemble, teaching college, advocating for the arts and publishing a book.
    Influential Educator: Susan Stein. "She is a kind and down to earth educator that does not sugarcoat what you need to learn to succeed. Her passion, life experience and genuine kindness have influenced me greatly," said Davis.
    Cody Ferrell is a member of NHS and Renaissance. He works part time and helps around the community by volunteering and helping others.
    Future: Stark State College for his prerequisites and transfer to UA where he plans to major in Anesthesiology.
    Influential Educator: Thomas Eby because he has made a difference in Ferrell's life. "He was joyful, helpful and nonjudgmental. He proved that class could be fun, but at the same time serious. He always had a positive attitude," said Ferrell.
    Matthew Ford played varsity golf, is a member of NHS and the ski club. Ford is involved with Martial Arts and teaches classes.
    Future: Attend UA pursuing a degree in engineering, looking at a career in biomedical or corrosion engineering. Influential Educator: Michelle King had an impact on Ford. "She made herself available to her students for questions and made learning fun. Having her as my math teacher kept me striving to do my best. She had a positive impact on me," Ford said.
    Brandon Groves played several sports, baseball being his favorite. He has been on the honor roll all four years.
    Future: Attend UA in the field of engineering.
    Influential Educator: Groves said he is well prepared for the future and is ready to take on the world and experience everything it has to offer because of teacher, Susan Garman who had the biggest impact on his life. Her influence is a big part of the reason why he is the responsible, hardworking person he is today.
    Page 3 of 6 - Ryan Hankins is a section leader in the band, a member of NHS and the National Technical Honor Society. He is also a member of the academic Challenge Team.
    Future: attend BGSU where he was awarded the Award of High Distinction, which is a full tuition scholarship inside the Honor's Program. He would like to be a network analyst.
    Influential Educator: Teacher Kelly Humenansky was the mentor that changed Hankins life. "You single handedly changed the course of my entire senior year," said Hankins.
    Gabrielle Holmes is a member of Renaissance, NHS and has participated in the post secondary program.
    Future:  Continue her education at UA and major in biology to prepare herself to be accepted into medical school to become a psychiatrist.
    Influential Educator: "History changed for me," said Holmes. It was when she was in teacher Josh Benson's class. "It was the way he would teach. He was energetic with his teaching," said Holmes. She said he is a caring teacher."I don't think I would have focused as hard as I did if it were not for being placed in his class," Holmes said.
    Samantha Karas has been on the volleyball, basketball and track teams. She is a member of NHS, Class Council, Student Council, Haromano and is a Spartan Mentor. Karas is a part of the post secondary program.
    Future: attend UA majoring in early childhood education.
    Influential Educator: Karas said her basketball coach, Lori Henary had the biggest impact on her life. "She was playing basketball with us. I have never seen anyone so intense and working so hard at something so simple as a scrimmage. I knew that was the mentality necessary to be a player and I idolized that," said Karas.
    Jessica Land has been involved in track, cross country and girls bowling. She is a member of the marching band, NHS and is a Spartan Mentor. She takes post secondary classes.
    Future:  Attend Kent State University (KSU) to become a nurse with the hopes to work at Children's Hospital as she loves kids.
    Influential Educator: Jeff Miller. "When Mr. Miller taught it was in a way students wouldn't get bored or distracted easily. Before I had Mr. Miller I hated math, I thought it was pointless, but he made this class enjoyable," said Land.
    Amber Levering will be graduating with honors. She has taken postsecondary courses, AP courses and multiple advanced courses throughout high school. She is a member of NHS, volunteers with a big Brothers Big/Sisters program and is a member of the band.
    Future: attend Hiram College majoring in education to become an algebra teacher.
    Influential Educator: Band director, Ernie Cole. "Music is a huge part of my life and I love it. Mr. Cole has done some amazing things with the band program. He pushes us all to do the best we can do and expects us to put our best effort forward," Levering said.
    Page 4 of 6 - Courtney Looney has taken AP courses and 18 credit hours through UA. She is a member of the choir, Spartanaires and is a majorette for the band. She's a freshman mentor, peer tutor and member of NHS. Looney volunteers at Children's Hospital.
    Future: attend Case Western Reserve University to study science and become a pediatric doctor. Influential Educator: Thomas Fleming was Looney's seventh grade teacher. "He is a teacher that takes a personal interest in his  students. He doesn't forget about them. He would ask about my other classes and how my day was going and make me feel like he actually cared what my response was. He is a huge part of why I want to major in science," Looney said.
     Caleb Moye has achieved many honors academically and athletically during his high school years. He is an honor roll student and has two years of perfect attendance. Lettered in soccer, track and bowling. Is a member of NHS and received the greater Akron Soccer Officials Association 2012 scholarship award. He has attended PLCC in the sports medicine athletic training program.
    Future: attend Stark State working to become a physical therapy assistant.
    Influential Educator: Jeff Ulrich. "He has always been very supportive of me outside of the classroom as well. I would say that he would make a fabulous cheerleader because he always cheers the students on whether inside the classroom or on the field. He has been willing to help me and listen to me," said Moye.
    Megan Powell carries a GPA of 4.07, is a member of Renaissance, cross-country, marching band and track and field. She volunteers in the community and has worked for the Akron Aeros, Zampino's Drum Shop, and Mogadore Tax.
    Future: become an interpreter for people in impoverished areas and other countries. She has a goal to learn six different languages and will attend KSU to study French and American Sign Language. Powell's Influential Educator: Coach, Lauren Reed. "She took the time to make sure each person on the team felt welcome and comfortable. It is more like a running family," said Powell.
    Alan Rodrigues participated in baseball and basketball. He is treasurer for NHS and participates in the post secondary program.
    Future: attend KSU and study business and hopes to have a successful career in the business world.
    Influential Educator: Rodrigues said many teachers have stuck out throughout school, but Cheryl Syx, his fifth grade teacher, was the most influential. "Math class was the highlight of my day," he said. To him her class was never boring and she always kept her students involved with her fun personality. "I probably enjoyed her class more than lunch or recess. She was funny though, she was a great and caring teacher," Rodrigues said. He added that Syx made sure her students understood a lesson, she would not move on until everyone understood.
    Page 5 of 6 - Nolan Southerland has achieved an average GPA of 3.8 and has participated in marching band, wind ensemble, jazz band and has been field commander. Southerland was in cross-country and is a member of NHS.  Outside of school he has been an active member of Springfield Baptist Church.
    Future: He will be joining the West Virginia National Guard and attending West Virginia University to study political science with a track in international relations. After college Southerland plans to make a career in the United States Army.
    Influential Educator: Karen Pavlak. "When I walked into the classroom in second grade I didn't know that my life changed forever. Mrs. Pavlak was always there teaching and lending her help to those who needed it but wouldn't hesitate to correct us either," Southerland said. "She was an outstanding teacher that helped me get to where I am today. She is still a driving force in my life today. If it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't be here tonight even after 10 years, she is still teaching me."
    Lisa Stout came to Springfield as a freshman after being home school. She quickly became involved in extracurricular activities as a member of NHS, treasurer of Haromano, Student Council and as vice president of Spartanaires. She also enjoys being on the track, cross-country, volleyball and bowling teams.
    Future: attend KSU and study athletic training and on to Ohio State University to attend physical therapy school.
    Influential Educator: Matthew Graves. "Sometimes I just need to rant and rave to someone and that someone is Mr. Graves. He listens. I can tell him anything," said Stout. He has been her teacher and coach. "You always believed in me and actually cared how I was doing," she said to Graves.
    Sarah Stubbs carries a GPA of 4.11, is president of Student Council, secretary of Haromano, member of NHS and a freshman mentor. She participated in varsity softball, attends Maranatha Bible Church, plays summer ball and currently works at Duma's Meat Market.
    Future: attend the University of Findlay working to achieve a double major in English and public relations. She will play on the University's softball team.
    Influential Educator: Margaret Gannon. "She didn't tell me much about life, she showed me," said Stubbs. "She has helped me recognize my passion and talent for reading and writing. Along with inspiring me academically, she's been one of the best blessings in my life in general by being a source of positivity and comfort. Thanks to Mrs. Gannon, I am eager to further my education".
    Mark Sullivan attends PLCC working as a member of the programming and software development class. He is on the bowling team, a member of NHS and the National Technical Honor Society. He has been working an internship at Jobs and Family Services.
    Page 6 of 6 - Future: attend Miami of Ohio majoring in computer science, pursue a Masters degree.
    Influential Educator: Michael Maletich. "He had the biggest impact on me. It didn't matter who you were, he would be able to have an entire conversation with you and enjoy every bit of it. He actually did care about what was going on in your life. He cares about all of the students, not because he has to, but because he wants to," said Sullivan.
    Katie Tetzel is president of NHS, vice president of the band and is involved in Student Council, Haromano, S.A.D.D., mentoring and Class Council.
    Future: attend Ohio State University majoring in psychology. Obtain a masters degree in counseling to become a family and marriage counselor.
    Influential Educator: Michelle Hanna. "I learned so many things from her besides science. She made me apply myself in a way I never have. Instead of just giving book work, we did many hands-on experiments. She also taught me many things of use outside of school, to be a responsible, rational and caring person," said Tetzel.
    Miranda Toman is involved in Student Council, Haromano, NHS and Spartanaires. She is a member of the volleyball, basketball and softball teams. Toman also had the honor of singing the national anthem for several home sporting events.
    Future: attend the UA with an undecided major.
    Influential Educator: Catherine Jenrette. "She had been my choir teacher from the time I was in seventh grade until she decided to retire my junior year. Because of her, I received a number of one rankings at solo and ensemble contest," said Toman. She also attributed her having a chance to sing the National Anthem for some Akron Aeros and Akron Racers games to Jenrette. "I wouldn't be where I am today, vocally, if it weren't for this woman," Toman said.
    Members of the school administration commented that this evening is something they look forward to each year. They wish the best of luck to the students in future endeavors. It was a great success.