This time of year has our hopes bursting at the seams: trees and flowers are blooming, the weather’s warming, and summer vacation is just around the corner. Our hopes run especially high when we turn our attention to the young people graduating from Allendale High School to begin a new chapter of life.
It’s amazing to consider that the Class of 2012 has collectively earned $1.8 million dollars in scholarships! This group of kids have plans that range from entering the work force to serving in foreign countries. Today we applaud them for their efforts both in the classroom and outside of it. We cheer them on as they begin a new kind of race: one of their own choosing and one that points to their own kind of finish line.
Though each of our students deserve a moment in the spotlight, we offer special congratulations to those students who landed on the esteemed “Top Ten” list. They have consistently gone above and beyond, have pursued excellence, and have demonstrated tenacity over their four-years at Allendale High.
Ms. Camryn DeLooff is our 2012 Valedictorian. Camryn was an all-conference varsity volleyball player, an all-conference honorable mention varsity bowler, a regional champion and state qualifier on the AHS track team, and a basketball player.
Camryn additionally served on Student Congress, was a member of National Honor Society, and worked as a volunteer at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids to name just a few. Aside from all of these things, Camryn found time to maintain a 4.184 GPA! We wish her the best as she pursues medicine at either U of M or Oakland University this fall!
Kali LaHaie is this year’s Co-Salutatorian with a 4.148 GPA. Kali was involved in National Honor Society and Rotary Interact Club during her time at Allendale High School. She also impacted AHS athletics by participating in 3 different sports: basketball and volleyball and running track.
Kali plans to pursue a future in graphic design at Grand Valley State University Honor’s College. Congratulations, Kali! You’re designed to shine!
Victoria Westrick joins the Top Ten as Co-Salutatorian with a 4.143 GPA. She played JV soccer and was a member of the National Honor Society beginning her sophomore year.
Victoria dreams of working for an international company or Christian ministry in a third-world country. To prepare for those roles, she plans to study business anthropology and Spanish, with a minor in French at GVSU’s Honor’s College. Best of luck, Victoria, with these wonderful aspirations!
Emily Gottschalk has secured our #4 spot with an impressive 4.124 GPA.
Emily played soccer for 3 years and was active on the ski and snowboard club as well. She additionally worked on the yearbook for 3 years, acting as Editor-In-Chief her senior year. She was a National Honor Society Member, was active with Student Congress, and runs her own book blog!
Emily plans to attend the University of Michigan to study English and economics, and hopes to one day be involved in the publishing industry as a book editor. Best wishes, Emily!
Alexis Wiersma takes our #5 spot with her solid 4.020 GPA. She was a 3-time All-State and 2010 D3 State Champion in Cross Country, and holds multiple records in Track and Indoor Track, as well.
Alexis also served on Student Congress as class representative her sophomore and junior years, and plans to attend MSU on a cross-country and track scholarship in the fall. Congratulations, Alexis!
Rebekah Newman occupies the #6 ranking this year with a 4.004 GPA. Rebekah played in the marching band for 4 years, filling the role of color guard captain for 2. She additionally played flute in the concert band for 4 years. In her spare time, Rebekah enjoys horseback riding and volunteers to help kids learn to ride during the summer.
Rebekah plans to attend Grand Valley State University to study biology. Best wishes, Rebekah!
Brandon Oswald is a three-sport varsity athlete who comes in at #7 with a 3.997 GPA. Brandon ran cross-country, participated in track, and played basketball during his time at Allendale, and was also active in his church youth group, “Life Stream.”
Brandon plans to go to Michigan State University next year as a pre-med/ROTC student. We applaud his decision to serve our country!
John Betts grabbed our #8 position this year with a 3.987 GPA. John participated in cross country and track during his freshmen year before making the move to soccer for his final 3 years of high school.
John also found time to contribute to Student Congress, National Honor Society, and the Awareness Committee. He additionally competed with the AHS Science Olympiad team and even earned his Eagle Scout award!
John plans to serve a 2-year mission for his church before attending Brigham young University where he intends to major in biology and pre-med. All the best, John!
Dustan Luban comes in at #9 this year with an incredible 3.977 GPA. Dustin played both basketball and golf all 4 years at APS, and football for 2 years. He was involved in the Hope College P.A.T.H. program his freshmen year and continued to challenge himself with several AP classes and dual enrollment at GVSU.
Dustan also enjoyed serving on two mission trips sponsored by his church for hurricane relief, and did so while maintaining numerous jobs on top of his schooling! He plans to attend GVSU in the fall, but is open to transferring once he firms up his career plans. At the moment Dustan sees a future in investing. Good luck, Dustan!
Mitchell Visser rounds out our top ten with a fantastic 3.96 GPA. Mitchell was involved in numerous clubs and activities: soccer, drama club, Film Festival Coordinator, National Honor Society, school plays, and jazz band, to name just a few.
Additionally, Mitchell is nearing the end of his pursuit of an Eagle Scout Award and is also active in his church youth group. He would like to go into the film business and learn how to make movies; to that end, Mitchell plans to attend GVSU’s film program this fall. Break a leg, Mitchell!
Please join me in applauding the extraordinary efforts of these seniors!