By Tim Ashley
SYRACUSE — When visitors come through the main entrance of Wawasee High School soon they will notice several group photos displayed on the walls. Those inducted into the school’s Academic Hall of Fame are remembered for years to come.
On Sunday afternoon, May 23, in the high school auditorium a total of 49 more students were inducted for the class of 2021. They will eventually join previous inductees in having a photo displayed.
This year’s induction ceremony was different than those of past years. Because of the uncertainty due to the coronavirus when or if the banquet would be held was in doubt and it was rescheduled twice. No food was served this year and several of the students inducted made videos in which they named and thanked the teacher who they chose as having the most influence on them.
Geoff Walmer, WHS principal, noted the food portion of the banquet is dependent on fundraising and “I just didn’t feel right asking businesses for donations after what they have been through the past year.”
WHS Teacher Jeff Phillips gave the opening remarks and said parents should be recognized for what they do to help students succeed academically. He also said it is an honor for a teacher to be selected as having the most influence on a student and “that’s a situation we don’t take lightly.”
To be eligible for the Academic Hall of Fame, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 10.0 on a 12 point scale by the end of their 11th trimester.
In closing remarks, Walmer said the 49 students “stepped up to the plate and hit not just a home run, but a grand slam or whatever is beyond that.”
He encouraged the students to “do the right thing” and make the right choices based on the information they have at the time. Mistakes will be made, but they can be overcome.
“When mistakes are made and you knew it was the wrong decision, those are the ones that will jump up and bite you,” he said.
Following are the students inducted with the names of their parents, college choice, major, future plans if any and the educator they chose as having the most influence.
Michaela Arford, Michael and Janalyn Arford, Ball State University, psychology, Sara Harrison.
Rileigh Atwood, Jeff and Melissa Atwood, Indiana State University, veterinary science, Frank Bumgardner.
Noah Beckner, Brad and Gena Beckner, Purdue University, engineering, Ryan Edgar.
Adam Beer, Randy and Deb Beer, Purdue University, engineering, Brad Doty.
Claire Beer, Brent and Pam Beer, Tricoci University, esthetics, Anne Mangas.
Justin Beer, Marc and Jodi Beer, Grace College, agribusiness, Mariah Roberts.
Ella Beezley, Michael and Hope Beezley, Madonna University, major undecided and no educator listed.
Katelyn Bray, Rodney and Jennifer Bray, plans to do dog grooming, Joan Harden.
Connor Byrd, Amy Harland, Purdue University, biomedical engineer, Jed Wandland.
Noelle Cierpilowski, Tracey Cierpilowski, Indiana University, sociology, Ken Brower.
Alison Elizabeth Cole, William and Marla Cole, Purdue University, microbiology, Wendel Landes.
Sadie Cowan, Jack and Betsy Cowan, Purdue Fort Wayne, business, Amy Miller.
Tate Cowan, Jeff and Kari Cowan, Columbia University, biology, Cassandra Klenke.
Kendal Coy, Michael Camacho and Michelle Coy, college and major undecided, no educator listed.
Casey Drake, Don and Christine Drake, Purdue University, veterinary nursing, Jesse Kimmel.
Emma G. Ebright, Shane and Stephanie Ebright, Indiana University, public health, John Szynal.
Clayton Firestone, Larry and Kristen Firestone, Indiana University, finance, Tamera Spangle.
Bode Grimes, Marc and Phyllis Grimes, Miami University, mechanical engineering, Mitch Willaman.
Alexandra Haberman, Steve and Mary Haberman, Purdue University, biology, Elizabeth Long.
Karlson Hand, Chad and Amy Compton, Purdue University, pharmaceutical sciences, Seth Cripe.
Delaney Hare, Rob and Amanda Hare, IUPUI, biology, Anne Richey.
Wesley Hays, Rich and Julie Hays, Purdue University, engineering, Sarah Fredericks.
Niles E. Hodges, Neil and Megan Hodges, Indiana University, biology, Jordan Sharp.
Amanda Jenkins, Joseph and Rebecca Jenkins, Indiana University, film/media production, Kristen Records.
Danielle Jenkins, Gary and Tonya Jenkins, Indiana University, architecture, Lisa Firestone.
Aiden Jonsson, Chad and Cindy Jonsson, Vincennes University, law of conservation, Tony Smith.
Laurel Kelsheimer, Jeff and Karen Kelsheimer, IUPUI, forensic and investigative science, Sarah Holsopple.
Samantha Kolberg, Eric and Heidi Kolberg, Valparaiso University, accounting with education minor, Kristina Long.
Erin McGreevy, Pam Mast and Rich McGreevy, taking a year off, Brian Whirledge.
Riley Menzie, Norma Garcia and Raymond Menzie, Indiana University, finance and economics, Dan Wray.
Joshua Metcalf, Scott and Angie Metcalf, Trine University, mechanical engineering, Jason Scott.
Andrea Mickley, Natalie Mickley, Grace College, math education and business, Codey Holliday.
Norah Miller, Calisa Doll and Todd Miller, Purdue University, computer science, Shelley Kunkle.
Haley Muellemann, Kevin and Kelsey Newcomer, Ball State University, social work, Tanetta Gibson.
Phoenyx Niedermeyer, Liberti and Kenneth Baxter, Ball State University, marketing and accounting, Jennifer McKinney.
Corin Nyce, Don Nyce and Sara Fuller, Indiana University-South Bend, nursing, Jennifer Szynal.
Amari Peete, Felicia and Jerry Hochstetler, IUPUI, psychology, Scott Lancaster.
EllaMae Reiff, Jim and Nancy Reiff, Purdue University, ag communications and agribusiness, Keith Bollman.
Ava Rush, Eric and Amber Rush, Ball State University, biology, Jeff Phillips.
Nathan Smith, Brian and Magda Smith, Purdue University, computer engineering, Brad Stutzman.
Olivia Stuck, Thurl and Penny Stuck, University of Indianapolis, nursing, Chloe McRobbie.
Victor Brandon Tayagua, Victor and Rosalia Tayagua, University of Michigan, economics, Kathy Myers.
Makenna Tharp, Tiffany Slocum and Glen Tharp, Indiana University-South Bend, nursing, Mark Friskney.
Autumn Turner, Samantha Kiser and Michael Turner, Manchester University, Health Sciences, Nate O’Connell.
Nyla White, Neil and Crystal White, University of Notre Dame, political science, Mary Brower.
Vivian Wiggs, Mark Wiggs and Kristina Lyons, college undecided, marine biology or law, Amy Kuhn.
Georgia Wise, Dwain Wise and Jennifer Osborne, Purdue University, biology, Joyce Dubach.
Casey Yankosky, David and Deborah Yankosky, Indiana University-South Bend, health care management, Cheryl VanLaeken.
Caleb Young, Jeremy and Shauna Young, Indiana University, business management, Vince Beasley.