• Dr. Herpy

2020-2021 Senior Top 15

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Nick SanchezNick Sanchez
It was just another normal day in AP Physics. My classmates and I were on the electricity unit and were assigned a lab where we were to study capacitors. For those not well versed in circuitry, a capacitor is a small device that stores electrical energy in the form of a field, sort of like a small rechargeable battery. What we were supposed to do was charge the capacitor with a power supply, connect it to a light bulb, and record how many seconds the light would stay on. However, me being the curious mad scientist that I am, had the brilliant idea of charging the capacitor to its maximum and then touching the two ends together just to see what would happen. As soon as I touched the two ends, a POP resonated throughout the classroom and what was once a capacitor was now a broken metal casing with smoke billowing out. After this idiotic turn of events, I delved into the science behind why this occurred and was fascinated to find that the equations that I learned in class could be applied to this situation. Throughout my high school career, my strange curious thoughts have brought questions and science has always brought the answers.

Jeff LinkNick plans on attending Ohio State University next year to study electrical engineering and computer science. Ten years from now, he hopes to be creating new technologies for the music industry.
Nicholas Sanchez – Jeff Link
I chose to honor Mr. Link for always bringing a smile to my face with his witty remarks and, of course, pushing me to be a great musician. For example, when I first asked him if I would be able to temporarily give up my role as lead trumpet player to try playing guitar in jazz band, he welcomed the idea with a smile and encouraged me to try it out. With Mr. Link, the memories are countless. But the memory that shines through the most is the time he ate a stale potato chip found in the back of our field trip bus after being dared by a student. So, to Mr. Link, thanks for the memories, and thanks for the support.

Okan KardzhalaOkan Kardzhala
I still remember how nervous I was when I first set foot in Kenston High School during my freshman orientation. Block scheduling, alphabetical wings, the concept of co-existing in the same building with seniors; all of it was foreign to me and stressed me out. Looking back, there was one pivotal experience that led me to where I am today. It was a warm spring day, and I was in the car on the way to the yearly Kenston awards ceremony. When I received the invitation informing me that I was going to be recognized, I did not expect much. When my name was called, I still remember the sound my fancy, black dress shoes made walking across the stage and the clapping from the audience. From this moment forward, I felt much more comfortable, and this was one of my proudest moments in my high school career.

Mr. TripiOkan plans on studying business and computer science next fall either at Ohio State University or Case Western Reserve University. Ten years from now he hopes to be living independently with a well-paying job and having hobbies that he is able to enjoy.

Okan Kardzhala – Mr. Tripi
Thinking back, some of my favorite courses were the business classes taught by Mr. Tripi. I had many qualified teachers throughout my time at Kenston, but Mr. Tripi stands out as one of the most memorable educators in my mind. I appreciated the unique style of teaching and instruction that Mr. Tripi offered, and the very engaging and thorough lectures. Additionally, the personal anecdotes and upbeat attitude at all times kept my interest peaked. Both classes that I had with Mr. Tripi, business law and personal finance/investments, were extremely positive and influential experiences. Some of my favorite memories included the mock trial as well as the stock market game.

Adler WeberAdler Weber
After last spring’s COVID-attributed chaos, many students felt relieved to resign to the structure of senior year and greet faces unseen for months. On one particular sunny morning, a class of mine decided to escape the sterile classroom and take a five-minute brain break outside. As we steadily reentered the building in single file, our flow was interrupted by Mr. Ray bursting through the door with his hands cupped in front of him. “Good morning, Mr. Ray,” we said, and in a truly Mr. Ray fashion he only responded with a nod. “What’re you holding?”
Without speaking, he walked a hundred paces away from the building, turned toward us, and opened his hands to reveal a bird. It flapped once (liftoff), twice (gaining altitude), and smacked straight into the glass wall under which we stood, falling into the crowd below. Every senior here tonight will take flight after graduation. However, as the bird reminds us, it is imperative that we take the future slowly…and Mrs. Sunderhaftwatch out for glass walls.

Adler will be continuing his education next year at Cornell University, where he plans to study computer science. Ten years from now he hopes to be a significant contributor to the field of computer science research.

Adler Weber – Mrs. Sunderhaft
Whether she was reading Agatha Christie or introducing the linear equation, Mrs. Sunderhaft’s demeanor belonged to that of a friend. Rather than merely parroting the rigid common core, Mrs. Sunderhaft encouraged didactic discussion that would survive Kenston Middle School. In one such discussion in early September, each student was tasked with setting year long personal goals. On a whim and in my salad fingers handwriting I scrawled “Get all A’s” more or less on the line. I’d never been academically serious before then, but on paper that goal was inescapable. I haven’t looked back since, and I owe Mrs. Sunderhaft credit. Thank you, Mrs. Sunderhaft. You encouraged risks, seldom chastised, and treated twenty-odd seventh graders with undeserving respect. Thank you.

Maxwell VollrathMaxwell Vollrath
There once was a boy who thought he knew everything. Then his grandmother moved in when he was 14. Her five foot stature was the scariest thing I had ever seen. She was the type of grandma to have hard candy with her at all times and keep the same napkin in her left pocket. At first glance she was a cute, petite-thing that made everyone instantly fall in love with her. But if you were family, you knew she emphasized the tough in tough love. She criticized every detail of my life, she demanded perfection from an imperfect child. The criticism, however, made me who I am today. All that tough love inspired me to be successful. Her choice of words is what pushed me to prove to her I can do anything. I wanted to make her proud enough to call me “grandson”. Her influence on me invoked an ambition to have academic success at Kenston and inspired my dedication to school. There is nothing I would not do for her, she is one of the people I love most in this world.

Pam GarrettMaxwell plans on attending college next year and is deciding between the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, and Florida State University with a major in Business. Ten years from now he sees himself as a business owner and entrepreneur with the possibility of a family and the title of Time’s Person of the Year.
Maxwell Vollrath – Pam Garrett
Statistics was a class I wrote down on my course selection sheet so I could finish every math class the school offered. However, the class became so much more because of the teacher. I thought I had my future figured out, but once I left Mrs. Garrett’s Statistics classes I was just as lost as ever. My eyes were set on business, but Mrs. Garrett made me question whether it was business or statistics I should follow. She opened my eyes to future career possibilities I never thought of. And honestly her class is one of the few useful classes. Mrs. Garrett became one of my favorite teachers because she enjoys teaching, she doesn’t care about grades, she cares if the student learns.

Alexa BusbyAlexa Busby
For most people, the idea of waking up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to take tests all day sounds like the worst way to spend free time on weekends. This was how I thought about the Science Olympiad team before being convinced to join junior year. Looking back, I wish I joined the team sooner, as long days at tournaments are now some of my favorite high school memories. From sneaking into the teacher’s lounge to steal a cup of coffee, running across Case Western’s campus to make it to an event on time, to playing in a Science Olympiad 3 on 3 basketball tournament, being a part of the team has always been about more than just winning a competition. Above all, being a part of the team has allowed me to pursue my passion for STEM and has confirmed my desire to pursue the field in college.

Alexa plans on attending the College of William & Mary to study Environmental Science or Biology. Ten years from now, she hopes to work as an environmental scientist or wildlife biologist, traveling and Mr. Marchesiconducting field research to aid in environmental conservation.

Alexa Busby – Mr. Marchesi
It speaks volumes of the positive impact Mr. Marchesi has had on my senior year considering I chose him as my influential educator despite English being my least favorite subject. Mr. Marchesi has challenged me to expand my preconceived notions of writing, which has helped tremendously in all my classes and prepared me to tackle the challenges of college. Mr. Marchesi has been gracious enough to read all of my college essays and I could not have made it through the harrowing process without his guidance. My time with Mr. Marchesi as a teacher and as a class officer advisor has shown the care he has for the well-being of his students and for that I am truly grateful.

Jessica KirschmanJessica Kirschman
The chess club had been the most popular club at my former middle school, but here at Kenston, there was none. Over my first two years, I found friends and confidence. It was a slow process, but well worth it. We established a chess club, and got a teacher on board, but due to the previous lack of a club, none of the students I had recruited knew how to play chess. It was an amazing opportunity to learn leadership skills in real-life situations. I was able to build a community, one centered around learning, self-improvement, and—most importantly—snacks.

Jessica plans on attending college next year to study computer science and physics. She is still deciding between the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Alabama, or the University of Central Florida. Ten years from now she hopes to be doing research in the field of physics.

Mr. KoltasJessica Kirschman – Mr. Koltas
Due to my gender, many, likely subconsciously, dismiss my STEM talents at first. I also find it difficult to communicate with my teachers and peers, due to shyness and anxiety, especially as a new kid. While I could tell stories about the ways these have negatively impacted me, I never sensed either mattered to Mr Koltas. He would always smile when students entered the room, seeing them as positive forces both in the classroom and the two clubs he ran: trivia and math. Mr. Koltas, like many other great teachers I’ve had, worked to create a space focused solely on learning. Thank you.

Elizabeth Cooper
Over the course of the past four years, I have learned very much and have had many great experiences. The most important thing that I learned from my experiences is that relationships mean everything. Elizabeth CooperThe happiest times in life will be spent with the people around you. Your best moments won’t come from the feeling of receiving an A on the test you had studied so hard for, or that salary raise at your job, or even the diploma you will receive after graduation. While accomplishments like those are important in life, I have found that the fondest memories are the ones spent with your friends and family.

Elizabeth plans on attending Ohio State University next year to study accounting and pre-law. Ten years from now sees herself pursuing a law career or owning her own business.

Elizabeth Cooper – Mrs. Werner
I have known Mrs. Werner since the age of 10. The amount of lessons and skills that I learned from her and the program she has built for the last 30 years are unmeasurable. To name a few, I learned how Mrs. Wernerto be responsible, the importance of time management skills, and I learned to be a committed and passionate leader. Mrs. Werner has a special personality; she was always a shoulder to cry on, but a phenomenal role model and coach. She pushed me to be my best self and never failed to show how much she cared for me and my teammates. I am beyond grateful that she has been a part of my life for so many years.

Hannah Fender
The most unique and most memorable extracurricular I have been a part of at Kenston was Kenston Center Stage, particularly during the show “Elf the Musical”. My first semester of junior year was by far my most challenging year of high school. While some may question why I kept myself so involved on top of taking such challenging classes, these extracurriculars helped distract from anything negative I Hannah Fendermay have had going on. The constant “jolly” energy I received from “Elf” gave me so much hope. From hiding out under the backstage table doing my homework, to sweeping “snow” off of the stage, I truly enjoyed every moment of it. The best memory of being a part of “Elf” was that one of the performances was on my birthday and before that show, all of those involved sang happy birthday to me. Considering that they were all great singers, hence why they were in the musical, it was the most beautiful happy birthday I had ever had. Not only that, but I felt happy knowing that I had so many people around me who cared for me, especially at a very stressful time in my life.

Hannah will be continuing her studies next fall at Kent State University. She plans to major in psychology and minor in Spanish. Ten years from now, she sees herself being married, having a family, and running her own practice as a child psychologist, specializing in helping Spanish speaking children.
Mrs. ScolaHannah Fender – Mrs. Scola
I have had Señora Scola for a total of 5 semesters of high school, making her the teacher that I have had the most throughout my high school career. I was always excited to go to her classes, from Spanish 2 all the way up to AP Spanish, as I always knew her lessons would involve both learning and excitement. Señora Scola fostered my love for Spanish and has inspired me to want to minor in the language. She has also inspired me through her compassion and care for her students. She truly wants all of her students to succeed and works hard to make sure anyone and everyone can learn the beautiful language of spanish. Señora Scola es una maestra fantástica!

Amelia Witmer-Rich
Amelia Witmer-RichDuring sophomore year I decided to take the class Microbiology, Forensics, and Zoology with Mrs. Zeigler because I had really enjoyed biology the year before. But I never could’ve imagined how much of an impact it left on me, inspiring a fascination with science that continues to this day. Microbiology was one of the few classes I’ve taken at the high school where I actually looked forward to the homework because I found it genuinely interesting. I realized that I love the hands-on aspects of labs that allowed us to learn through experience, like the messy gram-staining that left dark ink on our fingertips, the strong smell that let everyone else in the Science wing know our class was dissecting a creature that day, and even the fake criminal investigations we performed by testing blood types and fingerprints. I have so many fond memories from Microbiology with my amazing lab table that was filled with people who were truly amazed by science just as much as I was. I’m forever grateful to that class, and the now-retired Mrs. Zeigler in particular, for teaching me the wonders of the natural world.

Amelia plans on attending Goshen College in Indiana next fall, where she will major in biochemistry. Ten years from now, she hopes to be finishing up medical school or working in biomedical research.

Mrs. Deborah KramerAmelia Witmer-Rich – Mrs. Deborah Kramer
This year, I have had the pleasure of taking calculus with Mrs. Deborah Kramer. In her class, I have been able to view math in a different light: as a deeper, more conceptual subject requiring both critical thinking and some creativity. Often in class, after completing a long and complicated problem that eventually reaches a simple conclusion, Mrs. Kramer says “Isn’t that beautiful?” And in her class, I have been able to see the strange beauty in math: the way that every problem has a clear and concrete answer. I’m so grateful that I have been able to have a teacher like Mrs. Kramer who truly appreciates the subject she teaches.

Stephan Kale
Stephan KaleThe gleaming rays of the early morning sun peak over the horizon and strike the surrounding mountains, coloring them in elegant hues of orange. The cool, brisk mountain breeze instantly chills my body as I find myself miles from home in Grand Teton National Park located in Northern Wyoming. At an early 6:30 a.m. in the morning, some 30 peers and I depart on a 20 mile hike to the scenic Lake Solitude located deep within the Teton Mountains. As I look back on my high school years, I begin to realize that my most memorable experiences happened during the summer of 2018 when I participated in Kenston’s Out West Trip. Whether it was the challenge of hiking 20 miles to Lake Solitude, to the thrill of whitewater rafting the Snake River, or learning about the geologic history of Arches National Park that summer was packed with lasting memories and friendships.

Stephan plans on attending college next year and is currently undecided on where he would like to attend. He intends to study business or engineering. Ten years from now he hopes to be successful and Mrs. Smithmaybe even reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Stephan Kale – Mrs. Smith
Of all my years of education, I have never met a teacher that has as much passion and dedication to teaching than Mrs. Smith. Her love and enthusiasm for politics and government has taught generations of Kenston students the importance of civic responsibility and our nation’s constitutional values. One of her favorite quotes that she would passionately recite in class is, “You guys! If didn’t vote was a candidate, then didn’t vote would have won the election!” We may not have always agreed on the political issue at hand; however, our civil discussions and mutual interest in politics created a bond of mutual respect and a lasting personal friendship.

Chloe PeifferChloe Peiffer
At the beginning of 10th grade, I made the decision to join the Mock Trial team, then only in its second year of being an activity at Kenston. It ended up being the best decision I made in high school. The people I met, the coaches I was privileged to work with, and the knowledge I gleaned will be something I will always carry with me. Little did we know that in the second year of Mock Trial at Kenston we would make it all the way to states in Columbus. A great memory from this trip happened on the way home, during our high stakes hunt for White Castle, our bus got stuck in a construction zone and the boys sadly ended up becoming covered in wet concrete upon attempting to get the bus unstuck. The time on the bus spent with friends as well as the preparation and anticipation of each Mock Trial event is something I will always remember.

Chloe has been attending Miami University full time this year as part of the CCP program and will continue to attend Miami in the fall. She is double majoring in finance and economics. Ten years from now she sees herself Mrs. Wirthweinworking in a big city at an investment bank, hopefully in New York or Boston.

Chloe Peiffer – Mrs. Wirthwein
From the first time I met Mrs. Wirthwein during auditions for the middle school musical I knew she was someone that would drop everything for one of her students. The endless hours she puts in outside of class to direct both the middle school and high school plays go to show how invested and passionate she is about her students. The 3 classes I took from her developed my love of history and eventually led me to fulfill my history minor at Miami University, her alma mater, my senior year. Mrs. Wirthwein is the perfect balance of a fun and understanding teacher that also pushes her students to be the best versions of themselves both in their academic and personal lives.

Morgan PolcarMorgan Polcar
If you know me, you know I am not the greatest athlete. So it was a big surprise when I made it to districts for golf, but an even bigger one when I found out I was getting recruited. While warming up for my round, a recruiter from a no-name university in West Virginia came up to my parents and was talking them up. He then began to follow me for the first two holes of my round. The third hole is a par three, meaning that you want to finish the hole after only three shots. I hit the green in 1 shot and then I proceeded to have five putts finishing the hole with 6 strokes. The recruiter promptly left, leaving me with no college golf career but a pretty funny story. This is just one of several funny stories and memories I have from my years on the golf team.

Morgan plans on attending Saint Louis University next year as part of the Medical Scholars program, which is conditional acceptance to their medical school. She is well on her way having earned an EMT Mrs. Detwilerstatus through CCP classes this year. Ten years from now she hopes to be in her residency somewhere that has a ton of hiking trails for her and her dogs to enjoy on the weekends.

Morgan Polcar – Mrs. Detwiler
Most students choose a teacher to recognize during this event. However, our guidance counselors can and have played an important part in our educational success. Mrs. Detwiler has been instrumental in my success at Kenston High School. As a Kenston and CCP student, she spent endless hours searching and helping me choose classes that would support my future goals. Mrs. Detwiler is kind, passionate and truly cares about her students’ at Kenston and in the future. One thing I will never forget about Mrs. Detwiler is that any time I saw her she would ask me how I was doing. It was not just cursory, it was the most sincere how are you doing.

Delaney BochenekDelaney Bochenek
I was devastated when I didn’t qualify for States in Speech and Debate junior year. The Red Rave happened to be the same weekend as States, and because I wasn’t competing I decided to go. That night I had so much fun with my friends I completely forgot States was happening without me. The night got even better when I won the VIP Parking Spot in the raffle. As someone who hates walking in the cold, I couldn’t have been more excited. If I had qualified for States I wouldn’t have been able to go to the Red Rave, and would have never won that parking spot. Now every day when I pull up to the sign and read my name, I am reminded that something may seem like a setback at the time but it could really open you up to a new opportunity that is even better.

Delaney plans on attending Purdue University next fall and has been accepted into their Honors College. Her intent is to study mechanical engineering or pre-med. Ten years from now, she sees herself Mr. Segulinfinishing residency and starting a career as a Pathologist, or working as an engineer to improve the safety features on cars and keep people safe.
Delaney Bochenek – Mr. Segulin
When I’m reminiscing about my most memorable high school experiences, almost all of them will be from AP Chemistry. Only Mr. Segulin could make the hardest class also the most fun. During an inquiry lab, Hannah and I were disappointed our reaction wasn’t very exciting. Mr. Segulin suggested a way to make our reaction way more interesting. He always knew how to motivate us, and of course that made us determined to make it work. After many different trials, we eventually made a beautiful flask of gold glitter. As difficult as the lab and class were, Mr. Segulin always went above and beyond to support us and make us interested and curious.

Molly HubertMolly Hubert
The most pivotal experience of my high school career was my time at NEOMED’s Anatomy Academy. The summer going into my junior year I got the privilege to attend the summer anatomy program at Northeast Ohio Medical School. The program consisted of lectures, and time in a cadaver lab everyday, with a final exam at the end of the two-week course. I was surrounded by students, some who traveled all the way from Canada, who were incredibly intelligent and extremely smart.
I honestly felt inferior to these students, and everyone was extremely competitive. However, I came to learn that my experience at Anatomy Academy was focused on bettering myself and improving my knowledge, rather than focusing on being the best student there. I am grateful for Anatomy Academy for teaching me that my education has nothing to do with other students, but rather making me the best student I could become.

Mrs. Dubovec-KowitzMolly plans on attending Ohio State University next fall to study biomedical engineering. Ten years from now she hopes to be successful and using her expertise to create vaccines.

Molly Hubert – Mrs. Dubovec-Kowitz
From the first day of honors geometry, I knew Mrs. Dubovec, or Dubo as I know her now, was going to be one of my favorite teachers. Although I was intimidated by all of the sophomores I barely knew in my class, Dubo made me feel welcomed.
Come fall of my freshman year, Dubo was my coach for basketball. I was so glad to see a familiar face as I embarked on my first year of high school basketball. This past winter as I walked down the gym on my senior night, I thanked Dubo for being my first high school coach ever, and sticking with me these past 4 years!

Nathan SpencerNathan Spencer
During sophomore year English, after discussing the novel 1984, Mr. Ray allowed us to get creative with group projects exploring government control. My friends and I knew we had to go all out with this one, and we started putting the creative part of our brains to use. We ended up writing a script for a newscast about how the government had replaced birds with spy drones. We put maximum effort into the project, taking time to film fake interviews, add fancy effects, and incorporate a lot of bird videos. During the band spring break trip to New York City we even made sure to get footage of pigeons in their “natural habitat”. We all played different characters throughout the video- I was a crazy country good old boy who was convinced the government was spying on us! Overall the project was a great way to engage us creatively, and to this day I’m still proud of our end result.

Nathan plans on attending college next year to study mathematics or film. He is currently deciding between Miami University, Ohio State University, or Allegheny College. Ten years from now, he hopes to have found a career that he enjoys and is successful at.

Mrs. CostiganNathan Spencer – Mrs. Costigan
Anyone who knows me knows that English is definitely not my favorite subject. I’d rather do calculus problems than write an essay any day. However, having Mrs. Costigan for AP English III actually made English feel engaging and meaningful. Acting out lines from Death of a Salesman allowed our class to get creative with literature, and working with actual theater actors made the experience more memorable. Group assignments and a casual atmosphere made our days in class feel relaxed but productive, which I think is hard to find in high school. Mrs. Costigan also did a great job preparing us for the AP exam, even if she had to do part of it over Zoom.

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