Local students and teachers are being honored through the regional I-STAR Indiana Student-Teacher Achievement Recognition program.
The 34th annual program is in recognition of students and teachers for excellence, integrity and commitment.
Three seniors at Centerville, Connersville, Franklin County, Hagerstown, Lincoln, Rushville, Tri and Union County were honored.
Each of the students also are honoring a teacher who has made an impact on their academic career.
Lincoln’s honorees are Makala Hammons, Rachel Merida and Kate Wallace, who will honor teachers Kaitlyn Lacey, Bonita Klein and former LHS teacher Angie Hedman, who now teaches at Monroe Central.
In addition, a Lincoln High School graduate is being recognized for excellent teaching at Rushville Consolidated High School.
Nanette Scanlan has worked at RCHS for six years. She is a teacher for credit recovery and coaches volleyball, helps organize the Lions Food Pantry and serves as cheerblock sponsor. She is known as very kind and always willing to help all students. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Franklin College.
Tri honorees are Brittany Alvarez from Lewisville, Olivia Meeker from Spiceland and Molly West from Springport. They selected Daryl Keesling, Jackie Surber and Andy Hahn. Read about Alvarez on Page 9 and the other honorees on our website, hmgccity.com.
This year’s Connersville High School honorees are students Elizabeth Waterman, Ethan Fowler and Alex Austerman, who are honoring teachers Roger Tyler, Richard Bever and David Reeve.
Kate Wallace lives on a farm in Cambridge City with her parents, Paul and Donna Wallace, and her teenage brother, Quinn. When Kate was 18 months old she ceased talking and was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. She resumed speaking at about 5 ½ years old, but still struggled with speech impediments and anxiety.
Her brother also is on the autism spectrum and is non-verbal. Despite these challenges, Kate has improved her communication and performance skills through school and extracurriculars. She is active in LHS art and choir classes as well as Drama Club, National Honor Society, and Academic Teams.
She is also a 10-year member of 4-H and a Lilly Endowment Scholarship finalist. Kate plans to pursue art education at either Ball State University or Earlham College.
Makala Hammons is the daughter of Jason and Jenny Hammons. She plays on the varsity tennis and golf teams and is a member of FFA, Business Professionals of America, Student Government, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 4-H, and National Honors Society.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with her friends, and playing the guitar. After graduation, she plans on attending Purdue University to study Radiology/Nursing in the College of Health and Human Sciences.
Rachel Merida, senior at Lincoln High School, is the daughter of Derek and Nanette Merida.
During her time at Lincoln she participated in Volleyball(Academic All-State), Basketball, Tennis, Business Professionals of America (three-time National qualifier), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Student Government, Key Club, Spanish Club, Rotary Interact Club, and Lincoln Teens.
Rachel also was employed at Main Street Sweets throughout her high school career. She plans on attending Purdue University to study Pre-Optometry in the College of Health and Human Sciences.
Kaitlyn Lacey is the Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor at Lincoln, and is in her seventh year of teaching.
Kaitlyn graduated from Purdue University in 2012 with a degree in Agricultural Education. Kaitlyn is a member of Indiana Association of Agricultural Educators. She enjoys seeing her students succeed in the classroom and in FFA activities. Her strong passion for Agriculture is shared with her students daily.
Kaitlyn has been honored with the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016 and the Agriculture Stewardship Award in 2018. She serves on the Wayne County 4-H Board of Directors, where she is currently serving as chair.
Kaitlyn and her husband, Dustin, along with their daughter, Aubrey, reside on a farm where they have a cow calf operation and raise corn and soybeans.
Business teacher Bonita Klein is in her 28th year of teaching, with 17 years at Lincoln and 11 years at Edinburgh High School in Edinburgh, Ind. Along with her teacher responsibilities, she has also been BPA advisor at both Lincoln and Edinburgh for 28 years. Bonita is originally from north central Indiana and received her undergraduate degree from Manchester College and her master’s from Emporia State University in Kansas. She is married to Brian, who is a teacher and varsity basketball coach at Blue River Valley High School.
Bonita and Brian have three children, MacKenzie 24, Trey 19, and Bryce 16.
Angie Hedman is a high school art educator from Muncie, Ind., who is currently in her 20th year of teaching.
She taught 17 years at Lincoln Middle/High School, and is in her third year at Monroe Central High School in Parker City, Ind.
She holds degrees from Ball State University in the areas of Fine Arts (Metals), and Art Education.
Angie has been the recipient of two MAC grants (2016, 2018) for creative projects in the classroom, as well as a literacy grant for a project that combines visual imagery with poetry.
She is a multimedium artist and writer whose work has been published both nationally and internationally in over 20 literary magazines and anthologies.
When she isn’t teaching or creating, she enjoys attending community events with her husband and two kids.
Three Centerville Senior High School students and three teachers are being honored this week through the I-STAR program.
Addison Walther is the daughter of Andy and Lesli Walther. Addie has participated in volleyball, tennis, and diving. She is an active 10- year member in 4-H and is the president of her club. She is a member of Model Legislature, FCA, SADD, and a volunteer at Reid Health. She is the vice president of National Honor Society and is the editor of the yearbook.
Addie would like to thank her school and community for creating an environment that has allowed her to succeed. Addie chose Mr. Osborne because of his unique teaching style. He uses a seemingly carefree technique that makes learning not only easy, but enjoyable. Next year she plans to attend Purdue University to study Human Health and Nutrition.
Teacher Matthew Osborne graduated from Winchester High School in 1988. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and natural sciences in 1992 and his master’s degree in education from Ball State University in 1994.
He was Centerville’s Teacher of the Year in 2002. He is a member of HASTI, a certified Hoosier Riverwatch instructor and coached track until 2013. Coach Osborne won 13 consecutive TEC titles with the boys track team and was Ball State’s Track Coach of the Year in 2004.
Osborne teaches Biology, Environmental Science and Anatomy and Physiology. He keeps his students awake with engaging activities and jokes, some of which are funny. Osborne and his wife Jeannie live in Hagerstown, and have three children: Jevon (20), Ally-Jade (17), and Quentin (15).
Sidne Thompson is the daughter of Jeff and Susan Thompson.
Sidne has been an active participant and leader in varsity volleyball as captain, varsity tennis, both Vocal Jazz Choir and Advanced Women’s Choir, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honor Society.
She also has participated within the community for the Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, volunteers at Reid Pediatric & Internal Medicine and Richmond Civic Theatre, as well as being active in CrossFit at FFW CrossFit in Richmond.
She chose Damon Anderson as her I-STAR teacher because he is able to teach mathematics and physics in a way that is understandable and challenging, while also prioritizing his students’ education and overall growth. Anderson has always encouraged Sidne to attempt what seemed to be impossible and strive for excellence in his classes. With his patience and teaching mindset, Sidne has been able to excel in a variety of his classes.
Sidne plans to attend Indiana University East in the fall, where she will major in nursing, with an overall goal of becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.
Teacher Damon Anderson is a 1991 graduate of Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Science from Purdue University in mathematics education in 1996, his minor in physics from Ball State University in 1998, and his Masters of Mathematics Education from Ball State University in 2006.
Anderson began his teaching career at Centerville Senior High School in 1996 and is a past I-STAR recipient in 2000, 2001, 2006, 2012, 2017 and 2018. He was Centerville’s head boys golf coach for 5 years, junior high golf coach for 4 years, and head girls golf coach for 19 years.
Anderson has been the Centerville Education Association’s chief negotiator since 2010.
He is married to Kathleen and has one son, Benjamin.
Samuel Q. Roberts is the son of Aaron and Lora Roberts. Sam has been ranked at the top of his class and has been class president all four years of high school.
Sam has been an active participant and leader of the boys’ varsity golf team, PGA Chubb Classic participant, Eastern Indiana Model Legislature, president of National Honor Society, FCA, SADD, Drama Club, editor of the school newspaper, boys’ tennis, yearbook staff, teacher aid, girls’ golf manager, All-State Honor Choir, Vocal Solo Ensemble, Jazz Choir, and announcement team.
He has been a recipient of the Indiana Rising Star, D.A.R. Good Citizen, Bulldog Pride Award two times, and is now an I-STAR recipient.
Sam chose Lynne O’Neal as his I-STAR Teacher because language arts has been the most challenging subject for him. She has helped Sam reach his learning potential through these challenges and he is blessed to have been one of her students.
Sam will attend Indiana University East where he will study Business and Finance.
Teacher Lynne O’Neal is a 1977 graduate of Carmel High School, earning her bachelor’s degree from Butler University in 1982 and her master’s from Butler in 1987.
She has taught English for the Centerville Abington School Corporation since 1984, and has also served as the head coach of the Academic Team, Academic English Team coach, and Speech Team coach.
She received the ISTAR teacher award in 1996, 2006 and 2012.
She is a member of the leadership team at Gateway church and also has served as a Sunday school teacher. She is an active member of the Centerville-Abington Education Association, ISTA and NEA.
She is married to Pat O’Neal and has five children: Erin (Charles) Roesch, Amber (Anthony) Sagardia, Patrick, Mary, and Abby (Charles) Shultz.
Tri High School senior Brittany Alvarez of Lewisville is the daughter of Maria Alvarez. She has been in the Indianapolis Children’s Choir for almost 10 years and an Ambassador for two years.
Since junior high school she has been the captain of the Social Studies academic team and a member of the math team for three years. She has been a part of the Tri High Marching Titans and is the current drum major.
She is also in the jazz band, National Honors Society, student council, president of the forensics club, a Gold Award candidate for Girl Scouts, a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a member of the VOICE Council, a 10-year 4-H member, and Miss Henry County.
She plans to attend the University of Notre Dame to double major in aeronautical engineering and voice performance and minor in astrophysics too. She hopes to study abroad in Italy and plans to work at NASA after college. Then she plans on attending graduate school.
Olivia Meeker is the daughter of Christine Marsee and Jeff Meeker.
She lives in Spiceland and is a senior at Tri Junior Senior High School. She has been in concert band, pep band, and marching
band for four years and was color guard captain for two years. Olivia has also been in academic teams, speech team, dance team,
drama club, community theater, youth group, and National Honor Society. Her hobbies include reading, writing, singing, and playing guitar. She stays active in her community by volunteering at her church, helping with community dinners, fundraisers, and helping teach a religious education class. Olivia plans on attending IU Bloomington to get her undergraduate in Sociology and Business then go on to law school at the Maurer School of Law in Bloomington to become a family law attorney. She hopes to help make others as successful as possible and to help them take control of and find happiness in their lives.
Molly West is the daughter of Herb and MaryBeth West. She lives in Springport and is a senior at Tri Junior Senior High School.
She has ran cross country and been in choir since seventh grade. She has also played tennis for four years. Molly played basketball for 2 years. She is a 2 year member of National Honors Society, a 4-year member of Business Professionals of America, and a 10-year member of 4-H. Hobbies of hers include staying active, singing, and spending time with family and friends. Outside of school, Molly is a part of her church’s youth group and the 4-H Junior Leaders club. With these groups she has done a variety of community service activities and served in leadership positions. Molly plans to attend Ball State University and their Honors College to major in Nursing with hopes to later complete her master’s in order to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Mr. Daryl D. Keesling is an Engineering, Construction, Manufacturing teacher who engages, encourages, and excites students with STEAM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) interactivities. Daryl has 40 plus years of teaching in the STEAM field. Daryl has published several STEAM activities through a worldwide publishing company called Tech Directions a magazine and website. Daryl’s lessons are designed for the involved student, bringing life to today’s technology with a wealth of engaging activities. You can expect with 100% transparency, Daryl’s activities will help propel students into a technology, career/technical, and engineering field. Daryl decided to be a teacher his senior year of high school when a Technology teacher asked him to lead some activities. He attended Indiana State, Ball State, and Purdue Universities. Daryl also lives and farms close to Knightstown, IN.
Mr. Andy Hahn graduated from Ball State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education.
He completed his masters at BSU in 1987 with a degree in Mathematics Education. He has taught at Tri Jr. Sr. High School since
the fall of 1983. Currently, Andy teaches Geometry, Precalculus, and Calculus. In the past, he has coached high school football, wrestling, baseball and Junior High track. Andy is married to Mrs. Connie Hahn, a Business teacher at Tri High. Together, they have four sons, two daughter-in-laws, three granddaughters and one grandson.
Ms. Jackie Surber graduated from Ball State University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a major in Journalism and a minor in English. She has taught at Tri Jr./Sr. High School since the fall of 1988. Currently Ms. Surber teaches junior high English. She is the junior high English Academic Coach, one of the junior high class sponsors, a co-sponsor of the SADD chapter and the junior high assistant track coach. In the past, she taught sophomore English and was the yearbook advisor for 22 years. During Spring Break Ms. Surber is looking forward to visiting the Mediterranean with the Tri High Travel Club. Also, this summer she will be embarking on her training to learn survival skills as a part of her Lilly Creativity Fellowship that she was awarded in January. This will involve hiking a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the Camino de Santiago. Jackie has two children, a son, Jacob, and a daughter, Kirstin.