Galva High School’s top students were honored Sunday, May 12, at the Galva Rotary Club’s annual Honors and Scholarship program.

Galva High School’s top students were honored Sunday at the Galva Rotary Club’s annual Honors and Scholarship program.

Rotary Club president Amy Ruhl welcomed the students and their families to the event, and GHS counselor Victoria Conner followed with senior awards and honors.

Fourteen students in the Class of 2019 were honored for achieving at least a 3.0 grade point average for their entire high school careers — Josh Allen, Raige Ballard, Caelin Foley, Ernie Heinrich, Shivam Patel, Brynn Patty, Rachel Russell, Darrah Schilling, Gunner Spivey, Parker Taylor, Emilyann Wexell, Elizabeth Whitford, Josie Williams and Ashley Withrow.

Three seniors were recognized as Illinois State Scholars — Shivam Patel, Gunner Spivey and Parker Taylor.

Twelve members of the senior class received Presidential Educational Excellence and Achievement Awards — Raige Ballard, Caelin Foley, Ernie Heinrich, Shivam Patel, Brynn Patty, Rachel Russell, Darrah Schilling, Gunner Spivey, Parker Taylor, Emilyann Wexell, Elizabeth Whitford and Josie Williams.

Students who qualified for the Rotary Honors Program (at least a 3.5 grade point average for High Honor Roll status for the first three quarters of the 2018-19 school year) by class were:

Freshmen — Taylor Burke, Grace Duncan, Joshua Dunn, David Mock, Savannah Platt and Jenna Suddeth.

Sophomores — Abigail Jones, Katie Kocan and Emma Weimer.

Juniors — James Byrd, Brayden Collins, Parker DeVenney, Jaymi Gibbs, Christian Loncka, Lexi Morse, Ryan Nordstrom, Amy Percifield, Colby Peterson, Tressa Rogers, Douglas Schmidt, Julia Stahl and Cherilyn Weber.

Seniors — Josh Allen, Caelin Foley, Zachary Niemeyer, Shivam Patel, Brynn Patty, Rachel Russell, Darrah Schilling, Gunner Spivey, Parker Taylor, Chase Weber, Emilyann Wexell, Elizabeth Whitford, Josie Williams and Ashley Withrow.

The featured speaker at the program was Chris North, valedictorian from the Galva High School Class of 2015. 

North’s talk touched on three primary topics — challenge, disappointment and failure.

“These three feelings and experiences are something everyone will encounter in their life,” North said. “The trick is learning how to deal with them in a postiive and constructive manner.”

“It is important that you set challenging goals for yourself. Success in general is addictive,” North added. “Once you’ve seen what you’re capable of, you won’t want to stop.”

But he warned success doesn’t always happen on the first try and there are two ways to approach the disappointment — let it get you down or use it as fuel for motivation and drive to do better with the next opportunity.

“The key is to find your people,” North said. “Find the people that encourage you to be successful, want you to be successful and will help you be successful.”

Failure to meet expectations can be painful, he noted, but the converse of failing is meeting and hopefully exceeding those expectations.

“This is one of the most rewarding feelings because you have truly accomplished something you may have not thought possible,” North said.

“There’s nothing better than looking back on something you were stressed, anxious, nervous or even scared about, and seeing success behind you replacing all those fears and doubts,” he added.

North left the students with one final thought.

“Always challenge yourselves and don’t be disappointed should you fail, because average excellence is always better than perfect mediocrity.”

 

Galva High School seniors receiving scholarships at the Rotary Honors program were:

Bates & King Memorial Scholarship Award — Gunner Spivey and Ashley Withrow

Beta Sigma Phi, Lambda Nu Award — Elizabeth Whitford

Beta Sigma Phi, Xi Kappa Gamma Award — Josie Williams

Christa Townsend Memorial Health Scholarship — Darrah Schilling

Community State Bank of Galva Scholarship — Caelin Foley

Compeer Financial Scholarship — Gunner Spivey

Galva Arts Council Fine and Creative Arts Scholarship — Shivam Patel and Elizabeth Whitford

Galva Athletic Booster Scholarships — Caelin Foley and Brynn Patty

Galva Lions Club Scholarship — Caelin Foley and Gunner Spivey

Galva Lions Club H. Ray Young Memorial Science Scholarship — Shivam Patel 

Galva Masonic Lodge Scholarships — Caelin Foley and Ashley Withrow

Galva Rotary Scholarship — Shivam Patel

Health Profession Scholarship (established by Dr. Wayne Skaloud and continued by Dr. Scott Bialobreski and Dr. Clint Martin with Galva Family Dentistry) — Elizabeth Whitford 

Kenneth Speed Memorial English Award — Shivam Patel 

Keppy Foundation and Galva FFA & Alumni Achievement Award — Darrah Schilling received the Keppy Foundation and FFA Owl Award; Gunner Spivey and Emilyann Wexell received the Keppy Foundation and Galva FFA Corn Gold Award; and Shivam Patel and Elizabeth Whitford received the Keppy Foundation Blue National Scholarships.

Marvin Warner Memorial Scholarship — Gunner Spivey

Roy and Mary Lou Holding Memorial Award — Shivam Patel 

Melissa Bates Memorial Scholarship — Ashley Withrow

Galva International Order of Odd Fellows and Rebecca Lodge Scholarship — Emilyann Wexell and Shivam Patel

PEO BR Chapter Award — Elizabeth Whitford

Sanford Bittle Memorial Athletic Scholarship — Caelin Foley and Gunner Spivey 

Shanna Thomson Scholarship — Brynn Patty 

Sharon Kay (Miller) Rosenberg Memorial Scholarship — Shivam Patel 

Sheldon and Dorothy Dornink Memorial Scholarship — Emilyann Wexell

Xavier Hartman Memorial Scholarship — Raige Ballard