Return to Headlines

Our 2021 Top Ten Graduates

It is a long-standing tradition at Hanover Central High School for the academically ranked top ten students, including the Valedictorian and Salutatorian, to be announced and celebrated. This year that tradition returned, albeit with some alterations.  We can't tell you how wonderful it was to recognize the occasion with good food, good friends and the smiling eyes we have all come to recognize as a sign of true happiness and joy.  

kids against wall

Our Top Ten Graduates in class rank order (l to r):  Valedictorian, Katie Jackowski. Salutatorian, Kayla Drewno, Nathan Remaly, James Miller, Madeline Kartz, Julia Moloney, Mia Forbes, Madalyn Restauri, Allison Furman, and Adam Graham.

A part of the celebration is recognizing the teachers who have had an impact on not just their education, but their outlook, ambition and their lives.  They have taught the lessons students will carry with them as they leave the doors of Hanover Central High School for the last time.  The Class of 2021 Top Ten gathered in a somewhat muted, but still moving ceremony in the High School cafeteria.  It was easy to see that it isn’t where a celebration occurs, but the words and memories of each student that truly matter.

Let’s look at what these students had to say, and where the inspiration and influence of their favorite teachers, will take them.

#10 – Adam Graham will attend Purdue University, Northwest and plans to study finance.  He chose to honor veteran history teacher, Larry Govert.

boy with mic

Adam Graham with teacher, Larry Govert.

“Out of all of the teachers I have ever had, your information and way of teaching have stuck with me ever since.  When I had you as a freshman, I was nervous when I first was in the class because I was slightly intimidated,” Adam told Mr. Govert.  It became clear, however that the intimidation quickly turned to admiration.  “I thought about all of the teachers that I have ever had, and the only person I deem fit of being invited to this dinner would be you.  I want to thank you for everything that you have done for me for all of my high school years.”

#9 – Allison Furman will attend the University of Iowa to study Neuroscience (Pre-med).  Allison chose Crystal Harrigan-Barry to recognize with warm gratitude and a touch of humor.

four people at a table

Allison Furman with her honored teacher, Crystal Harrigan-Barry and her parents.

“Your classes, both my junior and senior years have given me a place where I know I can freely express myself through the work we do, but also through the conversations we have.  You talk to us like we are young adults, and not like we are dumb kids who don’t know how to function (even though we do act like that sometimes.)” While Allison is not going to study English in college she recognized the importance of what Mrs. Harrigan-Barry has taught her.  “…with my major being neuroscience, I know I will need to know how to write…I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I will bring the things you’ve taught us with me to college.” 

#8 – Madalyn Restauri will attend Indiana University Northwest.  She is currently working on her BS in Nursing with plans to attain a Doctor of Nursing in pediatrics or obstetric anesthesia.  Maddie chose to express her gratitude to Science teacher Charles Ciastko, noting that if she hadn’t already decided upon her career path, she probably would have been inspired by Mr. Ciastko to do something in the geology field.

four people at a table

Madalyn Restauri with her teacher Charles Ciastko (right) and her parents.

“Calling you a great teacher is certainly an understatement.  I am so incredibly lucky to have had you as a teacher my senior year.  I genuinely looked forward to your class every day because you made every lesson so interesting.”  Maddie also added sentiments not every teacher hears during their careers.  “I would also like to just take a second to recognize how insanely smart you are.  Watching you pick up a rock and explain all of its properties, where you can find it, and how it formed was one of my favorite parts of your class.  It’s not often you have a teacher so experienced and genuinely interested in their subject, so it was a real treat to have you pass your knowledge onto your students.”

#7 – Mia Forbes will study psychology at Purdue University West.  Mia’s biggest influence dates back to fourth grade and retired teacher, Betty Eaton.  It is abundantly clear that Mia was put on the path to success early and with wonderful results.

girl with two women at table

Mia Forbes with her honored teacher, Betty Eaton and her Mom Gayle Forbes.  

“You started me off strong and I appreciated that more than you probably knew.  You were strict and realistic which was exactly what I needed at that age to set me up for success in my education.  Once during a conversation about my grades, you told me that it was possible that one day I might not get all A’s.  You gave me that reality check and it stuck with me…”I developed good study habits and an appreciation for my education in your class, both of which follow me until this day…Thank you for inspiring my drive to learn.  Thank you for giving me the structure I needed to succeed.  Thank you for everything you did to push me to grow.  I am proud of who I have become, and I owe part of that to you.” 

#6 – Julia Moloney will attend Purdue University West to study nursing and honored her favorite teacher, Michelle Davlantis and feels better prepared to approach the demanding career ahead of her because of Ms. Davlantis.

woman at podium

Julia Moloney honors teacher, Michelle Davlantis.

“Your classes have always been my favorite.  Besides being fascinated with the content, I really enjoyed your teaching style…Whenever I would get stressed during class, you would always offer your support.  I remember crying in front of you at the end of class – and not just a few tears, but a full on sobbing and hyperventilating episode…You talked to me and showed compassion and you explained it until I finally felt confident enough on the subject.  You’ve even influenced me to go into my future career of nursing.  I feel even more prepared through HSE II and was able to pass the CNA exam with your guidance…Overall, your teaching and emotional support have driven me to become a better student and a better nurse; I hope to one day make as great an impact on my patients as you have made on me.”

 #5 – Madeline Kartz will study aeronautical engineering at the Air Force Academy.  Madeline thanked English teacher, Michelle Duffy for her ability to handle both her academic life and her athletic life. 

four people at a table

Madeline Kartz with teacher, Michelle Duffy and her parents.  

“I appreciate that you were tough on me when I needed it, and it helped me a lot to succeed.  You knew how to make English fun, even for those of us who aren’t exactly big fans.  At the time I did not completely understand, but I am grateful that you were so hard on everyone rather than making the class easy.  In addition to being a great teacher, I am extremely thankful that I had you as a coach throughout cross country.  You were someone that I really needed because you always kept pushing me even when I thought that I was going to drop dead between soccer and running.  I am not sure that I would have been able to push through that without you, and I am extremely grateful that you were there.” 

#4 – James Miller is on his way to Purdue University to study psychology and also used humor to pay homage to his favorite teacher, Justin Denton. 

boy and man at podium

James Miller honors teacher, Justin Denton. 

“The way you teach is unlike a lot of the teachers I’ve had in the past, but I learn so well from it.  I want to thank you for having such an impact on my high school experience.  Psychology has been super interesting this year and has influenced me to take psychology on as my major.  I’m super excited to continue to learn about psych in my future but I know it won’t be the same as your class.  You always kept class entertaining through your sense of humor and stories (even if they’re lies). Thank you for being so influential and leading me into deciding what to do with my future…You are definitely one of my favorite teachers of all time (don’t tell anyone else, I don’t wanna fail my other classes), thank you for everything.” 

#3 – Nathan Remaly – will continue his education but hasn’t made a choice regarding which school he will attend.  Nathan wants to study applied mathematics and statistics.  Nathan reached back into his memory bank to credit retired elementary school teacher, Bea Cak, for impacting his student achievement and desire to continue in the mathematic field. 

boy and woman at podium

Nathan Remaly and his elementary school teacher, Bea Cak.

“I really appreciate all of the time and effort which you put into teaching your classes…I knew I was good at math and set high standards for myself, but the slightest adversity would discourage me.  Math was a stressful struggle rather than fun and satisfying, or even dry and boring…I always loved the math nights and board game nights you would put together.  You excelled at making math, logic, and critical thinking fun, and that really, genuinely aided my enjoyment of it.  (I play the “24” game you had in my head to this day when I’m bored.)…I have you to thank as someone who played a great role into setting me on this path.  Thank you, Mrs. Cak.  Thank you for showing me something I love.”

#2 – Kayla Drewno has been named Salutatorian and will attend Purdue University, West Lafayette and study chemical engineering.  It was science teacher, Jennifer Kaste, who helped grow her love of science and the teacher she chose to thank.

girl speaking to woman at podium

Kayla Drewno, Salutatorian of the Class of 2021 honors teacher, Jennifer Kaste.

“I have always had a love for science, but while taking your chemistry classes for two years in a row, I have developed a special interest in chemistry.  You taught the class in a way that allowed me to understand the material while also being able to make it entertaining…I am very appreciative of the dynamic that you were able to provide us with that made for wonderful years of learning…I really enjoyed coming to your class every day, whether we were working through problem sets or trying to figure out how to carry our a lab.  Because of this, you have encouraged me to pursue chemistry in a future career.  I would like to thank you for being such a wonderful teacher and influencing my decision of what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I am very thankful for all you have done for me.”

#1 – Katie Jackowski is the 2021 Valedictorian of Hanover Central High School.  Katie will leave Hanover ready to begin her study of chemical engineering at Northeastern University.  It was clear by her words that Band Director Jay Lowry has been a wonderful influence on her.

three people near table

As Hanover Central High School Principal, Tami Kepshire continues to welcome guests, Band Director, Jay Lowry and Valedictorian, Katie Jackowski enjoy what will always be a wonderful memory of the Top Ten dinner. 

“I wish I could stay at Hanover forever, just to take your class, but unfortunately, I have to grow up and get an education and a job and stuff like that.  Anyway, band has been one of the most constant things in my life since the beginning of middle school, and you have always been my teacher.  That’s seven whole years that you have had to put up with me (I apologize for how annoying I was in middle school.)  I just want to thank you for always treating me with such kindness and patience…thank you for always being a positive role model in my life.  The smiles and waves really do make a huge difference, whether I am having a good day or a bad one.  I appreciate all the things you have done for me throughout all these years…Overall, I can’t thank you enough for a great seven years and for being the coolest teacher at Hanover.” 

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 and their honored teachers.

kids and teachers against wall

Back Row – (Not pictured – Larry Govert), Adam Graham, Jay Lowry, Katie Jackowski, Michelle Duffy, James Miller, Justin Denton, Crystal Harrigan-Barry, Allison Furman, Nathan Remaly, Bea Cak.  Front Row – Jennifer Kaste, Kayla Drewno, Mia Forbes, Betty Eaton, Madeline Kartz, Michelle Davlantis, Maddie Restauri and Charles Ciastko.