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Thanks to You

“I have had the unique pleasure of watching this group of young people grow from timid, immature freshman to outspoken leaders in their school.  All of them are leaders,” said Hanover Central High School Principal, Mary Ann West as she opened the Class of 2019 Top Ten Banquet Dinner at the Lighthouse Restaurant on April 24, 2019.

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Principal Mary Ann West

It was an important night in the lives of the top ten graduates, but it was no less important to the parents, guardians, family members and teachers who gathered to learn how they had impacted the lives of these outstanding students, many without even knowing the power of their kindness and guidance.  As always, it was a night of joyful tears, tentative smiles and moments to be remembered.

Three students, including Valedictorian Sydney Maciejewski, chose Hanover Central High School teachers as their ‘Most Influential Person’ to be honored.  Sydney chose Chemistry Teacher, Jennifer Kaste.  “You taught chemistry with a passion that rubbed off on me, and now I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.  You made my career path very straight and I thank you for saving me the anxiety of having to figure that out.  Not only have you taught me how rad science can be, you’ve been someone that I can rely on.…I found my inner chemistry nerd thanks to you and your amazing class,” said Sydney.  Salutatorian, Jenna Voticke chose Calculus Teacher, Jessalyn Ayers and Ariana Arce chose, Band Director, Jay Lowry as the most influential people in their lives.

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Valedictorian, Sydney Maciejewski with Mrs. Jennifer Kaste

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Salutatorian Jenna Voticke with Ms. Jessalyn Ayers

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Ariana Arce with Mr. Jay Lowry

The remaining top ten graduates chose members of their family to honor for the influences they have had on their lives.  It was an amazing year for Fathers who were chosen by Natalie Haitsma, Brian Rapacz, Kamden Sarkey and Westin Baker.  Natalie recognized her Dad for being such a huge part of her life as her father, coach and best friend.  She ended her comments about her Dad with humor.  “Thank you for helping me become the person I am today.  Thank you for being the inspiration for my senior quote; ‘So far you seem to have turned out okay.’ But most importantly thank you for letting me use your car!”  Similarly, Alexis Rapacz told her Dad, “You have shown me what true success looks like and have shown me how to get there.  It is time to take the training wheels off, so I can finally show you everything that you have taught me over the years.  Thank you for being the best role model that a daughter could ask for.” Kamden Sarkey honored his father, Joel Sarkey and Westin Baker honored his Dad, Donald Baker with equally heartwarming words of gratitude. 

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Natalie Haitsma with Mr. Brett Haitsma

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Alexis Rapacz with Mr. Brian Rapacz

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Kamden Sarkey with Mr. Joel Sarkey

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Westin Baker with Mr. Donald Baker

Sometimes, it is extended family that touches a student’s life and provides inspiration beyond measure.  Madison Fanta found that inspiration in her grandmother, Margaret O’Donoghue.  “There are about a million reasons why you are my most influential person, but today, I will discuss the three that have impacted me the most.  Your generosity, your strength and your love.  You are the absolute most generous person I know…Not only are you generous, but you are the strongest person I know.  You are the rock to our entire family and everyone looks up to you for direction…The biggest reason why you inspire me is the love you share with everyone around you…You have opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and inspire me to be the best version of myself.”  Taylor Lamparski honored her Aunt, Ann Lamparski and Sydney Reinbold was the final graduate to honor an extended relative, her cousin, Mallah Heeter, a 2014 Hanover Central High School graduate.  “You are always there to listen without judgement and I know that I can trust you.  You have gotten me through hard times and given me a positive outlook and celebrated accomplishments with me.  I could not ask for a better role model, cousin and friend.”

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Madison Fanta with Margaret O'Donoghue

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Taylor Lamparski and Ms. Ann Lamparski

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Sydney Reinbold with Ms. Mallah Heeter

The love flowed from parent to child during the ‘Letter to Parents/Guardians’ portion of the program.  For some of the parents present it was an emotional repeat of previous dinners and for others, it would be the only time they would have the opportunity to hear how successful their efforts at raising a child had been.  There was a common thread through all of the speeches and a fact that everyone in the room recognized and graduate Westin Baker summed it up very nicely.  “I would like to thank both of my parents.  Thank you for always giving me unconditional love and support.  I am so blessed to have parents as amazing as you, and thanks to you I am the person I am today.”

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So many touching moments as students thanked parents for their support.

The people these graduates have become have very bright futures.  Guidance Counselors, Monica Nelson and Ryan Adamski acknowledged the institutions of higher learning the graduates will attend and their plans for the future.  We’d like to recognize their plans as well:

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Guidance Counselors Monica Nelson, Ryan Adamski announce Sydney Maciejewski's plans after graduation.

Sydney Maciejewski (Valedictorian) will attend Purdue University West Lafayette and plans to major in Chemical Engineering and has been awarded the Presidential Merit Scholarship from Purdue and the Jim and Betty Dye Scholarship.

Jenna Voticke (Salutatorian) will attend the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and plans to major in Optical Engineering.  She has been awarded the Rose Hulman Merit Scholarship, the RHIT Endeavor Scholarship and the Infinite Scholarship.

Taylor Lamparski will attend Indiana University Bloomington and plans to major in Sports Media.

Ariana Arce will be attending Notre Dame and will major in Biology.  She has been awarded the Lilly Foundation Endowment Scholarship.

Natalie Haitsma will attend Bradley University and will major in Physical Therapy and has been awarded the Presidential Excellence Scholarship and the out of state scholarship, both from Bradley University.

Madison Fanta will be a student at Butler University with a dual major in Pharmacy and Business and has been awarded an academic scholarship from Butler and the Power of Children Award from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Alexis Rapacz will attend the University of Illinois at Chicago and will major in Architecture.

Kamden Sarkey is headed to the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Engineering and has been awarded the Pitt Success Grant, the Panther Pride Award, and the Cathedral Achievement Scholar Award.

Sydney Reinbold will join classmate Sydney Maciejewski at Purdue University West Lafayette and plans to major in Accounting.  She has been awarded the Jim and Betty Dye Scholarship.

Westin Baker is the third of our top ten students to head to Purdue University West Lafayette and will major in Game Design and Development.  He has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship from Purdue. 

The evening closed with inspiring words from Hanover Schools Superintendent, Mary Tracy MacAulay.  “Tonight, you recognized influential people along your path.  I’d like to express my thanks to those people here tonight, as well, because most certainly, they were the ones that taught you significant foundational skills that are part of your core…part of your internal framework.”

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Superintendent Mary Tracy-MacAulay

“They taught you that ‘good enough’ is simply NOT the same as good.  What you have accomplished at Hanover to get here tonight is good…it’s more than good, it’s magnificent; it’s phenomenal, it’s an incredible achievement of which you should be incredibly proud.  I know the special people in your life are proud.  I know I am proud to share in this memorable occasion.”

As the evening came to a close the warm smiles, grand hugs and bright futures seemed to light up the room and to our Top Ten we’d like to once again say how proud be are to be HC.