04/13/11 The twenty-fifth annual Academic Excellence Recognition Dinner for the top five percent in academic standing of this year’s Plymouth High School graduating class was held on April 11.The event, sponsored by the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce and the Marshall County Industrial Association, recognizes not only the top students, but teachers or others that have been influential in their lives..
Presenting the students were Jim Condon, PHS principal, and Daniel Tyree, superintendent of Plymouth Schools. Representing the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce was Ryan Jessen and the Marshall County Industrial Association, Joe Morris.
Speaking to the students, Condon said, “You are the best of the best.”
Tyree said, “We are going to honor three groups: students, teachers and parents.”
Eric Blake, son of Brian Blake and Carol Blake will be attending Purdue University to major in engineering. He chose his kindergarten and math/ science teacher from St. Michaels, Linda Shorter. Blake said, “She pushed me to do my best. She never forgot her students.”
Scott Cawthon is also headed to Purdue to study civil engineering. He is the son of Jim Cawthon and Cyndi Cawthon. Speaking to his most influential teacher, PHS government teacher David Hatcher, Cawthon said, “Thanks for keeping me focused.”
Leah Cook, daughter of Gary and Cheryl Cook, honored Bryan Ames who is the band director for PHS. Cook said, “He helps us grow stronger in our abilities.” Cook plans to attend Ball State University, but is undecided about what major to pursue.
PHS business teacher Chad Miley was chosen by Fletcher Craft. Craft said, “He is an energetic and hard working individual.” “He will try anything to make his students stay interested.” Craft, son of Brian Craft and Beth Craft, plans to attend IPFW to pursue business/accounting.
Calvin Eads remembered his second grade teacher, Chris Van Vactor. He said, “She is the kindest teacher I ever had. She made me realize that I liked to read and was good at it.” Eads will be attending Purdue University to study engineering. Eads said, “I hope honoring her today is thanks enough for all the help she has given me.” He is the son of James Eads and Beth Eads.
Sarah Gouker spoke highly of PHS Choir Director Mary Pat Glaub. She said, “She is the woman who has changed my life.” She added, “She is an angel that was sent to me from Heaven to earth.” Gouker plans to pursue pre-med at Hanover College. She is the daughter of John Gouker and Elisa Gouker.
Christina Green, daughter of Charles Green and Philis Green, is undecided about what college she will be attending or hr field of interest. She chose PHS English teacher Kyle Coffman as her most influential teacher. She said, “Mr. Coffman always says “follow your bliss”. She called him a very inspirational teacher.
Elizabeth Hartman plans to attend Bethel College and study elementary education/early childhood education. She is the daughter of David Hartman and Rebecca Hartman. She honored PHS Spanish teacher Constancia Wendt. She said, “Mrs. Wendt gives 110 percent every day.” She added, “She sets an example of excellence in her classroom.”
Houston Hodges chose teacher and coach Bob Garrity (LJH) as his most influential teacher. Hodges, son of Dave Hodges and Annette Hodges, plans to attend Wabash College and pursue economics and Spanish. Speaking of Garrity, Hodges said, “He is a great man. He took time to get to know me.”
Lauren Kelso will be attending Purdue University to pursue studies in business. She is the daughter of Ed Kelso and Angie Kelso. She chose retired elementary teacher Ann Zumbaugh to honor. Kelso said, “She acts as if she never met a stranger.” She added, “She taught me to be grateful for what you have and have been given.”
PHS chemistry teacher Donna Chaney was chosen by student Adrienne Palmer. Palmer said, “Mrs. Chaney’s pet phrase is “chemistry is a foreign language”. Palmer said, “Because of her, I will not be afraid to ask for help.” Palmer, daughter of Curt Palmer and Debbie Palmer, will be attending Indiana University to study geological science.
Lindsay Renz is headed to Notre Dame University to study biology. She is the daughter of Greg Renz and Mercy Renz. She chose PHS history teacher, Allison Hargrove, as her most influential teacher. She said, “Mrs. Hargrove has a huge heart and holds all of her students close to it.” Renz said, “I realize how much we are alike in morals and motivations.”
Mrs. Stacy Scheetz, PHS guidance counselor and tennis coach, was chosen by Chelsea Thoden. Thoden said, “Mrs. Scheetz has a generous personality and a cheering kind of attitude.” She added, “She enrolled me in classes to prepare me for my future.” Thoden, daughter of Rich Thoden and Sandy Thoden, will be attending Ball State University to study nursing.
Jacob Wood has spent four years in classes taught by Monty Peden. Peden is a French teacher at PHS. Wood said, “He sees us as human beings.” Wood spoke of Pedan’s passion for his career. Wood is the son of Gerald Wood and Evelyn Wood. He plans to attend Purdue University to pursue aerospace engineering.
Providing entertainment for the evening were the PHS Crimson Connection directed by Mary Pat Glaub and Plymouth Youth Orchestra under the direction of Rebecca Ippel.
Carol Anders Correspondent