On Wed. May 23, McNicholas High School held the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2012 at Music Hall. The ceremony featured concert band and choir performances, speeches from valedictorian Luke Eveler, salutatorian Kimberly Kollsmith, and a speech from elected teacher speaker Bill Losekamp.
In addition to the presentation of diplomas, select seniors received Senior Awards, honors voted on by the McNicholas faculty. The awards included the Archbishop McNicholas Memorial Award, the Principal’s Trophy, the Outstanding Service Awards, the Rasper Service Award, and the Christian Leadership Award.
The Archbishop McNicholas Memorial Award is the highest honor a student can receive at McNicholas. The recipients, Aaron Vennemeyer and Rachel Wadell, were also chosen as speakers during the final all-school mass. Both were identified by teachers as exceptional students that excelled in academic achievement, continuous service, and character in terms of Christian ideals. In the fall, Vennemeyer will attend the University of Cincinnati as part of the Carl Linder Honors-PLUS program, and Wadell will attend Wheeling Jesuit University under the Presidential Scholarship.
“I was really excited to receive this award. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Wadell said. “After the ceremony, my mom told me that she had earned the same award during her senior year. It was really cool to share that experience with her and a great way to end my high school career.”
The recipients of the Principal’s Trophy were Rebecca Heise, Kelsey Mueller, and Dillon Stanfield. Typically this award is only given to one young man and one young woman who display sportsmanship, loyalty, and courage in athletics; however, this year there was a tie and both Heise and Mueller received the trophy. For the 2012-2013 school year, Mueller will run track for the University of Cincinnati, Stanfield will play football for Washington and Lee University, and Heise will attend Costal Carolina University under the President’s Scholarship.
Every year, ten seniors are rewarded for their contributions to McNicholas with the Outstanding Leadership Awards. This year’s honorees were Edwin Allgeier, Amanda Bradley, Gabriella Camacho, Jack Castleman, Daniel Cole, Caroline Dill, Luke Eveler, Jennifer Foltz, Allison Hickman, and David Wiesenhahn. Next school year, Allgeier, Cole, and Foltz will attend the University of Cincinnati as Cincinnati Cincinnatus Century Scholarship students; Bradley will attend Auburn University where she earned a Presidential Scholarship; Camacho will attend Miami University with the Redhawk Excellence Scholarship; Castleman will attend Ohio State University under the Maximus Scholarship; Dill will attend Bowling Green State University through the Heritage Scholarship; Eveler will attend the University of Michigan with the Rogel Award of Excellence Scholarship; Hickman will attend the University of South Carolina with the Sims Scholars Award; and Wiesenhahn will attend Roosevelt University under the Chicago College of Performing Arts talent-based scholarship.
In addition to the Outstanding Leadership Awards, the Rasper Service Award is given to one senior who has given incredible service to the McNicholas community. Rosalie Daly, a member of McNicholas’ Century Club, received the honor this year. During her time at McNicholas, Daly participated as a school ambassador, served as a Eucharistic minister, attended leadership conferences and the Public Achievement workshop, was a member of various school clubs, and led the freshmen retreat. She will attend the University of Cincinnati in the fall.
Finally, the Christian Leadership Award was given to John Sandmann and Claire O’Malley. These seniors were singled out not only for promoting Christian ideals by example, but also for involving others in these ideals. Next school year, Sandmann will play soccer for Wright State University through the Raider Scholar Academic Performance Scholarship, and O’Malley will attend the University of Dayton under the President’s Merit Scholarship.
“Both O’Malley and Sandmann are kind, gentle souls that have done a tremendous amount of service for McNick,” Community Service Coordinator and Service Club Moderator Sam Roflow said. “They are both active members of the Century Club and are always so aware of people in need. They really do their part to help.”