Class of 2019 Top 10 recognized for academic achievement

By Dominic Daley, Katie Limberg, Madison McClellan, Vinny Ramundo, and Ellie White

At 7 a.m. on May 1, McNick held the 6th annual Academic Signing ceremony in the library for the top ten in the Class of 2019.  The Valedictorian and Salutatorian of this year’s senior class are Myles Bailey and Madison Boeckman, respectively. Bailey committed to Miami University while Madison committed to Bowling Green State University. The remaining top ten (in alphabetical and not academic order) include Anthony Brandt, Jasmine Burkhardt, Daniel English, Annabelle Fisher, Rylie Higgins, McKenzie Miller, Zachary Tucker, and Olivia Tore.

Myles Bailey – Valedictorian

Bailey is planning to major in Computer Science at Miami University. He was also accepted at the University of Notre Dame, University of Dayton, Purdue University, and the University of Virginia and received scholarships at both Miami University and University of Dayton. He is a St. Joseph Scholar and is a member of Academic Team, where he shares his co-captain title with Salutatorian, and close friend, Madi Boeckman. He is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, a two-year member of National Honor Society, and a one-year member of Science National Honor Society. He has been the light technician for Theatre all four years, and was named the king of the Mardi Gras Ball for 2019. Bailey feels very fulfilled after all his hard work saying, “One of my goals after freshman year was to maintain my class rank, and I certainly achieved it. Seeing that I would be valedictorian was a really satisfied feeling; I was reminded that I can find success if I work hard enough.” Bailey deals with stress by, “ensuring that it’s not the only emotion in my life. I do not want to be stressed 24/7, so I try to take breaks and do what makes me happy and relaxed, like playing video games or reading a book.” In regards to giving advice for underclassmen, Bailey suggested, “If the underclassmen want to lower their stress, time management will make that possible. Managing your time correctly will help you feel like you are in control of your life, and it will help your self-esteem. With that in mind, do not turn into a homework machine. Save time to just be yourself and forget about school every once in a while.”

Madison Boeckman – Salutatorian

Madi Boeckman plans to major in Secondary Education at Bowling Green State University where she received the Presidential Scholars Award, which is a full ride. “I am really glad I got a full scholarship to Bowling Green, thanks to my hard work in academics and being involved.” She was also accepted to Miami University, but chose Bowling Green because, “I felt really at home at the campus. It’s so beautiful,” Boeckman said. “The full scholarship also helped make the decision.” Boeckman is a member of the Academic Team and shares the co-captain title with Valedictorian, and close friend, Myles Bailey. She is also a two-year member of National Honor Society, a member of the Ecology Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council, and was a member of the Mardi Gras Ball Court in 2019. She is the yearbook copy editor for the 2018-2019 school year, and works with both senior video and stage crew for McNicholas Theatre productions. Boeckman is the founder of Hands Across Campus, a new organization at McNick that “celebrates cultural confidence and inclusivity.” Boeckman said she deals with stress through action: “If something is stressing me out I usually try to take care of it right away or else I will be too stressed to do anything else.” Her advice to underclassmen is “that not everything has to be done with 110% or even 100% effort. Take care of yourself and don’t become too stressed about work.”

Anthony Brandt

Anthony Brandt has decided to attend Marian University/Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary. Brandt said, “I decided that I wanted to discern the possibility of becoming a priest, and I felt a fraternal connection between the seminarians when I visited Bruté, which is something that I greatly valued.” Brandt was offered $17,500 a year from Marian, as well as academic scholarships from Bellarmine, Xavier University, University of Cincinnati, and Ohio University. Brandt said, “My consistency in maintaining my GPA at a high level has helped me to be at ease, as I wasn’t seriously concerned about being admitted to the colleges I applied to.” He has participated on the lacrosse team, the bowling team, in theater/sound design, and in the talent show. He is part of the French National Honor Society, the Science National Honor Society, and the National Honor Society, as well as St. Joseph Scholars. Brandt said that he felt that junior year was the hardest year, but that he got through it “by working hard and pushing through the difficulties.” To deal with stress, he said, “[I] drink milk, sleep, watch random videos on YouTube, do things other than what is stressing me out, and listen to ‘Right Down the Line’ by Gerry Rafferty.” His advice to underclassmen is: “Don’t concern yourself with grades to the point where it is a burden. Maintain your GPA, as it is crucial in the college application process. If you are considering seminary, make a decision much sooner than three months before the college decision deadline, as it is stressful when there is a looming deadline. Don’t disregard religion classes as unimportant: the knowledge is useful. Go beyond the religious studies in the classroom.”

Jasmine Burkhardt

Jasmine Burkhardt will attend the University of Cincinnati next fall. “I decided to go there because all my older siblings went there, it had a great program for my major, and it was close to home,” Burkhardt said. One of her favorite memories of McNick is of being on the volleyball team. Faced with many challenges during her high school career, Burkhardt said that the most challenging adversary she experienced was health problems. “I overcame them by being patient,” Burkhardt said. “My mom has helped me the most by helping me with my school work and by being a listener.” Burkhardt’s high school experience has taught her countless life lessons, but two that stood out were to always be kind and caring toward other people, and to become involved in as many activities as possible so you can grow. She challenges the underclassmen to follow these examples.

Daniel English

Before making his final decision in late April, Daniel English narrowed his college search to Purdue University or the University of Illinois.  On why he ultimately chose Purdue over Illinois he said, “The real deciding factor is that I was thinking about 50 years from now, and I was saying, ‘I don’t want to root for Illinois, I’d rather root for Purdue’.” This year, the senior has been taking his math classes at the University of Cincinnati.  English said, “The freedom McNick gave me to pursue UC math really gave me an opportunity to know what a math class looks like in college.  I know what they’re expecting… what the professor is going to talk about.” The future Boilermaker plans to major in electrical engineering.  “I chose electrical engineering because of its heavy reliance on math…and a lot of the energy problems and resources in the world need to be used to circumvent into electrical systems. The world’s becoming digital, and so I feel like electrical engineering would be one way I could easily apply myself to any situation because of the various things I would be able to work on. So if my interest changes and I wanted to go for this instead of that, my electrical engineering background would help me do that job or career change,” English said.

Passing along advice to underclassmen, he said, “Try to take as many diverse classes as you want, especially if you are interested in a field.  If you have a free period, don’t just fill it up with a study hall; try to take a business class or an economics class or some kind of art class. If you take these classes, you get kind of  a sense of what to expect as far as career, which can help you eliminate an extra class you might waste in college.”

Daniel’s father, Ed English said, “In four years at McNick, I saw Daniel grow in confidence, independence, and leadership.  Seeing him on the soccer field is a most obvious way to see these things, but I also saw this in his math education, and with the friendships he developed and nurtured. I am excited that Daniel pushes himself to excellence and works hard. I know he will succeed professionally as an engineer or technical leader or innovator. He will likely create some things that lead to patents. He will likely connect things together that no one thought possible. He will influence a great many people because of his knowledge and personality. I look forward to future conversations with him about his classes but more so to conversations about how he envisions using new-found knowledge to solve world problems. Daniel is an amazing young man to me because of his ability to talk comfortably and constructively with so many different types of people at so many different levels. I pray that he will use this ability to broaden and deepen his faith and share the glory of God with that same range of people.”

Annabelle Fisher

Fisher will be majoring in biology at Xavier University where she earned herself the Edgecliff Award, $3,500 yearly, and Xavier Scholarship, $20,000 yearly. “I am attending Xavier University because I want a small school atmosphere, and I think Xavier will allow me to continue in my faith journey and it has a lot of service opportunities. I am also in the University Scholars Program which will allow me to study abroad and challenge myself with honors level classes,” Fisher said.  She also received scholarships from Dayton University, Ohio University, Saint Mary’s College, and The Ohio State University. Fisher, a St. Joseph Scholar, is active at McNick through being Vice President of National Honor Society, a member of Spanish National Honor Society, in Science National Honor Society, on the golf team, dance team, and Ski Club, creating a busy schedule to manage. Sharing advice to underclassmen, Fisher said “Try to do your work ahead of time because in the long run it will make everything less stressful. I would also say to make school a priority but allow time for yourself to relax and enjoy high school with your friends.”

Rylie Higgins

Higgins plans to major in chemical engineering at the University of Alabama. “I love the campus, and they offered me a great scholarship,” Higgins said. She received multiple scholarships from University of Alabama: The Presidential Scholarship, $26,000 per year; an engineering scholarship for $2,500; and also a union scholarship for $2,500. She also received scholarship offers from Boston College, Miami University, and University of Kentucky. “I am very proud of myself honestly. It wasn’t easy and oftentimes it stressed me out, but I pulled through and am glad I put in the hard work,” she said. “[My hard work] has given me great college opportunities and scholarships, and I enjoyed challenging myself and working hard.” During her time at McNick, Higgins, also a St. Joseph Scholar, has been a part of Theatre, several honor societies, Service Club, a student ambassador, and track her junior year. Higgins’ advice to underclassmen is this: “Don’t stress too much, a grade is just a grade and as long as you’re doing your best and are happy, you’ll be just fine.”

McKenzie Miller

McKenzie Miller will join the University of North Carolina Charlotte class of 2023 next semester. “I got a full ride there and not having student loans sounds like a good time,” Miller said. She was one of twenty students nationwide who was admitted to the Levine Scholars Program, which provides students with the resources, tools, and community they need to take on leadership roles. Miller’s high school experience was full of memories, but the one that stood out to her was her Close Up trip to Washington D.C. that she took her junior year with five other AP Government students. Between fitting in homework, sports, art, friends and family, Miller has faced a great deal of challenges over the past four years. “I now sleep less and drink two cups of black coffee each morning to compensate,” Miller said. She received the most comfort and solace during her hard times in the form of her mother and her cats.

Olivia Tore

Olivia Tore plans on majoring Psychology at Xavier University.  She visited Dayton, Miami University (OH), and West Virginia University but ultimately knew she would be a Musketeer.  During her time at McNicholas, Tore has been a member of Science and Spanish NHS along with being an officer of McNicholas’ chapter of National Honor Society.  She has also taken multiple AP courses and been an active participant in Student Council, Student Philanthropy, and Ski Club.  On all her hard work, Tore said, “I do think it has paid off… there’s definitely been times where I was doing stuff where I didn’t know if it was worth it to lose sleep or skip a lunch or something for it but I think this recognition now is gratifying.”  Tore shared her advice with underclassmen and said, “I think you should take classes that you like to take because I think that helps improve your grade more than taking the ‘easy classes.’  Usually if you like a class, you’ll do better in it.”

Zachary Tucker

Zachary Tucker will be attending The Ohio State University for their engineering program. Tucker received the Maximus scholarship from OSU. Tucker said, “[I picked] Ohio State because it has a good engineering program, and it’s a decent deal.” He was also accepted by Purdue, Miami, and Rose Hulman. Tucker said that he felt “freshman year was hard because it was the first year, but it wasn’t really that hard.” Tucker participated on the Academic Team at McNicholas. He said, “I don’t really stress about work, I just get it done,” and his advice for underclassmen about stress is: “Don’t worry too much about your grades because it doesn’t really matter too much in the end.”


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