Class of 2021 Top 10 recognized for academic achievement

By Audrey Hurlburt, Cassidy Jacobs, Jackson White, Kyler Helvey, Olivia Rohling, and Paula Zalar

At 7 a.m. on April 30, McNick held its 8th annual Academic Signing ceremony in the cafe for the top ten students in the Class of 2021. The top ten in alphabetical order include: Nicholas Clark, Lauren Cox, Madeline Daley, Isabella Dawson, Connor Huss, Bryan Maxey, Zach Miller, Anna Rahner, Alaina Sharp, and Kristen Van Huss.

Nicholas Clark

Nicholas Clark has decided to attend The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, to major in philosophy, politics, and economics. “I wanted to go to a big school but not one that was too far away. The Ohio State campus really sold the deal for me,” Clark said. Clark mentioned how throughout his four years of high-school, he faced a lot of burnout. “I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel and felt like giving up,” Clark said. “It was important for me to step back and look at the big picture to remind [myself] of my goals,” Clark added. During his time at McNick, Clark was involved in Basketball, Football, Student Council, Student Leadership, and the Student Section which he said was his favorite. As for college, Clark is looking forward to meet new people and learning more about himself. “I really can’t believe this is the end of the road for our class. Cherish your time here because it goes fast,” Clark concluded.

Lauren Cox

Lauren Cox plans to major in policy studies and history at Chatham University, located in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she will also run on Chatham’s cross-country and track teams. Cox has always enjoyed history, and feels that these two majors together will help her with the non-profit work she hopes to do in the future. “I think these two majors specifically will help me have a better understanding of the people and places I want to help and be able to put that into action,” Cox said. During her time at McNick, Cox was involved in Varsity Cross-Country and Track, was the Vice President of Hands Across Campus and was a part of National Honor Society where she also served as an officer. Cox was also involved in Ecology Club, Science National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and was a part of the St. Joseph Scholars program.

Madeline Daley

Madeline Daley plans to attend the University of Cincinnati this coming fall where she will major in Media Production as well as Sociology. “I had a really hard time choosing schools because no school had good courses and tracks for both of the areas I want to study,” Daley said. Ultimately, Daley landed on UC because it has the most opportunity for switching majors if by chance Daley wants to switch in the future. During high school, Daley said she struggled to make friends and introduce herself to new faces. Though it’s still a skill she says she is working on, she thinks that by her senior year she was not as afraid to reach out to new people. At McNick, Daley was involved in Cheerleading for both football and basketball, Rockets for Life, McNick Broadcasting, and Student Council. “I’m looking forward to finding out what I really am passionate about doing with my life and creating a plan for where I hope to end up by the time I am finished with my time as a student,” Daley added.

Isabella Dawson

Isabella Dawson will be heading to The Ohio State University in the fall to major in Economics with a minor in Italian. Dawson chose Ohio State because, “I got a full tuition scholarship and they have amazing service opportunities and programs,” Dawson said. Throughout high school, Dawson said she had a real struggle staying motivated. “It’s only gotten worse senior year, but through support from friends and a lot of dedication on my part I’ve been able to push through strong,” Dawson added. In high school, Dawson was heavily involved in Hands Across Campus. As for college, Dawson is looking forward to meeting new people from different backgrounds and branching out. At Ohio State, Dawson will be a part of the Morrill Scholars Program which focuses on fostering diversity, inclusion, and community activism.

Connor Huss

Connor Huss will also be attending The Ohio State University this coming fall where he will major in Engineering. Huss chose Ohio State because he’s been a Buckeye fan his entire life, his dad is an alum, and his older sister goes there now. Huss said that throughout high school, he struggled with time management and the stress of lots of assignments, but overcame these difficulties by talking with his teachers and parents. Huss was part of McNick’s Basketball Team for his entire high school career, and has also been a part of Student Council, peer mentors, and peer ministers. “[These] have helped me grow as a person,” Huss said. Along with many of the other academic top ten, Huss is looking forward to meeting new people and having new learning opportunities.

Bryan Maxey

Bryan Maxey has decided he will be a Buckeye and attend The Ohio State University where he will major in Psychology. “My entire family has gone to Ohio State and I have dreamed of going there since I was a little kid, not only because of the academics, but because of the beautiful campus and athletics I get to spectate,” Maxey said. During his time in high school, Maxey said he didn’t have the courage to go out and be a part of the McNicholas community, but he overcame this by forcing himself into leadership positions. Maxey has been involved in Service Club, Student Council, Hope Squad, and Student Leadership Team, among others. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to grow the skills and mindsets I’ve come to know and teach myself here at McNick, and hopefully use them to bring a positive change to Ohio State,” Maxey added.

Zachary Miller

Zachary Miller will be attending University of Cincinnati in the fall with a major in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Physics. Throughout his high school career, Miller struggled with performing well academically, but he overcame those challenges by working hard and staying determined. While at McNick, he was involved in the academic team, and various honor societies. He is excited for the UC co-op program and studying abroad. “I am looking forward to the opportunity of meeting new people and getting the chance to pursue higher education that interests me,” Miller said.

Anna Rahner

Anna Rahner has decided to attend University of Notre Dame with a major in Political Science or the Classics. “I love the campus of Notre Dame, I know I will appreciate the many traditions the school has, and I feel confident that I will find a strong group of friends that share my values based on my encounters with ND students. I also know I will appreciate going to a school with a Catholic tradition and being able to go to mass at the beautiful basilica,” Rahner said. Rahner thinks of freshman year as her biggest challenge because she was coming from a different grade school as everyone else. She pushed herself and made friends in her classes. Rahner said, “I was able to get to know people that I now love being with.” Throughout her time at McNick, Rahner was involved in Student Council, and was an officer for Rockets for Life, as well as playing cello for school masses. “I am truly excited to meet new people because I know I will be able to find a strong group of friends from such a wide variety of students that are at a given college. I think being a part of such a big community will give me opportunities to branch out,” Rahner said.

Alaina Sharp

Alaina Sharp will be attending the University of Dayton next year with a major in Biology. “I like how UD [will] provide a tight knit community for me to get to know my professors and peers… most of my family attended [UD] and my brother is there now and they all tell me how great of a school it is,” Sharp said. Sharp was nervous going into high school, but she stepped out of her comfort zone and joined new clubs and sports. Throughout her time at McNick, Sharp participated in Ski Club, NHS, Mu Alpha Theta, Science NHS, and played on the tennis team. “These groups have taught me leadership skills and helped push me to help others through tutoring,” Sharp said. Sharp is looking forward to meeting new people and studying abroad. 

Kristen Van Huss

Kristen Van Huss is headed to the University of Cincinnati in the fall with an undecided major. “[Attending UC] is the most financially responsible.  Also, I visited the campus and I just felt very at home while I was there, which surprised me because I wasn’t really expecting it,” Van Huss said. Throughout her high school career, Van Huss was faced with learning how to be herself without fear. Van Huss participated in band, theatre, choir, NHS, the Milestone, and was a peer mentor and Kairos leader while she was at McNick. “I am looking forward to meeting new people, and being able to grow and push myself out of my comfort zone in new ways.  I think developing a sense of freedom and responsibility will be helpful for my transition into adulthood,” Van Huss said.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Anne Jones, Director of Communications


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