High school honors given at ceremony

Proud families, friends and teachers gathered last Wednesday to honor the achievements of more than 60 Grand Canyon high school students.

Earning top honors were Eddie Tobin and Justin Kremer, named valedictorian and salutatorian for the class of 2006. Both also earned a standing ovation, as did senior Matthew Beckerleg, one of 1,500 applicants selected from a pool of 9,000 for an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Seniors received more than a half million dollars in scholarships and tuition waivers, some $35,000 of that from community sources. Sponsors of the Verkamp's and Thurston Memorial scholarships found it so difficult to narrow their choice to one deserving applicant that they gave two scholarships each this year instead.

Along with academic recognition, students were also honored for their character. MYP Coordinator Becky Crumbo, who served as school counselor for most of the year, and high school English teacher Shannon Wood gave customized awards for students showing exceptional attitude, effort, maturity and poise.

About some of the other awards:

Passing AIMS: Every senior received a gold cord for passing the AIMS test. They may wear these with their robes at the graduation ceremony.

Grand Canyon Scholar: The School Board awards Grand Canyon Scholar status to students who maintain a 3.5 grade point average throughout the school year.

National Honor Society: To join National Honor Society, a student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average as well as demonstrate leadership, character, service and citizenship.

National Art Honor Society: An invitation to join the National Art Honor Society is extended to high school students who maintain a 3.0 grade point average and have completed at least one year of high school art instruction. Graduating seniors are awarded rainbow cords which they may wear during graduation.

Grade 12

Eddie Tobin: Outstanding Human Anatomy & Physiology Student; U.S. Marine Corps Semper Fidelis Award for musical excellence; U.S. Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; recognized as Super Scholar for "exceeding" in all three tests, earning Arizona Board of Regents Scholarship four-year tuition waiver to state schools (worth $18,000); recorder, Student Council; Grand Canyon Scholar; National Honor Society, two years; American Legion John Ivens Post 42 Top Male Student; Sportsman of the Year; Grand Canyon Jeep Tours and Safari Scholarship ($500); Tommy Charles Memorial Booster Club Scholarship ($1,000); Grand Canyon Rotary Scholarship ($1,500); Presidential Freedom Scholarship for National and Community Service ($500); David O. Karraker Memorial Scholarship for Biological Excellence ($3,000); South Grand Canyon Sanitation District Scholarship ($1,500); Robert C. Byrd Scholarship ($1,500 per year for four years); University of Arizona, President's Award for Excellence ($6,000, renewable); Arizona State University President's Scholarship ($7,000, renewable); Valedictorian

He also received the "Almost Perfect" ­ The Eddie Tobin Award from Crumbo, who said, "He's the whole package. Nobody's perfect but he's the closest I've ever seen."

Justin Kremer: Digital Photography Award; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Grand Canyon Scholar; National Honor Society; U.S. Army Reserve Scholar-Athlete Award; Thurston Memorial Scholarship ($1,000); Bruce Aiken Rotary Scholarship ($2,000); Northern Arizona University Raymond Foundation Scholarship ($1,000 for two years); track scholarship offers from Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University; 2006 Athlete of the Year; Hugh Shevlin Award; Salutatorian

"He's a coach's dream," Crumbo said as she presented him with her "Class Act" Award. "Teachers love him. Boys want to be him. The girls just want him."

Tomas Alarcon: Good Effort in Building Trades; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Superintendent's Award

"I had a conversation with him a few years ago and said 'You can't stay here until you're 24,'" said Superintendent Sheila Breen. "He's worked hard."

Matthew Beckerleg: U.S. Air Force Math Award; National Honor Society, two years; "Catching the Dream" Award (You did it!) (Crumbo); passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; recognized as Super Scholar for "exceeding" in all three tests, earning Arizona Board of Regents Scholarship, four-year tuition waiver to state schools (worth $18,000); president, Student Council; Grand Canyon Scholar; Ray Sisson Memorial Scholarship from Arizona Odyssey of the Mind ($1,000); University of Arizona Wildcat Excellence Scholarship ($5,000, renewable); Arizona State University President's Scholarship ($7,000, renewable); Embry-Riddle Scholar ($8,000 per year for three years and grant of $3,250, $1,000 of it renewable for three years ­ total: $38,250); U.S. Air Force Academy appointment

Beckerleg's liaison officer, Maj. William Combs, presented the appointment certificate, noting that the value of an Air Force Academy education is about $375,000.

Danny Boone: Good Effort in Building Trades; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Ryne Boone: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Native American Education Committee Scholarship ($500); Verkamp's Scholarship ($1,500); Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn Scholarship ($1,500)

Dennis Booth: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete; full-ride basketball scholarship offers from Glendale Community College and Yavapai College; Kolb Scholarship ($250)

Kayla Booth: National Art Honor Society; Outstanding Human Anatomy & Physiology Student; U.S. Air Force Science Award; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; vice president/secretary, Student Council; Grand Canyon Scholar; National Honor Society, two years; Xanterra Scholarship ($1,000); Grand Canyon Booster Club Scholarship ($1,000); South Grand Canyon Sanitation District Scholarship ($1,000); Grand Canyon Rotary Scholarship ($1,500); Presidential Freedom Scholarship for National and Community Service ($500); David O. Karraker Memorial Scholarship for Biological Excellence ($3,000); Northern Arizona University Raymond Foundation Scholarship ($1,000 for two years)

Crumbo also presented Booth with a "Ms. Responsible" Award.

"She's one of the most responsible people I've seen in a long time," said Crumbo.

Brenton Booth: Good Effort in Building Trades; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Kelly Cook: National Art Honor Society; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Ashley Gerber: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Jannah Harvey: National Art Honor Society; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Arts For Our Park Scholarship ($500)

Jesse Hunter: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; "You Are My Hero Award" (Crumbo); "Catching Up To Your Potential" Award (Crumbo); Musician of the Year as voted by fellow band-members; Paco N. Hunter Memorial Scholarship Class of 2000; Papillion Scholarship ($1,000); Thurston Memorial Scholarship ($1,000)

Rose Koopmans: National Art Honor Society; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Grand Canyon Scholar; "Getting the Most Out of Life" Award (Crumbo)

Pennie Larsen: National Art Honor Society; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Charlie Lewis: Good Effort in Building Trades; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Amanda Leyer: Director's Award (music); passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Leslie Martinez: passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Lions Club Scholarship ($2,500)

Tony Petzoldt: "Best Newspaper Articles" award for honest and thoughtful editorials; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

David Robinson: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; senior representative, Student Council; "Catching Up to Your Potential" Award; "You Are My Hero" Award (Crumbo); Xanterra Scholarship ($1,000); Booster Club Scholarship ($1,000)

Bryan Rooney: Best Yearbook Page ­ Music page; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; U.S. Air Force enlistment and scholarship from U.S. Air Force Community College (worth $55,000)

Melissa Skeet: National Art Honor Society; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Native American Education Committee Scholarship ($500); Arts For Our Park Scholarship ($1,000); Verkamp's Scholarship ($1,500); Superintendent's Award

Venessa Soto: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Christopher Streit: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; True Musician Award; Grand Canyon Scholar; National Honor Society; "Taking It In Streit" Award for being an outstanding role model (Crumbo); Xanterra Scholarship ($1,000); Ray Slayton Memorial Booster Club Scholarship ($1,000); Grand Canyon Recreation Center Scholarship ($1,000); Northern Arizona University Merit Scholarship ($1,750, renewable)

Anndrika Tisi: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Arts For Our Park Scholarship ($500)

Kecia Torivio: Director's Award (music); passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate

Lauren Torres: Passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; Arizona Private School Association Scholarship ($1,000)

Steven Vessey: Editor's Choice Award for outstanding achievement in poetry from poetry.com and the International Library of Poetry; True Musician Award

Jackie Wren: Digital Photography Award; Outstanding Human Anatomy & Physiology Student; passed AIMS; State Superintendent's Certificate; senior representative, Student Council; Grand Canyon Scholar; National Honor Society, second year; U.S. Army Reserve Scholar-Athlete Award; American Legion John Ivens Post 42 Top Female Student; "You Are My Hero" Award (Crumbo); Northern Arizona University, Raymond Foundation Scholarship ($1,000 for two years); Heath Gibbons Memorial Booster Club Scholarship ($1,000); American Legion John Ivens Post 42 3B Scholarship; 2006 Athlete of the Year; Debbie Clancey Award

Grade 11

Yolanda Bitsui: Digital Photography Award; eligible for National Art Honor Society (Art 3)

Dom Dollente: Digital Photography Award; eligible for National Art Honor Society (Art 3)

Paul Garza: Quick Study Award for quick comprehension and consistent participation (English)

Ben Gomez: Digital Photography Award; eligible for National Art Honor Society (Art 3)

Fabienne Gueissaz: Digital Photography Award; eligible for National Art Honor Society; Ben Franklin Award for diligence in the pursuit of knowledge. (English); junior representative, Student Council; Grand Canyon Scholar

Lindsay Haswood: Treasurer/junior representative, Student Council

Cody Howard: Best Yearbook Page ­ Art page

Emma Keske: Digital Photography Award; eligible for National Art Honor Society (Art 3); Grace and Elegance Under Pressure Award for keeping it together when everything hits you at once (English); Invaluable Yearbook Student for exceptional work in yearbook; National Honor Society

She was also named Outstanding Culinary Arts Student of the Year for her straight-A performance that has already earned her six college credits with the Coconino Community College's School of Hospitality.

Preston Parsons: Good Effort in Building Trades

Sandy Pittenger: Journalism Award for problem solving, creative thinking, constructive criticism and attention to detail (English); Outstanding Employee (culinary arts)

Jolene Tisi: Art Award; eligible for National Art Honor Society; Most Improved Junior Award

Lydell Talas: Art and Photography awards; eligible for Nation Art Honor Society

Emanual Webb: Good Effort in Building Trades; "Never Give Up" Award (Crumbo)

Grade 10

Billie Booth: Eligible for National Art Honor Society (Art 2); PE Honor of Medal Award (Phys Ed)

Danielle Ciesielski: PE Honor of Medal Award (Phys Ed)

Jenny Dailey: "Keeps on Going Ever Ready" award (Art 2)

Elizabeth Tobin: Sophomore representative, Student Council; Grand Canyon Scholar; National Honor Society

Crumbo especially made note of her induction this year, saying it is a special achievement to be invited as a sophomore to join.

Erminio Valerio: Altruistic Conduct Award (Alston)

Jessie Wren: Grand Canyon Scholar

Grade 9

Laura Badillo: "AHA! I think I got it" Award (art); Outstanding Effort & Attitude Award (English)

Luke Bowman: Outstanding Earth Science Student; Harvard Scholar Award for best overall student (English); Grand Canyon Scholar

Stacy Jensen: Outstanding Earth Science Student; Pulitzer Junior Award for best overall writing (English)

Ryan Petzoldt: PE Honor of Medal Award (Phys Ed); Untapped Talent Award for critical thinking and powerful creative writing (English)

Marla Poleyquiva: PE Honor of Medal Award (Phys Ed)

Arielle Schoblom: "Yes I CAN" Award (art); Outstanding Earth Science Student; Quick Study Award for quick comprehension and consistent participation (English); freshman representative, Student Council; Grand Canyon Scholar

Jessica Shields: "Possibilities Are Limitless" Award (art)

Christopher Shirley: Pulitzer Junior Award for best overall writing (English); Grand Canyon Scholar

Magen Timeche: Grand Canyon Scholar

Faustina Torivio: "A Crayon is Not Just a Crayon" Award (art)

Daniel Trenchard: Quick Study Award for quick comprehension and consistent participation (English); PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) Award for ALWAYS being optimistic about learning (English)

Andres Velazquez: Grand Canyon Scholar; Ben Franklin Award for diligence in the pursuit of knowledge (English)

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