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Rotary Top Ten

The Top 10 luncheon guests included Charleston schools Superintendent Todd Vilardo, CHS Principal Trevor Doughty and seniors Matthew Mueller, Olivia Bommelje, Maya Caltry, Holly Higgins, Sarah Jackson, Ethan Dow, Deandra Campbell, Kate Shanks, Mikayla Kuznicki and Lorelei Switzer with EIU President David Glassman and Charleston Rotary President Mike Watts.

CHARLESTON — The top 10 academic students in the Charleston High School Class of 2019 were honored Tuesday at a luncheon hosted by the Charleston Rotary Club.

The students, their parents, several officials with the Charleston school district and Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman all participated in the annual Rotary luncheon held at the Charleston Public Library.

The Top 10 students are:

  • Olivia Bommelje, daughter of Jennifer and Dan Bommelje. She will attend the University of Missouri.
  • Maya Caltry, daughter of Amy and John Caltry. She will attend DePauw University.
  • Deandra Campbell, daughter of Todd Campbell and Jamie and Paige Campbell. She will attend Lake Land College.
  • Ethan Dow, son of Scott and Michelle Dow. He will attend Lake Land College.
  • Holly Higgins, daughter of Rance and Eva Higgins. She will attend Eastern Illinois University.
  • Sarah Jackson, daughter of Luke and Amy Jackson. She will attend Mississippi State University.
  • Mikayla Kuznicki, daughter of Ray Kuznicki and Lori Luther. She will attend Indiana State University.
  • Matthew Mueller, son of Eric and Melinda Mueller. He will attend Kalamazoo (Mich.) College.
  • Kate Shanks, daughter of Pete Shanks and Mary Danley. She will attend the University of Illinois.
  • Lorelei Switzer, daughter of Paul and Annalisa Switzer. She will attend the University of Arizona.

Charleston High School Principal Trevor Doughty pointed out that the students will be recognized again at the CHS Awards Night on May 7 at Swickard Auditorium. Graduation is May 10 at Eastern Illinois University’s Lantz Arena.

Doughty said the Class of 2019 is the 147th graduating class at CHS. The first graduation was in 1873, he said.

Superintendent Todd Vilardo noted that the honored students “contributed more than their grade-point averages through their classroom and out-of-class pursuits.”

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He said each of the Top 10 were active in extracurricular activities and leadership positions in school organizations.

Glassman said attaining the Top 10 academically is a remarkable accomplishment.

“This is the first generation to grow up with technology totally different from any other,” Glassman said.

He said technology such as a smartphone and Internet access can present challenges as well as being a blessing.

“They can keep you from more meaningful things -- like studying,” he suggested. These students must be “the best multitaskers” at CHS or they chose to spend time on other priorities.

“You dealt with it perfectly and with class,” he added.

Honoring the Top 10 seniors is one of several youth-oriented services of the Charleston Rotary Club. Honoring Jefferson Elementary School Leadership Award winners, sponsoring the Interact Club at CHS and hosting and sponsoring Rotary Youth Exchange students are among other Charleston Rotary youth projects.

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