More than 150 award-winning Lawrence High School students, including two named the school's outstanding citizens, were encouraged to strive for even greater achievements during the annual Senior Recognition Ceremony.
"Keep setting your goals, setting them high," Lawrence School Board President Maggie Carttar told the students, who gathered Friday night in the high school auditorium. "Some of those you won't make, but those are just as important."
Carttar also said the students should be extremely proud of the accomplishments they already have achieved.
"You probably won't fully appreciate this evening until you're sitting where your parents are tonight and watching your own children on the stage," she said.
THE TWO students receiving the citizenship honors were Gwen Mullens and Todd Oberzan. They were chosen by LHS administrators to receive the Kansas State High School Activites Association Citizenship Award.
"Both of them are just quality kids," LHS counselor Mike Browning said after the ceremony. "This is really what makes being in the field of education worthwhile."
Said LHS Principal Brad Tate, "I'll take a building full of Oberzans and Mullenses any day."
Oberzan lettered all three years that he was on the LHS football and basketball teams. Among his other accomplishments, Oberzan was named to the honor roll for three years, served as Student Council treasurer and was named a Kansas Honors Scholar and a National Merit Commended Scholar.
"STARTING off the year with the state football championship really meant a lot to me," Oberzan said after the ceremony. He said he cherished not only the championship but "the friendship you build with all the guys on the team."
"You always hate to see your high school career end, but there are always bigger and better things to go on to," Oberzan said. "I think the school treated me well."
Mullens made her name in volleyball. She was named to the sport's all-league, all-state and all-metro teams. She also lettered three years in basketball. In addition, she served as treasurer for Students Against Driving Drunk and was named a Kansas Honors Scholar.
MULLENS SAID the fact that her high school years are winding to a close "hasn't hit me yet at all."
"Today, after finals, I was still stressed out. I don't know if it's going to hit me at graduation or a couple days after that," she said.
Mullens said she's found it stimulating to be involved in school activities outside the classroom, adding that "my philosophy is to stay busy."
Mullens was an aide in Browning's office, and she received high marks from him. He said one reason he feels Mullens deserves the Citizenship Award is that "she's so positive. No matter what's going on, she always looks on the bright side."
LHS graduation is 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Kansas University's Memorial Stadium.