The Journal-World’s 2010 Academic All-Star team
Lauren Barnes knows more about aircraft wings than she ever thought she would. Barnes, Baldwin High School senior, designed one with four other people for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Real World Design Challenge. They won state.
“I still have a lot to learn,” she said. “When I get on the plane, I understand what’s going on.”
Barnes has always been around engineers. Her father is an electrical engineer and her mother is a computer engineer. She wants to go into chemical engineering, but hasn’t decided yet where she wants to study.
Barnes says she is inspired by her father, who doesn’t just spend his time as an engineer. He also farms on the land they live on, which Barnes says is like him having two full-time jobs.
“My dad is really hardworking,” she said. “He’s a really big inspiration to me. Every time I try to do something I don’t think I can do, he’s always there to tell me I can.”
In her free time, Barnes cooks and hangs out with friends. She is a member of her culinary team at school. In a recent competition, she made chocolate mousse and a lace-like cookie from scratch. Her friends and family know to come to her when they need to satisfy a craving for sweets.
“I do all the birthday cakes for my family,” she said.
Barnes knows when she leaves for school, she’ll miss her close group of friends.
“I’m going to miss my friends, but I’m excited to take the next step and grow up,” she said.
Honors, activities: National Merit Commended Scholar; Kansas Honor Scholar (2009); varsity letter, Scholars’ Bowl (2007-2008); member of four person state champion and national qualifying team for U.S. Department of Energy’s Real World Design Challenge (2009); Member of first-place two-person team at KU Engineering Expo’s Rube Goldberg competition (2008); first place at regional and state qualifier in Kansas History Day (2007); Student Council (president 12; vice president 11); class president (10); class vice president (9); National Honor Society (2007-2010); Culinary Team (2007-2010); Chorus (2006-2009); Letterman’s Club (2006-2010); Fellowship of Christian Athletes (2006-2010).
For Molly Bostwick, moving to Baldwin City during high school was a big change. Her graduating class at Baldwin High School, where she’s a senior, is more than four times larger than her graduating class would have been at Caldwell High School. Bostwick admits that initially she was shy, but says she’s grown into her new home at Baldwin High after leaving Caldwell.
“The nearest McDonald’s was 30 minutes away,” she said. “I didn’t want to move, but I’ve met so many more people.”
Bostwick plans to attend Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., next year to double major in international business or studies and French. She said her interest in all things global came after visiting Australia as part of an ambassador program her freshman year. Since then, she’s also traveled to France and wants to study abroad in England and France or Switzerland.
“I was really lucky to be able to do all those things,” she said.
In her free time, Bostwick plays her bass guitar and has a love of music she picked up from her father. Her dad has played in bands her whole life, and she’s traveled to music towns like Memphis, Tenn., with her musical ability. She started on the guitar, but ultimately settled on the bass because it has fewer strings and fewer people play it. It helps her relax, something that might help her when her college tests are looming.
“I can just pick up the bass and kind of nothing else matters,” she said.
Honors, activities: Designed school newspaper Web site (11-12); Fox 4 News Reaching 4 Excellence Award (12); Student Council (9, 12; officer, 12); National Honor Society (11, 12; treasurer, 12); journalism (11, 12; co-editor 12); forensics state qualifier (9-12); debate state qualifier and outstanding novice (10); cross country (9, 12); People to People Student Ambassador (9); French International Student Exchange (11); Winner’s Circle (10-12); 1 rating in band at state (9); school play (9).
Olivia Brien calls herself a performer. She doesn’t just stick to one kind of performing, either. She practices five different dance styles, can play even more kinds of instruments and also performs in musicals. Brien, a senior at Oskaloosa High School, doesn’t have much free time, but when she does, she uses it.
“Basically all my free time I spend with my friends or practicing something,” she said.
Music runs in the family for Brien. Both her parents were music majors at one point in college, and she grew up learning how to sing, dance and act. She wants to go to school somewhere with a good musical theater program, and has auditioned for multiple programs including Indiana University, Oklahoma City University and Roosevelt University. She knows admission won’t be easy.
“I know how hard it is to get into musical theater,” she said.
Outside her time spent practicing her multiple talents, Brien loves to watch movies with her friends. She also likes to take trips to New York City and has seen many shows on Broadway. Someday Brien wants to sing “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in the musical “Funny Girl.”
Honors, activities: Duke University Talent Identification Program (2006); Student of the Month (three months); President’s Award for Educational Excellence (2005, 2006, 2007); World History Student of the Year (2007); Dynamics (weightlifting) Student of the Year (2007); Individual and Society Student of the Year (2008); DVL Academic Achievement Award (2007); Academic Excellence Award, OHS (2006-2009); selected for Kansas Legislature’s Shadow a Legislator Day; Distinguished Scholastic Achievement for Band, Choir and Scholars’ Bowl (2006-2009); National Honor Society (2007-2010); Kansas Honor Scholar (2009-2010); Governor’s Scholar (2009-2010); National Merit Commended Student (2009-2010); Who’s Who registry of academic excellence in high school (2009); National Young Leaders Conference (2009); class president (9); class vice president (10, 11); class treasurer (12); prom committee head (2008-2009); band; jazz band; pep band; choir; theater; OHS Dance Team (2008-2009).
Caitleen Desetti has done something not many girls have — she’s been a member of the Boy Scouts. When she was 14, she joined Venturing, a coed division of Boy Scouts that camps, hikes and canoes its way around the country. As an avid Girl Scout, Desetti, a Free State senior, was excited she could participate in these outdoor activities with the Boy Scouts.
“I have three older brothers, so I’ve always grown up with an outdoor influence,” she said.
An older brother also led to her love of the German language. When she was younger, her brother participated in the Lawrence-Eutin Exchange Program and went to Eutin, Germany. She was so envious that she started to take German classes so she could go, too.
“I was really jealous and wanted to do it,” she said. “I stuck with it.”
She went to Germany for five weeks during her junior year of high school and hopes to study abroad in Germany again during college. Which college she will be attending is still up in the air. She’s applied to six schools, including Smith College, Boston College and Carnegie Mellon University. She’s waiting to hear back from a few, but she already knows she wants to double major in psychology and German. Most of the colleges she applied to are a few states away, something she’s thought about.
“It’s scary to be moving so far away from home, but it’s cool to be finding my independence,” she said.
But she’s also loved her time at home.
“I wouldn’t want to go to a school any smaller or bigger than Free State,” she said. “I think it’s perfect.”
Honors, activities: Governor’s Scholar (12); National Honor Society (11, 12); Principal’s Award of Excellence (9-12); Kansas Honor Scholar (12); National Society of High School Scholars (11-12); Lawrence-Eutin exchange program (11); Lawrence-Itapúa exchange program (12); junior varsity golf (12); marching band (10-11); concert band (9-11); Key Club International (11, 12); Model United Nations (11); Link Crew (11, 12); Students Teaching About Tobacco (11, 12); Rock Paper Scissors Club (10-11; president 11); German Club (10-12).
Matthew Drahozal was a gangster in high school. He played one in Lawrence High School’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” an experience he said was his favorite in high school.
“I really like the clothes, and I really like dressing up,” he said. “I got to be a gangster in New York and wear a fedora and brown suit.”
Drahozal, a senior and National Merit Finalist, has appeared in many musical productions and also sings in various choirs. He hopes he will be able to attend Northwestern University and major in musical theater, which combines his love for music and acting.
“I like being creative and really like music,” he said. “I really like singing. My mom is very musical.”
If music theater doesn’t work out, he wants to go into computer science, something he came across in a roundabout way. He started programming graphing calculators in school.
“I make games,” he said. “I made Connect Four and Tic Tac Toe.”
In his free time, Drahozal likes to read. He loves science fiction and fantasy books and recently took a course on science fiction, which he says might be the most fun he’s ever had at school. It all started with his father, though.
“My dad read my two sisters and I the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings when we were little,” he said. “I lost track at seven times.”
Honors, activities: National Merit Finalist (12); National Honor Society (11, 12); first place district, Constitution Bee (12); Kansas Honor Scholar (12) medal recipient, National German Test (10-12); fifth place in Regional Scholars’ Bowl (12); sixth place in division in Regional Science Knowledge Bowl (12); medal recipient in Schülerkongress (9-11); co-president of International Thespian Troupe (11, 12); theatrical productions (9-12); Kansas District Choir (11, 12); LHS Chorale and A Capella Choir (11, 12); LHS Symphonic Band (10, 12); vice president of German Club (12).
Abby Guenther started high school wanting to try everything, from student council to volleyball, choir to FFA.
“I wanted to be involved in a lot of stuff to see what I was passionate about,” she said.
She found it in student council, and as a senior at Ottawa High School she’s student council president. She likes the leadership experience and the activities she gets to put together.
“I get to experience a lot of things the average student doesn’t,” she said.
One project the student council helped put together with the youth Action Council was Make a Difference Day. She said about 40 students participated, volunteering with local veterans, Meals on Wheels, the city and the school.
Guenther is planning to go to Kansas State University next year to major in food science and minor in leadership study. Ultimately she wants to be a nurse anesthetist, so she knows she’ll be in school for a while. She knows it will be a big change going from a smaller school to K-State, but she’s got some history there. One of her sisters went there, and both of her parents did, too. She’s ready to go, though.
“I’m definitely going to miss the hometown thing,” she said. “But I think I’m really good at making new friends.”
Honors, activities: Governor’s Scholar (12); K-State Civic Leader Scholarship finalist (12); Coca-Cola Scholar semifinalist (12) Elks Most Valuable Student State Award (12) Soroptimist’s Violet Richardson Community Service winner (11); KU Honor Scholar (12); Miss 4-H (11, 12); John Danforth “I Dare You” Award (11); 4-H Family of the year (10); State 4-H Citizenship runner-up (11); Chamber of Commerce Top 5% Award (9-12); KC Global Youth Conference (11); national 4-H Congress Standard of Excellence winner (12); National League of Cities youth delegate (11); Citizenship Washington Focus delegate (10); 4-H Key Award (11); Spirit of a Leader Award (11); State FFA Chorus soloist and National Anthem opening ceremony (9-11); Student Council (president, 12, secretary, 11); class president (9-10); State Student Council Camp (11); OHS Site Council (9-12); Ottawa FFA (9-12; president 12, vice president 11, treasurer 10); Greenhand (president 9, state degree 11, state chorus 9-11, national chorus alternate, 10, state creed speaking contest, 9); Key Club (9-12; president, 12, secretary 10-11); National Honor Society (10-12); soccer (9-12; All-Academic team, 9-12, letter winner, 9-12, All Area Team, 11); men’s soccer manager (10-12); basketball (9-12); volleyball (9); Cytones Show Choir (9-11; choreographer 10-11, multi-state competitions, 9-11); state music contest (9-11).
Brian Henry built his first computer in middle school. Since then, he’s had a self-described insatiable infatuation with technology. He remembers his parents bringing home their first computer and still has his first home-built computer.
“It’s always been interesting to me,” he said.
Henry, a senior at Oskaloosa High School, works as an aide who helps fix computer issues around the school. He keeps up with technology blogs like Gizmodo and helps his friends with their computer issues. He plans to attend Kansas State University and eventually go to graduate school for computer-related studies. He wants to create open source software for users with low incomes and hopes to have a positive influence on the computer industry.
“It’d be cool to do something that stands out,” he said.
When Henry isn’t fiddling with a computer, he is playing bass trombone in jazz band, teaching younger 4-H Club members how to build model rockets, helping organize his senior trip as senior class president or competing in Scholars’ Bowl competitions. He says Scholars’ Bowl has been his favorite activity in school.
“The competitions are really fun,” he said. “I know lots of random stuff.”
Henry is excited to go to school, although he doesn’t want to be that far from home. He says attending K-State is a pretty good compromise on distance.
“The freedoms of being on my own will be a pretty big change and pretty fun,” he said.
Honors, activities: Scholars’ Bowl; Future Business Leaders of America; concert band; jazz band; choir; theater (9-12); scholarship from Mason Lodge (12); Most Valuable Student scholarship from state Elks Foundation (12); National Honor Society (11-12); Senior class president; cross country (9-11); golf (10).
School: Tonganoxie High School
Grade-point average: 4.0
Class rank: 1
Parents: Todd Jefferies and Kristi Roberts
College: Goucher College
Career Plans: Counseling psychologist or school counselor at a middle school or high school
Major: Psychology and international relations, minor in Spanish
Emily Jefferies plans to go more than 1,100 miles away to college in Maryland. Jefferies, Tonganoxie High School senior, isn’t worried, though. She knows her time at Goucher College in the Baltimore area, to which she’s won a full scholarship, will be valuable.
“The smaller college lifestyle gives a better education,” Jefferies said.
Jefferies credits her experience on the Tonganoxie debate and forensics teams for helping her expand her horizons. She said she could have played a sport, but decided to follow her brother’s footsteps into these speaking- and writing-heavy activities.
“I decided to better utilize my brain instead,” she said.
She did, and that has brought her a state championship victory in 4A four-speaker debate. It also taught her how to write effectively and present herself, which led to a $137,000 scholarship to Goucher. It’s a college not many have heard of, and Jefferies was one of those people until she read a book about colleges that change lives. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t always planning to go away to school.
“I’ve been thinking about this since middle school,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to go on to a bigger college.”
While attending Goucher, Jefferies will be required to study abroad, and she hopes to go to a Spanish-speaking country, an even farther distance from Tonganoxie. She’s ready for the experience.
“My mom raised us to be extremely independent people,” she said.
Honors, activities: Sunflower Girls State (2009); full tuition scholarship to Goucher College in Towson, Md., worth $137,000; Kansas Honors Scholar (2009); Outstanding Student Award (10-12); National Society for High School Scholars (2009); fourth place 2009 state debate tournament; member of champion four-speaker team at state debate tournament (2010); member of state champion team at speech and drama tournament (2008; third in 2009); first place, management decision making, Kansas State Future Business Leaders of America Conference (2008, 2009; qualified for national conference; THS chapter president 2008-2010); ninth place, informative speaker at state speech and drama tournament (2009); Student Council (2007-2010; vice president 2009-2010); junior class president; senior class vice president; qualified for National Catholic Forensics League Tournament; National Honor Society (2008-2010); Kaw Valley League informative speaker competition (third in 2008; first in 2009).
School: Veritas Christian School
Grade-point average: 4.0
Class rank: 1
Parents: Jeff and Kelly Randall
College: Washington University
Career Plans: Medicine
Hogan Randall has played just about any sport a high schooler can. He started with basketball, baseball and soccer and then got to start playing football in sixth grade at Veritas Christian School, where he’s now a senior. Now football is his favorite and also is the sport he’ll continue to play in college.
“There’s not really another sport where you can legally smash someone,” he said.
Randall is heading to Washington University in St. Louis, where he will walk on to the football team. He’s excited about going away to school that has small classes and focuses on students.
“It’s far enough away that I can still be independent,” he said.
He plans to go into pre-med, and ultimately is considering being an eye surgeon. His father is an orthopedic surgeon, and at one point Randall wanted to be a vet because his family had cows on their ranch. He also enjoys a challenge, something medical school will definitely be.
“I’ve always really liked meticulous tasks,” he said.
Randall has already started medical research by finding the names of two of his medical problems: hypergargalesthesia and ligyrophobia. Hypergargalesthesia is extreme sensitivity to tickling, and ligyrophobia is the fear of loud sounds.
“If someone’s about to pop a balloon, I freak out completely,” he said.
Honors, activities: Football (All Area Football Team, 2009; team captain, 2008, 2009; Lineman of the Year, 2008, letterman, 2006-2009); Timothy Award for Leadership; Association of Christian Schools International honors: Spanish II medalist; superior for original poem, excellent for persuasive essay and for painting; golf (9-12; letterman, 2006, 2008); National Merit Commended; Douglas County Meadowlark 4-H Club member (9-12); 4-H fair beef show (9-12); Student Council (9-12; treasurer, 12); varsity basketball (9-10).
School: Perry-Lecompton High School
Grade-point average: 4.0
Class rank: 1
Parents: Richard and Carrie Volle
College: Kansas State University
Career Plans: Medical doctor or optometrist
Major: Biology with an emphasis in medicine
Katherine Volle doesn’t put herself into one certain clique in her high school. Volle, a Perry-Lecompton High School senior, can be seen as an athlete or a nerd, and that’s the way she likes it.
“I get to hang out with so many different people,” she said.
Her athletic interests have centered mostly on her basketball team, for which she has been co-captain. But she’s also played volleyball, softball and been on the track team.
Volle said her athletic nature and competitiveness came from her dad, who was her softball coach when she was younger.
Her family plays a big part in her life, and she’s especially close to her older brother.
“He’s the one I ask for help on homework,” she said.
Volle plans to go on to college at Kansas State University to major in biology and eventually go on to medical school or optometry school. She knows that’s a long time to be hitting the books, but she’s prepared.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming right now, but I’ve heard it goes by fast,” she said.
And while she’s there, she thinks she’ll enjoy it.
“I really do like learning,” she said.
Honors, activities: Scholar Bowl (2006-2008); Kansas Honor Scholar (2009); National Honor Society (2008-2010; co-president, 2009-2010); Model United Nations (2006, 2007); Student Council (freshman and sophomore secretary; student body vice president, 11, and secretary-treasurer, 12); theater sounds and light technician (2006-2010); Biology Club (2007-2010); Volleyball (2006-2009; varsity letter, 2007-2009, Kansas Volleyball Association All Academic Team co-captain, 2009); basketball (2006-2010; varsity letter, 2008, 2009; Jefferson County North All Tournament Team, 2009 and 2010; Lawrence Journal-World All Area honorable mention, 2009, Kaw Valley League All League honorable mention, 2009, co-captain, 2009-2010); softball (2007-2010; varsity letter, 2009); track (2009-2010; varsity letter, 2009); marching and concert band (2006-2010; letter in 2008, 2009; section leader, 2006-2010); Richey Scholarship at Washburn University, Putman Scholarship at Kansas State University, Presidential Scholarship and Academic Leadership Scholarship, both at Baker University.