Hononegah seniors receive scholarships from 23 organizations


Kyra Lewis and Ingrid Roeske were the winners of the Todd Hansmeier Foundation Scholarship, each receiving $1,250 in the form of an extra large check since Todd was known to "Go Big or Go Home."

Photos flashed on a screen featuring scholarship recipients who were honored on May 11, 2023, in Hononegah Community High School (HCHS)'s Performing Arts Center.

HCHS principal Chad Dougherty gave a warm welcome. “Tonight we celebrate these students with a total of $83,800 in scholarships.”

This total included scholarships awarded at the event, plus extra scholarships provided by the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL).

Over 23 organizations and individuals awarded seniors with scholarships.

“Thank you for your investment in our students,” Dougherty said. “All of our winners have what it takes to change the world.”

Dougherty thanked the students for demonstrating academic excellence. “You are leaving a legacy, your chapter is written.

“Scholars, performers, athletes, and musicians are being recognized for scholarship, citizenship, and leadership,” Dougherty added.

Dougherty gratefully addressed students' families, “We are lucky to have these students here.”

Dougherty recognized Mrs. Stephanie Ballard for all of her hard work as the scholarship event coordinator. Dougherty congratulated Mrs. Ballard on her retirement as an English teacher and school counselor at the end of the school year.

HCHS School Board president Dave Kurlinkus opened, “It is a privilege and honor to be here, these students have excelled both in the classroom and in the community. These scholarships are rewards for outstanding service.”

“We wouldn't be able to give these scholarships without the support of these organizations or individuals... You put the community in Hononegah Community High School.”

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for students to be recognized,” Kurlinkus said.

Event coordinator Mrs. Ballard welcomed everyone and added an extra note of thanks to everyone who provided scholarships.

Kevin Finnegan of The Prairie Hill Staff Association awarded Abigail Barnhardt, Garrett Clayton, Myles Thurman, and Amanda Williams each with a $750 scholarship. Students previously attended Prairie Hill. Each was recognized as being hard workers and for their written essays.

Katie Jones and Indigo Sterurd were recipients of the Prairie Hill District Greg Thorpe Athletic Scholarship- sponsored by Willowbrook Middle School Athletic Booster Club. Each was awarded a $750 scholarship.

Katie Jones and Audrey Pigott were presented with the Prairie Hill School Federation of Teachers scholarship- Prairie Hill District Teachers Union, ($750 each). Presenter Mike Rhines sent a message to students: “You matter to a lot of people.”

Dawn Heavilin of Shirland School PTO announced Shirland School Graduating Scholar Ember Gunnink and Elliott Diemel as the recipients of a $150 scholarship.

Casey Bohn and Annalise Schmidt received a $500 scholarship from Rockton District #140 PTO, presented by Abby Czaja.

This award was based on academic excellence, service to others, plus a personal essay.

John Lyons Buckley IV was presented with a $1,000 Service Award from Bridget Monnette of Roscoe Parent Teacher Organization. This award was chosen from criteria of a personal essay, volunteer activities, a letter of recommendation, service, academics and creative writing skills.

Rockton Lions Club president Chris Weaver and member Jeff Schreck awarded Alex McCarthy and Autumn Mohring with the Dr. Loomis Rockton Lions Club Scholarship, given in the amount of $500 and $850. respectively.

The Rockton Lions Club and CFNIL awarded Kyra Lewis with a scholarship of $600 and Kendra Schreck with a $650 scholarship.

The Rockton American Walter Graham Post #332 Legion Loomis scholarships went to Casey Bohn and Katie Jones, each in the amount of $500. Kerry Krebs was the presenter. Krebs spoke about Loomis's involvement with the American Legion-Children and Youth.

Jillian Porter of Rockton Lions Club awarded Logan Gensler with the Jack Lovejoy Memorial Scholarship. Lovejoy was a HCHS alumni, a valuable Rockton Lions Club member and the owner of Jack's Tires. This scholarship was developed in Lovejoy's honor to help a senior who might choose to go into a trade.

(L-R) Nicole Walker and Isabelle Clowes

Rockton American Legion Ladies Auxiliary vice president Nicole Walker presented Isabelle Clowes with the Auxiliary Nursing Scholarship in the amount of $1,000.

Mike Dugan presented Katie Jones with a $750 Outstanding Service Award from the Rockton- Roscoe Rotary Club.

John Martin and Mark Parma of the Roscoe Lions Club presented five $1,000 scholarships to Magen Franklin, Lucia Jahn, Gabrielle Murphy, Brayden Partlow, and Delaney Porter.

Kyra Lewis and Ingrid Roeske were each awarded $1,250 in the form of an extra large check since Todd was known to "Go Big or Go Home."

Brian Hansmeier announced that Kyra Lewis and Ingrid Roeske were the winners of the Todd Hansmeier Foundation Scholarship, each receiving $1,250. This scholarship is given in memory of Todd Hansmeier who was taken from his family and friends in 2014. He was an HCHS alumni, and a strong volunteer.

(L-R) Nicole Papworth, Isabelle Clowes, Bodee Redieske, Adam Cox, Andrea Cox

The sixth annual Jaimie Cox Memorial Scholarship was given by Andrea Cox, Adam Cox, and Nicole Papworth of the Rockton Police Association. Recipients were Isabelle Clowes and Bodee Redieske. Each was presented with a $1,000 scholarship.

Rockford police officer Jaimie Cox lost his life in the line of duty on Nov. 5, 2017. He was an alumni of Hononegah and a veteran of Afghanistan.

Paul Jentz, Matt Strand and Matt Weldon of the Don't Be Next Foundation awarded Audrey Pigott with the Patrick Insko Memorial scholarship in the amount of $5,000.

The foundation also awarded the Craig L. Weaver Memorial Scholarship in the same amount to Jack Kitzman.

Members of the Don't Be Next Foundation are all HCHS alumni, as were the individuals whose scholarships honor their names.

Kevin Selover presented Addison Hawkins with the William R. Brasky Business Scholarship in the amount of $2,000.

Olivia Stewart earned various scholarships. Stewart had full support of her family.

HCHS principal Dougherty presented Casey Bohn, Isabelle Clowes, Olivia Stewart and Matthew Wicklund with the Hendricks Career Tek Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 each.

Clark Schoonover of Rock Energy Cooperative awarded scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each to Samantha Hopkins, Katie Jones and Matthew Wicklund.

Hononegah Education Association gave two $1,000 scholarships to Kassidy Anderson and Audrey Pigott.

Brian Zimmerman gave the 10th annual Steve Stromquist Outstanding Science Student Scholarship to Lucia Jahn,($1,500), given on behalf of Friends of Steve Stromquist. Mr. Stromquist was a beloved teacher and coach who passed away on May 22, 2008 of cancer.

HCHS English department head Jean Chambers awarded Magen Franklin, Katie Jones and Autumn Mohring with the Fred Peterson Memorial Scholarship, (CFNIL) on behalf of the Fred Peterson Foundation ($2,500 each). Mr. Peterson was an English teacher at HCHS for 36 years.

(L-R) School board member Gayle Haab and Katie Jones

The Hononegah Board of Education Scholarship was presented by school board president Dave Kurlinkus and board member Gayle Haab. Katie Jones was the recipient of this $1,000 scholarship, given with a challenge coin that began in the military.

This scholarship originated under former superintendent Lynn Gibson, former assistant superintendent Kim Suedback, and Haab who is a retired teacher in the Kinnikinnick School District.

Nanette Bell remembered her son Kevin Bell and his love of the school and all of the ways he was involved.

Jocelyn Vertiz was the recipient of the Kevin Bell Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2,000. This scholarship was given on behalf of Friends of Kevin Bell.

Members of elev815 presented Sophia Balsley with her scholarship after track practice at Hononegah on May 18, 2023.

Toni Brown and Jean Seegers of elev815 gave 10 scholarships in the amount of $500 each. Recipients were Sophia Balsley, Elliott Diemel, Addison Hankins, Mindy Schneider, Matthew Wicklund, Kayden Buchko, Magen Franklin, Amiah Jackson, Madison Schultz and Amanda Williams. Each scholarship went through a personal interview process. The elev815 scholarship recipients had already been personally visited with a parade of cars, mostly at their homes.

Stephanie Ballard presented $1,000 to Katie Jones with the Activism and Advocacy Scholarship.

Ballard also presented Addison Hawkins with the Next Generation of Business Leaders Scholarship in the amount of $1,000. Hankins is already a successful entrepreneur. Alumni of HCHS supported this scholarship.

A nice reception celebrated the accomplishments of all recipients.

More News from Rockton
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified