WEST ALEXANDRIA — This year’s Rotary Honor Scholars recognition banquet, coordinated by the Preble County Educational Service Center and sponsored by the Eaton Rotary Club, was held on Thursday, April 28, at Twin Valley South Schools.
The annual event honors students in the top five percent of sophomores, juniors, and seniors from each district in the county.
Dr. John Ulrich from Twin Valley Vet Services was the special speaker for the evening. Dr. Ulrich was a valedictorian of the 1990 graduating class of Twin Valley South High School. After high school he went to the University of Cincinnati, then attended the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating with high honors in 1998. He became an associate veterinarian in Martinsburg Vet Clinic in Martinsburg, Ohio, and then Head Staff Veterinarian for Michigana Farms in Fulton, Michigan. He is now the owner and veterinarian at Twin Valley Vet Services.
Ulrich shared his winding path to finally deciding to become the successful veterinarian he is today, and gave the students some words of wisdom.
“There are so many opportunities for all you students sitting out there today. Really, there are more opportunities than ever before. Being in the top 10 percent is exceptional, and you need to take advantage of that.
“So Rotary and the ESC asked me to be an inspirational speaker. And I guess here it goes: A quick internet search of Preble County shows that the cost of living in Preble County is 25 percent less than the state of Ohio. Ohio is not nearly at the top cost of living. So Preble County is a reasonable place to live and have a family.
“Your education: Within an hour of here are 54 universities and colleges. You can study everything from technical, trade school, medical, arts, professional business, and the list goes on. Take advantage of that opportunity. Online courses and College Credit Plus have made the chance to attend classes even more convenient. College Credit Plus has been a huge advantage for all you high school students. Many of you have already taken advantage of this.
“Students can now graduate with 10,20, 30, 40 — even more — hours of college credit. It is a fantastic way to get you a jumpstart on your education. Best of all, it saves your parents lots of money. There is no excuse for you top 5 percent to not be taking some type of college course. Get your feet wet. Get some CCP courses and keep building on that after graduation,” Ulrich encouraged the students.
“It may take you some time to figure out a major or what you want to do in life but keep going,” he continued. “There’s nothing wrong with getting those courses out of the way and then finding your passion. That education can never be taken away. It’ll open doors you never knew were possible.”
Eaton High School students honored included seniors Julianne Couch, Hannah Gartrell, Haneet Kang, Henry Kochensparger, Grace Murphy, Grace Risner and Madeline Wright; juniors Olivia Baumann, Kelsey Campbell, Kolby Hamilton, Bailey Jerdon, Hayley Lane, Maggie Ott, Claire Rasmussen and Lauren Simmons, and sophomores Ramy Ahmed, Christopher Atkins, Katelynn Bryant, Karoline Clevenger, Mac Dare, Delaney Deaton, Lydia Eilerman, Jeffrey Gels, Charles Kochensparger, Sophia Kochensparger, Dylan Matlock, Allyson Schmidt, Kaiden Webb and Bailey Wright.
National Trail studente honored included seniors Wyatt House, Hannah Lee, Paige Lee, Alaina Wallace and Skylar Ward; juniors Madelyn Harrison, Amy Maglio, Tatumn Melling, Sean Michael Roberts and Garland Weaver, and sophomores Drew Dewitt, Blake Osswald, Aaliyah Rehmert, Kailey Rowland-France and Addison Sparks.
Preble Shawnee students honored included seniors Eliot Feck, Kylee Gadd, Carlynn George and Hannah Wysong; juniors Campbell Jewell, Grace Koelblin, Casey Lyon, Cooper Roell, Emily Templin and Olivia Thompson, and sophomores Jolene Bendel, Caitkin Faulkner, Bryce Gevedeon, Kathryn Hall, Paige House, Hailey Walton and Ana White.
Tri-County North students honored included seniors Mackenzie Bacher, Lindsey Koenig and Shawnee Krull; juniors Sophia Brunk, Ecaden Henderson and Parker Williams, and sophomores Ava Brunk, Sawyer Flora, Lillian Toth, Amiya Singleton and Cora Helms.
Twin Valley South High School students honored included: seniors Sidney Aldrich, Madison Hundley, Heather Janecek, Jenna McCoy and Lynnlee Voge; juniors Lauren Crouse, Allison DeLong, Danielle Denlinger, Claire Fogle, Elliana Hurst, Nathan King and Katelyn Wright and sophomores Abigail Crouse, Sidnee Elswick, Dillon Garza, Lani Howard, Krystin Monroe, Peyton Pitcox, Chandler Ulrich and Charles Voge.