Whitehall High School has announced its academic top 12 members of the Class of 2019.
The Senior Honors Assembly for the Class of 2019 will be held Tuesday, May 21, 9:00 a.m., in the high school auditorium. The commencment ceremony will be held Thursday, May 23, 6:30 p.m., in the high school gymnasium, 3100 White Lake Drive.
Saroya Avery is the daughter of Holly and Nathan Avery. She will attend Brigham Young University to study engineering. Saroya is an officer for National Honor Society, a 4-year academic scholar, maintaining a GPA of 3.33 or better, and a scholar athlete for two years participating on the soccer team. Saroya enjoys being a member of LINK Crew and was recently recognized by the Society of Mechanical Engineers Showcase. In her spare time Saroya enjoys traveling, kayaking, snowboarding, hiking, volunteering and watching movies.
Samuel Baustert is the son of Jana and Nick Baustert. He will attend Grand Valley State University to study electrical engineering. Not only has Sam been a 4-year academic scholar and a member of the National Honor Society, he has also made an impression on the athletic front. Sam is academic all-state in cross country, wrestling and track. He was all-state in wrestling and cross country, all-region in track in the 3200m, and represented Whitehall at Showcase 2019 as the male athlete representative. Sam has also worked behind the scenes at many concerts, plays, musicals and talent shows as a light designer with the student auditorium staff. He enjoys skateboarding and hanging out with friends.
Caleb Beeghly is the son of Kristine and Tom Beeghly. He will attend Westmont College majoring in data analytics and minoring in English. Caleb is a member of the National Honor Society, a 4-year academic scholar and 4-year scholar athlete participating in football, basketball, cross country, tennis and track where he was conference champ in the high jump. He is a member of LINK Crew, the Viking Writing Center, Euchre Club, Croquet group and Founding Fathers. Caleb is a 4-year Chamber Choir member and has participated in theater musicals. He enjoys playing guitar and piano while also participating on his church leadership team and youth band.
Patrick Bouman is the son of Jennifer and Paul Bouman. He will be attending Central Michigan University to study computer science. Along with his 4-year academic scholar success, Patrick is also a member of the National Honor Society. He is a first place winner in the 2018 Law Day Speech Competition for grades 9 through 11, has participated on the Debate Team, and both marching and jazz band. Patrick also participated on the golf and cross country teams, earning scholar athlete recognition. He recently earned Eagle Scout for his Boy Scout Troop 1048 and enjoys playing the trumpet, golf, and camping.
Leeanna Burns is the daughter of Tianna and Daniel Burns. She will attend University of Michigan to pursue a degree in physical therapy. Leeanna is a 4-year academic scholar and member of the National Honor Society. She is a recipient of the 2018 AP Scholar with Distinction Award and represented Whitehall at Showcase 2019 for Literary Arts where she brought home a 3rd place award. Leeanna is a member of the Viking Writing Center and editor of the school newspaper. She has played four years of varsity golf, earning academic all-state and all-conference honors. Leeanna is proud to be fluent and self-taught on the guitar, bass guitar, ukulele and piano. In her spare time she loves to volunteer.
Hailey Elders is the daughter of Tracy and Dwight Elders. She will attend University of Michigan. Hailey is a member of the National Honor Society and a 4-year academic scholar. She participated on the Viking cross country team earning scholar athlete honors. Hailey also displays her musical talents as a member of the jazz and marching bands, earning three Division 1 ratings at State Solo and Ensemble as well as a two-time participant in District 7 Honors band. In her free time, Hailey enjoys roller skating and youth groups.
McKenna Hepler is the daughter of Robin and Tom Hepler. She will study biology and play volleyball at Kalamazoo College Medical School. During her time at Whitehall McKenna has earned a 4-year academic scholar award, been a member of the National Honor Society, participated in Business Professionals of America (where she placed 7th at the State competition). McKenna is a member of LINK Crew and has participated in the Osteoscholars program. She also participated in Volleyball and Tennis, earning all-conference honors in both sports. McKenna enjoys playing club volleyball and being with friends and family.
Sierra Reid is the daughter of Melissa and Kevin Reid. She plans to attend Michigan Technological University to pursue a degree in chemical engineering. Sierra is a member of the National Honor Society, a 4-year academic scholar, and a member of both LINK Crew and the yearbook staff. She was also recently recognized by the Society of Mechanical Engineers Showcase. Sierra has earned all-city, all-conference and scholar athlete awards in cross country and track and is very proud of being a part of bringing back the youth running camp to the high school. Sierra enjoys running, drawing, volunteering and traveling.
Emma Thompson is the daughter of Barb and Chris Thompson. Emma will be attending Calvin College to study biology and will be involved in a research program while at Calvin called “Phage Research.” She is a member of the National Honor Society, a 4-year academic scholar, is a member of LINK Crew and a yearbook advisor. Emma earned many honors as a varsity soccer player including; Scholar Athlete, All-Conference (three times), All-District (3 times), All-Region (1 time) and All-State Honorable Mention (1 time). She will play soccer at Calvin College in the fall and has also been on the Olympic Development Program Soccer Team. Emma enjoys skiing, snowmobiling and soccer.
Jayson Van Dam is the son of Katie and James Van Dam. He plans to attend Muskegon Community College then Michigan State University to study mechanical engineering. Jayson is a 4-year academic scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. He has participated on the Debate Team, many musical theater performances, is a member of LINK Crew and has run cross country, earning academic scholar status. In his spare time Jayson enjoys video games, swimming and roller coasters.
Brendan VanderKooi is the son of Hilary and Matthew VanderKooi. He will attend Ferris State University’s School of Pharmacy in their Honors program. Brendan is a member of the National Honor Society, a 4-year academic scholar, and has participated in both marching and symphonic bands. He played tennis earning scholar athlete status and was excited to be part of the team that competed at the State tournament. In his spare time Brendan enjoys playing video games and hanging out on the beach.
Ben Ward is the son of Bryan Ward. He will attend Berklee College of Music majoring in music performance and/or music production. Benjamin is a member of the National Honor Society and a 4-year academic scholar. He is a member of the jazz, symphonic and marching bands and was a member of the 2018 and 2019 All-State Band and Orchestra group. Benjamin is a member of Whitehall’s Chess Team and played third singles on the varsity tennis team where he finished his season as a State Semi-finalist. When he is not at school, Ben enjoys playing and writing music.