April 23 • 08:44 AM

Almont's top ten grads shine

Six valedictorians in Almont High School Class of 2007


May 23, 2007
Almont High School obviously has the formula down when it comes to creating the template for student success.

Success is certainly in the futures of this year's graduating class, which includes six co-valedictorians and a salutatorian among the top ten graduates of 2007.

Co-valedictorian Alison Glinski is the daughter of Gregory and Lori Glinski of Almont.

During her high school years, Alison earned Almont's Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Academic Awards, and participated as a member of the National Honor Society. Alison was often found in the band room, which was her second home as she participated in marching, concert and pep bands. She was named clarinet section leader, principal clarinet and vice-president of the high school band.

Alison plans on attending Oakland University in the fall where she will major in pre-medicine or biology.

"I am blessed to have many influential people in my life," Allison says. "It's impossible to name any one individual who has had the greatest impact on me. In general, though, my family and friends are the people who have shaped me into the person I am today. They're always there for me and I can constantly count on their support to catch me when I fall."

Co-valedictorian Stephanie Klebba is the daughter of Virgil and Catherine Klebba of Bruce Township. Stephanie has participated in varsity tennis, volleyball and softball, and has been a member of the band for four years, the last two of which she served as drum major during the marching seasons. She has been involved in the student council for four years, acting as president for three and treasurer for one year. Stephanie is a member of the NHS, and earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Awards for academics. Stephanie plans on attending the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school, to study Biomedical Engineering.

"The two people that have influenced me the most have been my parents," Stephanie says. "They are strong and caring people who have supported me in every endeavor throughout my life. Without them, I wouldn't be the person I am today and I hope to one day be as good a parent as they have been to me."

Co-valedictorian Patrick Lawrence is the son of Ron and Laurie Lawrence of Almont. Patrick has been a member of the NHS, varsity cross country, wrestling and soccer teams. He earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Academic Awards. Athletically Patrick received Most Valuable Wrestler, Best Sportsmanship (soccer), Scholar Athlete (soccer), Academic All-State (cross country), All-State Wrestler, and All-County Cross Country Runner.

Patrick plans on attending Grand Valley State University in the fall where he would like to study recreational therapy.

Patrick says he has many influential people in his life, but the two that have had the most impact on him are his parents. He says they have taught him the greatest values of life, including how to love, grow in faith, be a gentleman, work hard and enjoy life.

"I would like to thank all of my friends and family for helping me get to where I am today," Patrick says.

Co-valedictorian Rachel Long is the daughter of Donald and Patricia Long of Bruce Township. Rachel has been a member of the cross-country and track teams, and helped design the sets for two high school musicals. She is a four-year band member, and has served as drum major during her senior marching season. She participated in the NHS and co-founded the school's recycling program. Rachel was named as a commended student by The National Merit Scholarship Competition.

She plans to pursue education, foreign language or international affairs in the Honors Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Rachel says her parents and teachers have been the most influential people in her life.

"Their lessons have gone beyond basic skills and knowledge and have shown me how to become a lifelong learner," she says. "More importantly, through their commitment to helping others they have instilled values and the desire to use my talents to serve the community."

Co-valedictorian Chad Salswedel is the son of Ron and Karen Salswedel of Almont. Chad received the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Academic Awards, the All-American Scholar Award, the National Society of High School Scholars and is on the National Honor Roll. He has also received Academic All-State Honors for football, basketball and baseball, and is part of the Blue Water Area All-Academic team.

Chad plans to attend Alma College to study secondary education with a physics major and physical education minor.

Chad is grateful to his parents for being the most influential people in his life.

"They have always been there for me even during the roughest times," he says. "I have also realized that no matter how much money you have, you are not wealthy until you have something that money can't buy."

Co-valedictorian Rachel Wilber is the daughter of Donald and Anne Wilber of Almont. Rachel earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Academic Awards as well as numerous class awards. She was nominated to the Blue Water Academic Team and has been a member and officer for the National Honor Society. She has also been a member of the equestrian team.

Rachel plans to attend Michigan State University this fall, where she'll pursue a double major in finance and general management.

Rachel says her parents have been the greatest influence in her life.

"They have challenged me to be the best I can be and allowed me to achieve my dreams," she says. "I would like to thank everyone who has helped me become the person I am today, especially my friends, family, teachers, and God."

Salutatorian Kevin Vayko is the son of Cynthia Vayko of Almont. Kevin earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Academic Awards, All-Academic Team Honors, the Michigan Promise Scholarship and Michigan Tech's Presidential Scholar of Distinction Scholarship. Kevin has served as an officer of the NHS, participated on the tennis team, and coordinated a recycling program at the high school. Kevin will attend Michigan Tech this fall where he plans to major in environmental engineering.

Kevin passes along credit to many for having influenced his life.

"I am convinced that the major influences in my life have come from my mother, my family, and teachers like Dean Sousanis," he says. "My family taught me good moral values and wise judgment. My teachers have influenced my career objectives and encouraged my efforts and success."

San Kyte is the son of Ralph and Sevim Kyte of Almont. He is a musician, scholar, athlete and committed Christian. San is an officer in the NHS and as trumpet section leader, he enjoys playing his trumpet and being part of the band. San also participates in soccer, wrestling and track.

San is currently enrolled in the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where he will study pre-med.

San says his parents have had the most influence on his life.

"I look up to their maturity, faithfulness and hard work," San says. "Their striving to always do the right thing and their persistence in looking to God first makes them my role models."

Katie Rinke is the daughter of Al and Pat Rinke of Leonard. Academically she has been in the top ten since the seventh grade and has earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Awards. Katie has been on the student council since seventh grade and is the senior class vice president. She is a member of the NHS and is the editor-in-chief of the school yearbook. She also participated on the equestrian team for four years.

Influencing her decision to pursue a career in elementary education with a master in special education at Oakland University was Katie's community service experience in which she helped special needs students in grades K-2.

She says her family and her boyfriend have been most influential in her life.

"My family taught me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it, and that kindness is one of the most important things in life," she says. "My boyfriend showed me what it means to have a best friend. He's always there when I need him."

Katherine Marcath is the daughter of Mike and Karen Marcath of Bruce Township. Katherine has been in the top ten for the past three years and has earned the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Academic Awards. She was nominated to the Blue Water Academic Team, has been on the Honor Roll since 7th grade and in the NHS since 10th grade. She has participated on the equestrian team for the past three years, played varsity soccer for four years, serving as captain during 10th and 12th grade, and is part of the BWAC Athletic Academic Team.

Katherine plans to major in animal science at Michigan State University this fall.

She says her parents have had the most influence in her life.

"They have taught me that hard work and perseverence will help me reach my goals," Katherine says. "By setting positive examples, they have helped me find the path to success."

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