|Activities are key for 2012 CHS Val and Sal|
|Wednesday, 23 May 2012 14:43|
GRADUATION SET FOR JUNE 8
by Katie Wagner
“Well-rounded” would be an understatement when describing the 2012 Churubusco High School Valedictorian Brandi Herron and Salutatorian Rachel Fehring. Both are involved in a laundry list of activities that run the gamut from academic to athletic to musical.
Valedictorian Brandi Herron, daughter of Randy and Margie Herron, said she has been involved in about 25 extracurricular activities during her high school career, including Destination ImagiNation (DI), Band, National Honor Society, Key Club, Student Council, French Club and private flute lessons.
Herron said DI, a creative problem-solving challenge, is one of her favorite activities. She has been involved in the program for eight years as part of a team that once ranked second in the world. Herron headed down to Knoxville, Tenn., this week for the DI Global Competition in hopes of winning top honors at the event.
Herron also enjoys Band and private flute lessons as a hobby.
“I play for fun,” she said, “but I was also self-motivated to get private lessons to improve myself. I feel that playing any instrument is rewarding and beneficial toward other aspects in my life.”
Herron was also the CHS representative for Leadership Whitley County (LWC) and a member of the adult program. According to Herron, LWC helps individuals better themselves to affect the community in a positive manner by learning about personal strengths and weaknesses.
“I can honestly say that I learned more about myself and how I interact with others in one year with LWC than I have in my life.”
The list of extracurricular activities is just as long for Salutatorian Rachel Fehring, whose motto is “the more the merrier.”
“I feel that you should be active in a lot of things,” she said, “because it makes school more enjoyable. It gives you something to look forward to, it builds your character, and you meet new people. I know personally that what I was involved in changed my life and molded me into who I am now.”
Fehring, the daughter of John and Rhonda Fehring, has been involved in Cross Country, Basketball, Basketball Manager, Track, Student Council, Whitley County Youth Leadership, National Honor Society, SADD, Spanish Club, DI, Key Club, school plays, Campus Life, volunteering in the elementary school with special needs children and through Junior Achievement, Sports Car Club of America, Junior Bible Camp Counselor and Vacation Bible School teacher in addition to other church related activities. She also participated in Distinguished Young Women and Hoosier Girls State.
“I’ve enjoyed all of these activities, and all of them I have been learning and growing in some way.”
The most meaningful activities, Fehring said, were Cross Country, Campus Life and volunteering through various leadership programs.
“In Cross-Country I became not only a good runner, but a person who has poise, character, and discipline,” Fehring said. “Our coach always stressed that it was about more than just running, it was about how we carried our lives, and he was right.”
Fehring’s Cross Country coach, Jon Pelz, is the leader of Campus Life, another one of her favorite activities.
“Campus Life is where I found another family,” Fehring said. “(Jon Pelz) has helped push me closer and closer to God, and that is the most important thing that has happened to me.
“Campus Life is where I really became a leader, but the other leadership groups I am in helped give me connections to volunteer. That has also been important to me because I get a lot out of helping people, and I intend to do so for the rest of my life.”
After high school, Fehring plans to attend Grace College to major in Biology PreMedical and minor in Biblical Studies. She plans to advance to Medical School to become a doctor, possibly a pediatrician, and use her knowledge to help people in a third world country.
“I will help heal them both spiritually and physically,” she said. “I have this all planned out because I feel that God has blessed me with a gift of brains and compassion and I intend on using both to help out.”
As for Herron, she plans to attend IUPUI in Indianapolis to major in Biology and minor in Chemistry and Music. She plans to pursue a career in Orthodontics and eventually return to Whitley County.
Herron named 5th grade teacher Robin Peterman as one of her favorite teachers.
“She taught me learning can be fun and that everyone needs to let go sometimes.”
In addition, Herron said CHS science teacher Jim Folland is a favorite.
“He pushed me harder than any other teacher,” she said. “He showed me how much of a work ethic I really had and challenged me more than any other teacher had before.”
A third teacher who has gained Herron’s respect is Breann Brown “because of her dedication to her students,” she said. “She is a busy person, but she still saves time for her students.”
Herron says she has been greatly influenced by her parents and grandparents, but also by her childhood babysitter Deana.
“She had a passion for teaching children, even though she wasn’t a teacher,” Herron said. “I have always wanted to influence someone the way she has influenced me, and I feel that she has motivated me to be the person I am today.”
Fehring also named Jim Folland as her most influential teacher.
“Before I had him as my chemistry teacher, I hated science,” she said, “and now that is going to be my major. His passion for science helped spark the passion for it that I now have. Not only that, I believe that he helped prepare me for college next year. He spent a whole class period once lecturing us about college, and he definitely pushed me to work hard. Not only that, but he has talked to me and helped me in planning my future.”
Fehring reiterated that the most influential person in her life is her Cross Country Coach and Campus Life Leader Jon Pelz.
“He always knows the right things to say, and he was able to read me and decipher what I needed when I didn’t have a clue,” she said. “He has pushed me closer to God. He also pushed me into leading others and helping others. He’s been my role-model all four years in high school, because he is so crazy, fun, caring and loving all the time.”
Churubusco High School will hold its graduation ceremony Friday, June 8 at 7 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. Baccalaureate will precede the ceremony at 6 p.m. in the Jason Smith Auditorium.
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