Lyons Middle Senior celebrated the accomplishments of graduating seniors last week at Senior Night with graduation ceremonies set for Saturday morning. Eight students were awarded scholarships from the Lyons Community Foundation. Student scholarships have been an area of focus for LCF since its inception in 2006 and in that time has awarded more than $52,000 to Lyons-area students. These impressive kids have all demonstrated academic excellence and participation in extra- curricular activities, but also extraordinary qualities of giving back and serving as leaders in their school and community.
The proportion of students receiving scholarships and awards is high at Lyons Middle/Senior. There is a tremendous opportunity to participate and stand out in a wide variety of sports, activities, service groups and volunteer efforts. As Lyons Middle High School Principal, Dr. Andrea Smith explains “At Lyons Middle Senior, we work really hard to support our students in whatever path they choose to take after high school. We have had a 100% graduation rate for the past two years, and we are really proud of the work we do to support our students as they move on to post-secondary options. Many of our students are college-bound, and the LCF scholarships are one example of this small AND mighty community. Because our graduating classes are smaller than some of the bigger high schools, students are able to access more support from our community in the form of scholarships”.
The accessibility to scholarships, by no means diminishes the quality of the student applicants and winners. By contrast, these students show extraordinary leadership and meaningful work in the local community in addition to their academic and extracurricular achievements. Each winner presented their resume, packed with accomplishments in multiple areas such as athletics, student government, honor society, school clubs, volunteer work, band and more. Students present letters of recommendation from teachers, advisors and community members who have witnessed their capabilities throughout their school years.
One such student, Colton Johnjak- Plahn, is a three -sport athlete and student leader and was named the recipient of the Steve Ralston Memorial Scholarship. Christine Ralston explains the reasons for selecting Colton: “The focus of the LCF Scholarship in Memory of Steve Ralston is passion for learning and sharing one’s interests, skills and joyful life experiences with their community. Colton Jonjak- Plahn has demonstrated these qualities in abundance throughout his life. He has energetically participated as a leader in student government, a variety of clubs and community volunteer organization, varsity sports, Jazz Band and drama, while pursuing his primary interests in science, aerospace engineering, environmental and multicultural action endeavors”. Johnjak-Plan will be headed to Stanford University next year to study aerospace engineering.
Jaden Batts, a Lyons student since Kindergarten not only achieved excellence in his years at Lyons, but simultaneously pursued his interest in aviation. He flew his first solo flight at age 16, anticipates getting his commercial pilot’s license this summer and is attending the University of North Dakota in the fall to pursue commercial aviation.
Josie Wratten, chair of the LCF Scholarship committee explains the relevance of the scholarship program “The Lyons Community Foundation is proud to support the young people in town as they move into higher education and their future pursuits. Student scholarships can give students the added financial support needed for them to take the leap in going to college, as well as improving their confidence in their ability to work toward a better future. The LCF Scholarship Review committee is comprised of local residents who thoroughly review all student applications and meet to discuss the merits of the award recipients. The committee takes into account not only academic and extra-curricular excellence, but also their commitment to leadership and community-mindedness. As long as local residents continue to fund and value the scholarship programs, LCF will continue to cultivate our support of high school students. ” Named scholarships have been funded by contributions from locals as well as the families of the honorees, and needs community backing to continue to fund and grow these opportunities for Lyons-area students for the future.
Here are the scholarship recipient’s awards: Each student presented impressive qualities and has committed plans to attend an institution of higher learning. To learn more about the requirements and background on each or to contribute to the Lyons Community Foundation scholarship program, see www.lyonscf.org/scholarships.
Lyons Community Foundation Scholarships: Jaiden Batts and Kylen Christiansen
Joel Mack Memorial Scholarships - Finn Basey and Jewel Thomas
Janet Orback Scholarship - Jack London
Steve Ralston Scholarship – Colton Jonjak-Plahn
Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarship - Kylee Udovich
Uncle Louis “Bud” Winkler Memorial Scholarship - Devin Isenhart
Lyons Community Foundation