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As Culver Lions Club president Barbara Winters commented, no one seems to know for sure how long the club has been recognizing graduating Culver Community High School seniors at an annual banquet, but the longstanding tradition continued last Wednesday evening in the high school cafeteria.
After the meeting opening, a meal catered by Rochester Deli and Meats, and a well-received performance by the school's Jazz Street choir -- under the direction of Diane Derrow -- Winters continued the event by noting older residents are "looking to these young people to say our Social Security" and eventually join Lions Club to serve others.
Up first was CCHS student council president Chelsea Jones discussed memories of former Monterey and Culver Elementary students meeting at the shared middle school and overcoming initial nervousness through such activities as the Camp Crossley overnight. High school aged mentors helped the students transition into the 9th grade, Jones said, and Jones herself was "talked into" joining the council by faculty sponsor Tina Stacey.
"It was one of the greatest choices I ever made," she said, noting during her second year in the group, members raised more than $9,000 to help make two Culver children's Make-A-Wish Foundation wishes come true. This school year, the council sold pop tab bracelets to raise funds for homecoming activities including the annual parade and fireworks show, as well as the winter formal dance in February. In the interest of "going green," she said, the council placed six recycling bins around the school and decorated its bulletin boards with recycling facts.
The student council, she concluded, "has made an impact on the student body and the community, and I thank you for all you support."
Class of 2012 president Kellie Bonine gave a brief history of the class, including Fall Bonanza (which the class won in its sophomore and senior years) and Sports Spectacular (which it won this year) events, as well as victories in the annual "Bell Game" against Argos and last year's regional victory for the girls' basketball team, sectional victories for the volleyball and baseball teams. Bonine said the school's regularly successful Business Professionals of America organization this year sent two qualifiers to the BPA national competition in Chicago, and the choir qualified for state competition and won an Indiana State School Music Association award.
She said 31 seniors just returned from the senior trip to Florida, which she called a "great experience."
"Individually," Bonine noted, "we've accomplished even more. Each of us has changed. I couldn't have stood up here and given you a speech as a 7th grader. And the greatest is yet to come in 57 days (with) graduation. All of us are so excited, but also nervous what will happen after June 1."
Kicking off the awards portion of the evening, CCHS guidance counselor Brenda Sheldon explained that each academic department chooses an influential leader to receive an award, and the president of each club is also recognized. "These are involved leaders who have had a positive
influence and added strength to our school," she said.
Recognized students included:
Cassandra Back, daughter of Mr. Robert Back, who received the Yearbook award and Science Club president award. She told the audience she plans to join Job Corps and earn a degree in the medical field, probably as a lab technician.
Caroline Baker, daughter of Terry Baker and Brett Baker, who was recognized as Art Club president. She plans to attend Ball State, and is as yet undecided on a major.
Kellie Bonine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Bonine, won the Band award, Drama Club president award, and was recognized as senior class president. She plans to attend Manchester University to study accounting.
Luke Dunfee, son of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Dunfee, recipient of the Building Trades award. Sheldon noted she recently toured the Building Trades, student-built house and said Dunfee looked as if he were "directing the orchestra" by pointing fellow students to the appropriate jobs. Dunfee said he was surprised by the award and also said he's been a "friend of the Lions Club" due to its role in helping fund his mission trip, with other students, to Mexico this spring. He plans a five-year construction apprenticeship to be an electrician.
Serena Hughes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Hughes, was at the BPA nationals in Chicago, but will receive the French award and French Club president award.
Chelsea Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Jones, was honored as student council president, and plans to attend Manchester University to major in athletic training.
Gabby Jurado, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ruben Jurado, won the Spanish Club president award. Jurado, whom Sheldon described as a "sweet, quiet, positive force in our school," said her college choice is undecided, but she hopes to become a computer systems analyst.
Aspen Kitchell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Kitchell, received the Choir award and National Honor Society president award. She will attend Purdue University in West Lafayette this fall with an undecided major.
Cally Jo Klausing, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Doug Klausing, won the Art award, though Sheldon noted she is "an artist in many ways," including in theater. She will pursue an undecided major at the University of Southern Indiana.
Joe Krsek, son of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Krsek, won the Math award. He plans to attend Purdue University and study either mechanical or aerospace engineering.
Kalee Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Miller, was recognized as CAVS (Culver Alliance for Voluntary Service) co-leader, as well as recipient of the Science and Social Studies awards. She plans to attend Ball State University to major in educational psychology and become a guidance counselor.
Cameron Turney, daughter of Ms. Sherrie Back, won the Business award, Drama award, English award, and Spanish award. Thanking the Lions Club for their co-sponsorship of BPA, Turney said she also plans to attend Ball State, and will study speech and language pathology.
Sheldon noted Turney's perfect score of 800 on the SAT exam is a national rarity.
Cassaundra VanSky, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Terry Wakefield, was recognized as the other co-president of the CAVS Club, which Sheldon said engages in a number of community service projects including town-wide cleanups, Christmas baskets, Relay for Life, and more.
"I can't say how much I value the efforts, organizational skills, and leadership of these two," Sheldon added.
VanSky plans to attend Indiana University South Bend to become a nurse practitioner.
Introducing the recipient of the Lions annual $1,000 scholarship winner was Lion Jim Bonine, who said he'd been a member for 50 years but had never been honored by granting such an award, for which he expressed his appreciation to Winters.
Bonine asked the audience to "excuse my pride" and awarded the scholarship to his granddaughter, Kellie Bonine.
Winters noted the high school's scholarship committee, rather than any Lions members, chooses scholarship recipient.
She said the Lions just donated enough to buy two new band uniforms for the school, among other supportive endeavors.
"Wherever we can lend a hand, we are there," she concluded.View more articles in: