Daily News photo/JOHN EBY Valedictorian Craig Zebell is flanked by Co-Salutatorians Emily Smith, left, and Lauren Krueger, right. The rest of Dowagiac’s top 10 2012 graduates behind them from left include Samantha Hess, Hope Daniel, Kathryn Hale, Rylie Cox, Alyssa Fritz, Erica Greenwood and Kelsie Primley.

Archived Story

Zebell leads Class of 2012

Published 9:44pm Monday, April 16, 2012

Valedictorian Craig Zebell and Co-Salutatorians Emily Smith and Lauren Krueger will lead the Class of 2012 at Dowagiac’s 148th Commencement June 3.

Top 10 graduates announced at Monday night’s board of education meeting also include Rylie Cox, Hope Daniel, Alyssa Fritz, Kathryn Hale, Samantha Hess, Erica Greenwood and Kelsie Primley.

Craig Zebell

Parents: Stephen and Claudia Zebell. grade-point average: 4.0.

High school activities: mission trips to Peru and Zambia, soccer, basketball, youth group, Student Senate, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference, Humanities Club, Spanish class.

Honors/awards: MHSAA scholar athlete, academic all-state, three-time all-state soccer player and DUHS DAR Good Citizen.

College: Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, for degree in international studies or sports ministry, minoring in Spanish.

Career: “I would love to play soccer on a professional level. One of my goals would be to use the sport to connect with people and then help to change lives.”

Emily Smith

Parents: Everett and Julia Smith. GPA: 3.96.

Activities: National Honor Society president, Interact Club treasurer, Student Senate, Dowagiac Middle School tutoring, compiling freshman basketball statistics, SMC dual enrollment.

Awards: Academic Award of Excellence, Student of the Month, RYLA Youth Leadership Award, Reborne Rangers Leadership Camp.

College: Bethel College nursing program.

Career: work as a pediatric nurse after bachelor’s degree, then return to school to become a nurse practitioner.

Lauren Krueger

Parents: David and Debra Krueger. GPA: 3.96.

Activities: Rotary Interact Club charter president, varsity soccer, NHS, varsity golf, Student Senate secretary, Color Guard, Science Olympiad.

Awards: SMC President’s Honors, RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), soccer all-district, Academic Awards of Excellence, Women in Engineering Youth Scholarship Program at Michigan Technological University.

College: Michigan Tech with 41 transfer credits from SMC. She will attain her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a mathematical science minor, then earn her master’s degree specialized in construction and structure.

Career: “I hope to get an engineering job at a big engineering firm near or in Chicago. I then plan to work my way through the professional levels to become CEO or president.”

Rylie Cox

Parents: Chris and Kara Cox. GPA: 3.8.

Activities: NHS, Interact Club, Humanities Club, French Club, varsity volleyball, Student Senate, dual enrollment.

Awards: Academic Award of Excellence, 2009, 2010 sportsmanship awards.

College: Grand Valley State University for majors in criminal justice and psychology.

Career: “I plan to work as a criminal psychologist and work my way up to a position in a large agency. My long-term goal is to help people who are unable to help themselves.”

Hope Daniel

Parents: Supt. Mark and Janet Daniel. GPA: 3.92.

Activities: NHS, Rotary Interact Club, varsity volleyball, varsity tennis, Student Senate, YoungLife, middle school tutor and USTA travel team player.

Awards: OsteoCHAMP’s program completion (osteopathic medicine pre-college enrichment program), Academic Award of Excellence, Certificate of Achievement, RYLA, scholar athlete award, first runner-up to Miss Dowagiac.

College: Hope College or Point Loma Nazarene University. She’s undecided on her major, but taking a pre-medicine path. “I then hope to be admitted into medical school.”

Career: osteopathic doctor specializing in oncology.

Alyssa Fritz

Parents: Kirt Fritz and Tami Stewart. GPA: 3.89.

Activities: NHS vice president, Student Senate, The Timbers of Cass County volunteer, soccer, volleyball.

Awards: Academic Award of Excellence all four years, all-district soccer goalie, volleyball sportsmanship award, varsity letter all four years for soccer.

College: SMC for registered nursing, minoring in business. Then she plans to attend Ferris State University for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Career: “I would like to work in an intensive care unit for neonates. This has always appealed to me through my love for children and my need to help others. I also want to someday open my own bakery with my business degree.”

Kathryn Marie Hale

Parents: Randy and Jodi Hale. GPA: 3.819.

Activities: six seasons of varsity football and basketball cheerleading, three seasons of varsity competitive cheerleading, two years of Chamber Choir, one year of Women’s Chorale, four years of DUHS Chorale, two years of DUHS Humanities Club, 13 years of dance.

Awards: three Academic Achievement Awards, four years on honor roll, an MVP award for cheerleading, Junior Homecoming Princess, outstanding student awards in tap, jazz and clogging at Encore School of the Arts, two-year internship at Encore.

College: Michigan State University for bachelor’s degree in early education.

Career: “I hope to work in a school system to work with children to gain a valuable education. After receiving a job, I plan to continue my schooling to achieve a master’s degree.”
Samantha Hess

Parents: Brian Hess, Shawnalae Churchill. GPA: 3.86.

Activities: Drama Club, varsity cheerleading, NHS, Interact Club, Chamber Choir.

Awards: Academic Award of Excellence, varsity letter, pin.

College: North Central College to double major in theater performances and English and minor in secondary education.

Career: act professionally or teach high school English and drama.

Erica Greenwood

Parents: Steven and Kimberly Greenwood. GPA: 3.81.

Activities, NHS, Student Senate, tennis, volleyball, basketball, The Timbers of Cass County volunteer, working at Lindy’s restaurant, attending SMC.

Awards: Miss Dowagiac/Miss Congeniality 2012, high honors since 2009, 2010 academic award for all A’s, Academic Awards of Excellence, 2009-2011, 2010 sportsmanship award, letters of excellent behavior and attitude, March, June and October 2010; and June and December 2009.

College: accepted to Grand Valley to major in psychology and minor in sociology. “I intend to extend my program to achieve my master’s degree in psychology.”

Career: Intrigued by human behavior and the human mind “ever since I can remember, I want to do whatever I can to help those who are suffering mentally and/or emotionally — especially children.”

Kelsie Primley

Parents: Carol and the late Harold Primley Jr. GPA: 3.80.

Activities: varsity soccer, basketball and volleyball, NHS, Interact Club.

Awards: Academic Award of Excellence, 2009-2010; freshman all-sports award, 2009; all-district soccer, 2009; basketball MVP, 2010; all-district team, 2011; Wolverine Conference soccer honorable mention, 2011; and soccer MVP, 2011.

College: Lake Michigan College for a dental hygiene degree.

Career: working in a dental office as a dental hygienist and/or working in an orthodontic office.

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