Six with perfect 4.0 averages to lead NHS grads

By Staff
NILES -- Niles High School's Class of 2003 will be led by six valedictorians -- all young ladies, all with perfect 4.0 grade point averages.
Commencement exercises are set for Thursday, May 29, at 7 p.m. at the Niles High School football stadium, weather permitting.
In the event of inclement weather, commencement will take place in the high school gymnasium.
Baccalaureate services for Niles High School's Class of 2003 will be Wednesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.
The six Niles High School Class of 2003 valedictorians include:
Jordan Elizabeth Rattenbury
Miss Rattenbury is the daughter of Tom and Mary Rattenbury of 1529 Justice Lane, Niles.
She plans to continue her education at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., where she will study music education with an emphasis in dance and show choirs, as well as theater.
Miss Rattenbury is a class officer, a member of the Student Council and National Honor Society and performed in the spring musical. She is a member of Counterpoints, is copy editor of the high school yearbook and is a member of the Drama Club.
In addition, Miss Rattenbury has been a choreographer for Ring Lardner Middle School choirs and Ballard Elementary School's musical. She has taken dance classes for many years and been involved with musical productions at Southwestern Michigan College.
She also works at Lakeland Athletic Club.
Jen Pedzinski
Miss Pedzinski is the daughter of Timothy and Marcia Pedzinski of 1648 Burton Road, Niles.
She plans to continue her education at Bethany College of Missions, where she will study for cross cultural mission work.
Miss Pedzinski has been involved with varsity soccer for four years, varsity volleyball for two years, varsity track, as well as being in the Spanish and German clubs. She has also served as president of the National Honor Society.
Miss Pedzinski has been an Optimist Soccer referee, a Sunday School teacher and volunteer at Fernwood Botanic Gardens and Nature Preserve, the Pregnancy Care Center and with Ring Lardner's Flex Program.
Gretchen Jane
van der Linden
Miss van der Linden is the daughter of Peter and Judy van der Linden of 1448 Old Sauk Trail, Niles.
She plans to continue her education at St. Olaf College, where she will major in Spanish.
Miss van der Linden has been in the high school band for four years, the high school choir for two years, Students Against Drunken Driving, the Spanish Club and the Cultural Understanding Club.
She has taken piano lessons for four years, has been a member of the South Bend (Ind.) Symphony Orchestra for two years, a church choir member and a Sunday School teacher's helper. Prior to moving to Niles, she was a Humane Society volunteer in Iowa. She has also volunteered at Fernwood Botanic Gardens and Nature Preserve.
Michelle Lenee Malinowski
Miss Malinowski is the daughter of Joseph and Cheryl Malinowski of 107 Scenic View Drive, Niles.
She plans to continue her education at Michigan State University, where she will study criminal justice and military science.
While in high school, Miss Malinowski has been involved in basketball, cross-country track, volleyball, soccer, the N-Club, National Honor Society, DFD and Science Olympiad.
Miss Malinowski has also worked as a waitress at the Prime Table restaurant.
Wendy Louise Simanton
Miss Simanton is the daughter of Robert and Joyce Simanton of 1329 Barron Lake Road, Niles.
She plans to continue her education at Albion College, where will be a part of its Honors and Pre-Medical Studies Institutes. She plans to major in pre-medicine and earn a degree in biology and a minor in art.
Miss Simanton has been involved with high school soccer, cross country, Science Olympiad, Environthon, National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America, Counterpoints and Disciples of Christ.
She has been on the Youth Advisory Council, enjoys playing the piano and being active in church.
Ramya Ishwara Bhat
Miss Bhat is the daughter of Drs. Ishwara and Bharathi Bhat of 8940 Painter School Road, Berrien Center.
She plans to continue her education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she will study pre-medical education, communications and South Asian regional studies. She plans to become an oncologist, cardiologist or broadcast journalist.
During high school, she has been captain of the varsity tennis team, a class officer, editor-in-chief of the Viking Journal, served on the National Honor Society, Student Council, Student School Improvement Committee, the N-Club and Science Olympiad.
Miss Bhat has volunteered at a South Bend, Ind., soup kitchen monthly with her Hindu Sunday School class. She has also taken various forms of dance lessons since age four.

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