GALLERY – Meet Niles High’s Class of 2022 Top 10

Published 2:14 pm Thursday, June 2, 2022

NILES — Ahead of Thursday night’s commencement ceremony, here is the list of Niles High School’s top 10 students for the Class of 2022:

10. Owen Lingle 

Owen Lingle, son of Paul and Dawn Lingle, is an avid band student, who during his sophomore year, scored a Division I rating at Solo & Ensemble for a euphonium solo. During his senior year, he received a Division I rating for solo piano and trombone, as well as received a Division II score for a euphonium duet. Owen’s plans include attending Southwestern Michigan College and then transferring to Western Michigan University. He plans to major in musical performance for trombone.

9. Madelyn Van Dyke

Madelyn Van Dyke, daughter of Rosanne and Jacob Van Dyke, has been busy at Niles Community Schools. Madelyn was on the softball team for three years and joined the track team her senior year. She participated in student council and started taking college classes her junior year, in addition to AP classes. Madelyn plans to attend Lake Michigan College for one year and then transfer to a university to study psychology. In her free time, Madelyn enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, meditating, shopping and writing.

8. Daniel Becraft 

Son of Dr. Jeffrey and Michelle Becraft, Daniel Becraft has received many honors and achievements in both academic and sports which includes soccer team all-academic award, varsity soccer junior and senior years, varsity track junior and senior years, 8th place at Track Regionals for 800m, Berrien RESA Math and Science Center, National Honor Society, Viking Excellence Award – Displaying Respectfulness, Award of Excellence – Exemplary Academics and Behavior, and Niles High School band student of the month. Daniel plans on attending Northern Michigan University and pursuing a degree in zoology. In his free time, he enjoys disc golfing, cross-country skiing, biking, playing video games, reading and learning about reptiles, as he has a bearded dragon of his own.  

7. Zoe Limberopoulos 

Daughter of Nick and Rachel Limberopoulos, Zoe Limberopoulos played on the Niles Varsity Girls Golf team, was president of National Honor Society, leader of the trumpet section in marching band, and was part of student government at the Math and Science Center. Throughout high school, she was recognized both locally and nationally for her research on the effects of various essential oils on cancer cells. Zoe plans to attend the University of Michigan and study cellular, molecular, and biomedical sciences. In her free time, she loves listening to music, watching documentaries, and spending time with friends and family. 

6. Gabrielle Blake

During her time with Niles Community Schools, Gabrielle Blake, daughter of Richard and Kim Blake, was part of the National Honor Society, earned first and second place awards for animation, received a first-place award for mixed media, played on the tennis team, and participated in theater and the pit band. Gabrielle plans to attend Southwestern Michigan College for two years then plans to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing guitar, creating art, and volunteering with Pet Refuge. 

5. Ella Asmus 

At Niles Community Schools, Ella Asmus, daughter of Josh and Becky Asmus, completed 29 college credits, earning all As. She was a Board scholar, and she plans to major in psychology at Saint Mary’s College. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family, shopping, and watching sports. 

4. Stuart Lundberg 

Stuart Lundberg, son of Angie and Ken Lundberg, launched the Green Committee and Recycling Program at Niles Community Schools, wrote and published his first book on Amazon, and founded the Lundberg Project. Stuart plans to attend Cornell University with a degree in applied economics and management, with goals to work in finance or business. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, learning about the stock market, watching the New York Yankees, and serving as The Lundberg Project Chairman. 

3. Drew Racht

Drew Racht, son of Amanda Mills and Steve Racht, was named 2021 Academic All State, was recognized as the top ranked male student, and attended the Andrews Math and Science Center. Drew plans to study pre-med biology at the University of Michigan. In his free time, Drew enjoys playing baseball, watching hockey, and hanging out with friends. 

2. Cassandra Shortman 

Daughter of Marla and Lance Shortman, Cassandra Shortman’s high school achievements include the 2019 SMAC Cross Country All-Division, 2020 Cross Country BCS All-Conference, 2022 Wolverine Conference Scholar-Athlete, Division 1 ratings for clarinet solos at District and State Solo & Ensemble Festivals, and top of the class in four Math and Science Center courses. Cassandra plans to attend a four-year university. Her favorite hobbies include running, skiing, swimming, spending time with friends, and listening to music. Cassandra is Niles High School’s 2022 salutatorian. 

1. Marika Ruppart 

Graduating first in her class is Valedictorian Marika Ruppart, daughter of Wendy and David Ruppart. Marika’s high school achievements are documented in numerous awards including the Wolverine Conference Scholar Athlete Award (2022), Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens Award (2022), National Merit Commended Scholar (2021), AP Scholar (2020), Viking Excellence Awards (2020, 2021, 2022), Rensselaer Medal Winner (2021), Outstanding Student Accelerated Mathematics (2019, 2020, 2021), and Honor Roll (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022). While at Niles, Marika also earned an associate degree in General Studies from Lake Michigan College and made the LMC Dean’s list (2020, 2021). Marika is also a stand-out athlete as she was volleyball and track teams captain, received the Barbra Knoll track award and received numerous regional and state awards for her work on both the volleyball and track teams. Outside of athletics, Marika was the stage crew manager, national honor society vice president and key club treasurer. She plans to attend the University of Michigan to study biomedical engineering, then go on to attend a master’s program for prosthetics.