Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

OHS honors seniors

The Otsego High School seniors who graduated with distinction were (front from left) Mia Crites, Aleigha Morris, Ella Selent, Emma Conniff, Brinley Badders, Madison Kroes, Dara Stiles, Katelyn Piersma, Marah Slager, (middle) Donovan Goodwin, Claudia Stachura, Joy Wolfe, Chase Brown, Nick Cockerel, Yash Hazari, Kaitlyn Payseno, Ali Janke, Owen Bush, Tyler Norris, Jacob Zartman, (back) Emily Yahr, Kaitlynn Brady, Elizabeth Burrill, Nova Plumley, Bella Hanley, Ben Bickel, Abie Sullivan, Jada Bolhuis and Lucas Badiner. (Photo provided)

By Jason Wesseldyk
Sports Editor

Each year, Otsego High School honors the members of the graduating class who maintained a 4.0 or high grade point average throughout their high school career.
The Class of 2022 included 29 such students, meaning they graduated with distinction when the commencement ceremony was held on Friday, June 3, at Bulldog Stadium.
Class valedictorian Katelyn Piersma headlined that list of graduates along with co-salutatorians Chase Brown and Ben Bickel.
Piersma, the daughter of Mitch and Pam Piersma, will attend the University of Michigan and plans to major in biochemistry with a goal of establishing a career in the field of medical research.
During her time at OHS, Piersma served as her class secretary and was vice president of the National Honor Society. Her other activities included participated in marching band (drum major), symphonic band, pep band, jazz band, yearbook, Purple Committee and musical.
Brown is the son of Chad and Teresa Brown. He will attend Colorado Mesa University and study mechanical engineering. His area of focus will be either aerospace or renewable energy fields.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Brown will also continue his athletic career at Colorado Mesa as a member of the men’s cross country and track teams.
At OHS, Brown was a four-year member of the cross country and track teams, serving as captain of both during his senior year. He was a member of the 2021 OHS boys cross country team that brought home the first state title in program history.
Brown also participated in National Honor Society and Purple Committee.
Bickel, the son of Susan and Ryan Bickel, will attend the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering to study mechanical engineering. He hopes to work on and design hybrid and sustainable energy vehicles.
Bickel’s high school activities included football (captain), track and field, swimming, wrestling, basketball, robotics (captain), Purple Committee, National Honor Society (president), student council and LIT Team (Leaders in Training).
Bickel also earned his Eagle Scout status with Boys Scouts of America.
Here is a look at the other members of the OHS Class of 2022 who graduated with distinction:
Brinley Badders is the daughter of Heather Buskard and Jason Badders. Brinley will attend Grand Valley State University. She participated in cross country (captain), National Honor Society, Purple Committee and track & field at OHS.
Lucas Badiner is the son of Sara and Jeremy Badiner. Lucas will attend Michigan State University to study zoology. He participated in Quiz Bowl, robotics and GSA at OHS.
Kaitlynn Brady is the daughter of Heather and Shannon Moss. Kaitlynn plans to attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College to study nursing. She participated in competitive cheer (captain), jazz band, pep band, marching band and symphonic band at OHS.
Jada Bolhuis is the daughter of Jeanne and Bryan Bolhuis. Jada will attend the University of Tampa and study pre-med biology. She participated in volleyball, track & field and softball (captain).
Elizabeth Burrill is the daughter of Peter and Susan Burrill. Elizabeth will attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College in the fall. She participated in cross country (captain), track, National Honor Society and Purple Committee at OHS.
Owen Bush is the son of Erin and Jon Bush. Owen will attend the University of Wisconsin in the Navy ROTC program and study mechanical engineering. He participated in swim, soccer, track, National Honor Society and was a Link at OHS.
Nicholas Cockerel is the son of Jamie and Chris Cockerel. Nick will attend Saint Leo University and major in exercise science and specialize in athletic rehabilitation. He participated in cross country (captain) and track & field at OHS.
Emma Conniff is the daughter of Peter and Jennifer Conniff. Emma will attend Michigan State University to major in kinesiology to become a physical therapist. She participated in cross country (captain), track & field, National Honor Society and Purple Committee at OHS.
Mia Crites is the daughter of Jeff and Haley Crites. Mia will attend Kalamazoo College this fall. She participated in soccer (captain), National Honor Society and Purple Committee at OHS.
Donovan Goodwin is the son of Brandy and Phil Goodwin. Donovan is enrolled in Early College Allegan County and will finish his early college classes next year through Lake Michigan College then transfer to a four-year college in 2023. He plans to study computer science. Donovan participated in cross country, track, robotics and National Honor Society at OHS.
Isabella Hanley is the daughter of Jill and Miles Hanley. Bella will attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College in the fall. She participated in the National Honor Society and Purple Committee at OHS.
Yash Hazari is the son of Laxmi and Monesh Hazari. Yash will attend Grand Valley State University to study biomedical engineering. He participated in National Honor Society, choir, Purple Committee, high school musicals, cross country, track & field and was the senior class treasurer. Yash was also a Western Michigan University research student his senior year.
Ali Janke is the daughter of Steve and Mel Janke. Ali will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study pre-dental biology with a plan to become an orthodontist. She participated in student council (co-president), Purple Committee, National Honor Society and softball (captain) at OHS. She also played travel softball and has been a counselor-in-training at Camp Geneva.
Madison Kroes is the daughter of Randen and Christina Kroes. Madison will attend Montana Wilderness School of the Bible and explore a career in music. She participated in the National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), tennis, symphonic band, concert band, marching band, pep band, jazz band and was a pit member for musicals. She also served on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and played in the River Cities Concert Band.
Aleigha Morris is the daughter of Shannon and Anthony Morris. Aleigha will attend Calvin University to major in speech pathology and audiology and minor in biochemistry. She participated in quiz bowl, track & field, swim, sideline cheer, soccer and multiple musicals at OHS. She was also on the Patti Herm School of Dance competitive dance team.
Tyler Norris is the son of Randy and Diane Norris. Tyler plans to major in business administration. He participated in baseball, basketball, football, National Honor Society and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council at OHS.
Kaitlyn Payseno is the daughter of Ron and Leslie Payseno. Kaitlyn plans to attend the University of Michigan to major in biology. She participated in student council (vice president/co-president), National Honor Society, volleyball (captain), basketball (captain) and tennis at OHS.
Nova Plumley is the daughter of Wayne and Rhonda Plumley. Nova will complete her final year of the Early College program through Lake Michigan College then transfer to a 4-year university. She is majoring in business administration/accounting with a minor in entrepreneurship. She participated in pep band, musical pit crew, symphonic band, color guard (captain), winter guard, book club, yearbook and was a freshman camp counselor at OHS. She also volunteered at a ranch and her church during school. 
Ella Selent is the daughter of Lexa and Joe Selent. Ella will attend Michigan State University to major in early education to become a teacher. She participated in National Honor Society, golf (captain), basketball and track & field at OHS.
Marah Slager is the daughter of Joel and Lori Slager. Marah will complete her Early College program this fall through Lake Michigan College. She’s looking into a career in human biology. She participated in robotics, marching band (section leader) and SADD at OHS.
Claudia Stachura is the daughter of Beth and Jason Stachura. Claudia will attend Western Michigan University to study exercise science/ physical therapy. She participated in National Honor Society, cross country (captain), track & field, basketball and Purple Committee at OHS.
Dara Stiles is the daughter of Lennea and Dave Stiles. Dara will attend Oklahoma State University to study animal science/pre-vet medicine. She participated in volleyball, National Honor Society, Purple Committee, student council (treasurer) and was the senior class vice president at OHS.
Abigail Sullivan is the daughter of Becky and James Sullivan. Abie will attend West Virginia University to major in business marketing to go into sales as a career. She participated in swim & dive (two-time captain), track & field (captain), National Honor Society (treasurer) and Purple Committee at OHS. She was also a gymnast at Branch Gymnastics.
Joy Wolfe is the daughter of Cindy and Mark Wolfe. Joy will attend Trine University to major in criminal justice. She participated in cross country, track & field, marching band and symphonic band at OHS.
Emily Yahr is the daughter of Christopher and Rhonda Yahr. Emily will attend Western Michigan University to major in finance. She participated in choir and Links at OHS. She was also involved at Friendship Wesleyan Church.
Jacob Zartman is the son of Beth and Daryl Zartman. Jacob will attend Michigan State University to major in business management. He participated in National Honor Society, soccer, basketball (captain), and track (captain) at OHS.

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