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Academic Recognition Banquet features speakers Allison and Amanda Lansell
Academic Recognition Banquet features speakers Allison and Amanda Lansell
Chelsea Shar
Thursday, May 10 2018

The 18 students that make up the top ten percent of the graduating class of 2018 were honored, along with their honored educator of choice and their parents at the annual Academic Recognition Banquet on Wednesday evening. 

The purpose of the Academic Recognition Day is to publicly honor the academic top ten-percent of Alliance’s graduating senior class, their parents/guardians, and the educators whom the students feel have most influenced their lives. The dinners have been an annual tradition for 31 years. 

This year’s featured speakers were Allison and Amanda Lansell. The twins graduated in the Alliance High School class of 2005 and are now a lawyer and doctor, respectively. 

Allison attended the University of Virginia Law  School and graduated in 2012. Upon graduation she moved to Washington DC to begin her career. She is licensed to practice law in Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, and Ohio. Her law practice has varied from civil to criminal work, including both prosecution and defense. She now advises nursing homes in a wide array of legal needs. She lives and works in the Cleveland area and has been named to Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Health Law the past two years.

Amanda graduated in 2013 from the University of Toledo College of Medicine. She completed a 3-year Pediatrics residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio and a 1-year Hospital Medicine fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, winning awards for her teaching at both institutions. She currently works as a pediatric hospitalist, caring for hospitalized children and delivering newborn babies at three different Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospitals in the Cleveland area.

The two spoke during the dinner at the University of Mount Union and encouraged students to press on through failure in order to find success. 

“It is hard to talk about your failures. I want you to know its ok to fail. You are going to fail at some point. When you are faced with failure, let it deter you from goals or use it to motivate you even more,” Amanda said. 

Both told about failures they have had in their own careers and what they had to do to keep going in order to reach success. 

“How you respond to failure defines you…Sometimes we fail despite our best efforts. How you move forward is what matters,” Allison said. 

Each student at the dinner received a $200 check from the Alliance Foundation for their education. Howard Frazier also received a $500 scholarship from the John and Roene Klusch Foundation for earning the top ACT score in the group. 

The event is sponsored each year by the John and Roene Klusch Foundation. 

John and Roene Klusch were life-long residents of Alliance, Ohio and members of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Alliance.  John was the founder of East Ohio Machinery Company, which still operates in Alliance Ohio. The couple established the Foundation to support Alliance, Ohio and Marshallville, Ohio, where Roene was raised.  In addition to the Foundation, the Klusch’s were strong supporters of the Alliance High School Scholarship Fund.

The following students and educators were recognized at the banquet: 

NAME:

Kiara Bennett

PARENT:

Estella Bennett

PLANS:

To attend The University of Mount Union and study psychology.

AWARDS:

Kiara is a recipient of an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Stark County Teen Court for 3 years
  • Member of AHS Girls Soccer Team for 3 years
  • Member of AHS PenOhio Writing Team for 3 years
  • Recipient of Aultcare Team Spirit Award
  • Volunteer at Green Village Nursing Rehab Center for 2 years
  • Received the US Scholastic Excellence Award 
  • Received the Stark County Helping Hand Award 
  • Received the Stark County Teen Court Outstanding Overall Award 

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Ms. Jennifer Avers, Art Instructor for 4 years

In art class, Ms. Avers taught me to overcome obstacles with these words that I have used for my life as well.  “ In your projects you will reach a point that you are 75% of the way there.  Things are going good and you will hit a wall where you will want to stop and give up.  Don’t give up.  If you push through, your art will be a success.  You just have to keep going.”  I will carry this with me forever.   

NAME:

Natalie Bert

PARENTS:

Stephanie Alexi and Terry Bert

PLANS:

Attend the University of Mount Union and major in marketing.

AWARDS:

Natalie has been awarded an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 1 year.
  • Member of AHS Girls Golf Team for 3 years.
  • Church Soloist at Alliance First Church of God for 8 years.
  • Youth Assistant for 8 years at Alliance First Church of God.
  • As a senior at AHS has attended the University of Mount Union full time as a college credit plus student.

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Corrina Brindak, Youth Director at Alliance First Church of God

Corrina has known me since I was a child and has taught me so much out of the classroom.  

NAME:

Mara Cvelbar 

PARENTS:

Mary and Marty Cvelbar

PLANS:

To attend The University of Mount Union and study English and political science.

AWARDS:

Mara is a recipient of an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years.
  • Member of AHS Girls Varsity Soccer Team for 4 years.
  • Member of AHS Girls Swimming Team for 4 years.
  • Member of AHS Girls Softball Team for 4  years.
  • Member of Student Senate for 4 years; Student Senate President during senior year.
  • Member of Key Club for 4 years
  • Member of Foreign Language Club for 4 years
  • Vice President of the Class of 2018
  • Member of Marching Band and Flagline

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Mrs. Deirdre Coar, Soccer Coach

I admire Mrs. Coar so much as a person, teacher and coach.  She knew the needs of every individual and helped every single person while not playing favorites.  She has taught me to not only work hard, but to be kind while doing so.

NAME:

Zaviona Fountain 

PARENTS:

Lori Fountain and Ambrose Smith

PLANS:

To attend Kent State University in Salem to study Early Childhood Education. 

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of AHS Social Justice Team for 2 years
  • Member of University of Mount Union Together Initiating Excellence Program for 4 years 
  • Member of AHS Foreign Language Club for 4 years
  • Member of Marching Band, Pep Band and Concert Band for 4 years
  • Member of AHS Peer Pilot Program for 2 years
  • Member of Teen Court for 2 years
  • Elks Teen of the Month for November, 2017
  • 2018 President of the Band, Section Leader, Squad Leader
  • 1st place  winner of History Department Essay contest “There Ought To Be A Law” 

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Mrs. Renee Barnes, French Teacher 

Mrs. Barnes has significantly impacted my life.  She has always been kind, generous and always willing to help.  I know I can go to her about anything and I am grateful for the opportunity to have her as a teacher.  

NAME:

Howard Frazier 

PARENTS:

Kim and John Frazier

PLANS:

To attend John Carroll University to major in Political Science and play football and then continuing my education in law school.   

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Academic Challenge Team for 4 years
  • Member of AHS Varsity Football Team for 4 years
  • Member of AHS Varsity Track Team for 4 years
  • Sports Editor for Red & Blue Flyer for 3 years
  • Member of Choralaires for 3 years
  • Recipient of All-Star Preps Excellence in Action Award
  • Recipient of National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award
  • Published writer in “It’s My Alliance” Magazine
  • Member of Regina Coeli Catholic Church

HONORED EDUCATOR:


Mr. Wilson works to foster meaningful discussion.  However, he never becomes polarized himself and is accepting of everyone.

NAME:

Madison Gasparik 

PARENTS:

Lori and John (Buddy) Gasparik

PLANS:

To attend the University of Mount Union and major in Nursing.

  

AWARDS:

Madison is a recipient of an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Student Senate for 4 years
  • Member of Key Club for 4 years
  • Scholar Athlete for 4 years
  • Elks Teen of the Month for January, 2018
  • Alliance Review Athlete of the Week 
  • Received 1st Team All League in Golf during junior year
  • Received 1st Team NBC in Golf for junior and senior years
  • Member of Stark County Youth Ministry Board for 3 years
  • Recipient of Eagle of the Cross Award senior year

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Ali Myslinski, 7 grade math teacher at Alliance Middle School 

Miss Myslinski has been an inspiration to me.  She believed in me, when I didn’t believe in myself, and she pushed me to be the best I could be.

NAME:

Phoebe Jackson 

PARENTS:

Mary and Shawn Jackson

PLANS:

To attend Ohio University and major in Journalism. 

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of AHS Softball Team for 4 years
  • Member of AHS Volleyball Team for 4 years
  • Member of AHS Jetsetters for
  • Member of AHS Marching Band
  • Member of Key Club for 4 years
  • Member of Student Senate for 3 years
  • Secretary for the Class of 2018
  • Participant at Girls State 
  • Participant at Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference in 10>span class="s1"> grade

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Amy Miller, Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology and AP Biology Teacher 

Mrs. Miller has always been the teacher that pushes me to be the best I can be.  She has made me the hard-working student I am today.

NAME:

Alix Kelley 

PARENTS:

Debbie and Ted Kelley

PLANS:

To attend the University of Mount Union with an undecided major

AWARDS:

Alix is a recipient of an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • 4 year varsity letter winner for Girls Tennis
  • 1st Team all NBC for Tennis senior year
  • 2 year varsity letter for Softball
  • Member of Marching, Concert, Pep and Jazz Bands for 4 years.
  • Member of OMEA District 8 Honor Band during senior year
  • Volunteer at Trinity Gospel Temple

HONORED EDUCATOR:

DeAnn Zavarelli, 6 grade Science Teacher at Alliance Middle School 

Mrs. Zavarelli taught me to always stand up for my beliefs.  She truly cares for and respects every one of her students, and that is something I will never forget.

NAME:

Joseph Marazza 

PARENTS:

Danielle and Christopher Marazza

PLANS:

To attend The Ohio State University and major in Accounting 

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Key Club for 4 years
  • Member of Foreign Language Club for 4 years

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Kelly Trout, Biology and Chemistry teacher 

Mrs. Trout made science classes that I did not have a passion for enjoyable.  She is also very easy to approach and I was never reluctant to ask for help outside of class time.  

NAME:

Brendan McGeehen 

PARENTS:

Vicki and Keith McGeehen

PLANS:

To attend Duke University and major in Economics or Political Science

AWARDS:

Brendan is the recipient of the Elvin J. Wilson Scholarship to Duke University 

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Key Club for 4 years
  • Member of Academic Challenge Team for 4 years
  • Member of Red & Blue Flyer for 4 years, Co-Editor for 3 years
  • Member of Student Senate for 2 years
  • Member of Football Team for 4 years
  • Participant at Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference in 10>span class="s1"> grade
  • Active volunteer at Alliance Food Pantry 
  • Attended Rotary Youth Leadership Conference 
  • Received Best in Category for Engineering at Science Alliance during junior year at AHS

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Richard Morris, Grandfather and Pre-Calc Teacher

His genuine love for math rubbed off on me and pushes me to become the best math student I can be.  

NAME:

Andrew McMillen 

PARENTS:

Teresa and Steve McMillen

PLANS:

To attend The University of Mount Union and NEOMED to study Pharmacy

AWARDS:

Andrew is a recipient of an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years.
  • Member of Key Club for 4 years
  • Member of Student Senate for 1 year
  • Employed at Hartville Hardware
  • Active Volunteer at the Stark County Humane Society and the Salvation Army
  • Member of AHS Orchestra for 4 years
  • Received excellent and superior ratings at the OMEA State Orchestra event for 4 years 
  • Member of Varsity Soccer Team for 3 years
  • Member of Varsity Tennis Team for 4 years

HONORED EDUCATOR: Thomas Wilson, High School English Teacher

Mr. Wilson truly cares about his students and their success.  He has been a great role model in my life as well.  Thank you for all that you do.  

NAME:

Abby Moore 

PARENTS:

Kristi and Mark Moore

PLANS:

To attend Walsh University and major in Criminal Justice

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years.
  • Member of Key Club for 4 years
  • Member of Band for 4 years
  • Member of Orchestra for 4 years
  • Member of Girls Golf Team for 3 years
  • First Team All Stark County Conference for Bowing for 2 years
  • Member of Bowling Team for 4 years 
  • Alliance Review Athlete of the Week 
  • Top Female Bowler for 4 years

HONORED EDUCATOR: David Reith, Teacher in 3rd, 4th and 6th grade

I had the opportunity to have Mr. Reith in 3rd, 4th and 6th grades.  He always encouraged me to do my best and he always made learning fun.

NAME:

Maggie Novak 

PARENTSS:

Teri Kirby and Joseph  Novak

PLANS:

To attend Rochester Institute of Technology and major in photography.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Key Club for 3 years
  • Member of Student Senate for 4 years
  • President of Class of 2018 for 4 years
  • Member of Foreign Language Club for 4 years
  • Seamstress at Henri’s Cloud Nine

HONORED EDUCATOR:

Jamie Randolph, Middle School math teacher

Mrs. Randolph was always honest and open when it came to school and life in general.  

NAME:

Lexi Orzo 

PARENTS:

Erin Briggs and Brian Orzo

PLANS:

To attend The University of Mount Union with an undecided major.

AWARDS:

Lexi is a recipient of an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Key Club for 2 years
  • Member of Varsity Tennis Team for 3 years
  • Recipient of Career & Tech Home Award
  • Scholar Athlete for 4 years
  • Member of RAM Ministries for 3 years
  • Member of First Friends volleyball
  • Member of Regina Coeli youth group

HONORED EDUCATOR: Allison Morrison, High School Guidance Counselor

Mrs. Morrison has had a lasting impact on my education because she always encouraged me to try harder and to push myself to achieve more.  

NAME:

Cortaise Rogers 

PARENT:

Ron Rogers

PLANS:

To attend The University of Mount Union and major in computer science. 

AWARDS:

Cortaise is a recipient of an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of 99th Squadron for 4 years
  • 2016 MLK Parade King
  • Member of Varsity Bowling Team for 3 years
  • State Qualifier in Bowling in 11th grade
  • Ira G. Turpin Scholar in 11th grade
  • 2017/18 East-West All Star Bowling Match champion
  • Received Honorable Mention in bowling for 2  years
  • Employed as Crew Trainer at McDonalds for 2 years
  • Participated in National Day of Reading at Northside Intermediate for 2 years

HONORED EDUCATOR: Aaron Hill, Varsity Bowling Coach

Mr. Hill has always been more than a coach or educator.  He has motivated me to be my best, even when I’m at my worst.  He is truly an amazing person.  

NAME:

Maria Sams 

PARENTS:

Laura and Donnell Sams

PLANS:

To attend The University of Mount Union with an undecided major. 

AWARDS:

Maria is a recipient of a Founders Scholarship and a 2018 Academic Challenge Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • President of National Honor Society senior year
  • Member of Girls Tennis Team for 4 years
  • Member of Key Club for 2 years
  • Student Representative to the Alliance City Schools Board of Education
  • Delegate for Buckeye Girls State in 2017
  • Member of Teton Science Club
  • 4 year Scholar Athlete
  • Employed at Hot Pots for 3 years
  • 6 year active volunteer and service through RAM Ministries and Regina Coeli Youth Group 

HONORED EDUCATOR: Dan Dennis, High School Health Teacher

Mr. Dennis made a lasting impact on my life through his teaching due to his excellent ability to relate real life to the subject matter.  There was never a day I left his class feeling that I hadn’t learned something valuable.

NAME:

Erika Shi 

PARENTS:

Lin Wu and Liang Shi

PLANS:

To attend the University of Cincinnati, Conservatory of Music, with a major in ballet and minor in entrepreneurship and mathematics. She will be a member of the Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program 

  

AWARDS:

Erika is a recipient of a Cincinnatus Century Scholarship, the Darwin T. Turner Scholarship and Buxbaum Workum Scholarship from the University of Cincinnati

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Key Club for 3 years
  • Delegate at 2017 Buckeye Girls State
  • Received the achievement Award for Excellence in Pre-Calculus
  • Received the outstanding mathematics Award for Excellence in Algebra 2 Honors. 
  • Received Canton Ballet’s Barre Association Summer Study Scholarship
  • Received scholarships to the Philadelphia Dance Theatre Summer Program, Carolina Ballet Summer intensive and Joffrey New York summer intensive.
  • Performed as Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, Dew Drop and Lead Marzipan in the Canton Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”
  • Performed with the Canton Ballet for 10 years

HONORED EDUCATOR: Laura Bryan, High School Guidance Counselor

Mrs. Bryan has always been understanding of my passion and dedication to ballet.  Her constant support and energy have helped me through my four years of high school and two sentences are not enough to show my gratitude and respect for her.  Thank you Mrs. Bryan for shaping me into the person I am today.  

NAME: Maddie Waggoner 

PARENTS: Amy and Edward Waggoner

PLANS: To attend the University of Mount Union and major in Exercise Science and then obtain a Doctorate of Physical Therapy

  

AWARDS: Maddie is a recipient of an Investment Alliance Scholarship from the University of Mount Union.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Member of National Honor Society for 2 years
  • Member of Student Senate for 4 years
  • Member of Key Club for 3 years
  • Class Treasurer for the Class of 2018 for 3 years
  • Member of Marching Band for 4 years
  • Nominee for the 2018 US Presidential Scholar in Career & Tech
  • All Star Preps Best of Stark County for Softball in 2017
  • NET Tournament Second Doubles Champion in Tennis as an 11>span class="s1"> grader
  • Member of AHS Varsity Softball Team for 4 years
  • Member of AHS Varsity Tennis Team for 3 years

HONORED EDUCATOR: Shaun Fontaine, Band Teacher for 7 years

Mr. Fontaine has taught me to not be afraid of failure and always pushed me to be my best, as a musician and a person.  He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.