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Murray Journal

Murray Rotary Honors Top Murray High Scholars, Teacher

Jun 12, 2015 11:14AM ● By Julie Slama

Sarah Nelson

Ten Murray High scholars were honored at a Murray Rotary Club luncheon on May 18 for their scholastic achievement. Murray Rotary president James Charnholm welcomed guests before Murray High principal John Goldhardt introduced the honored students, who were selected by their grade-point average and ACT college entrance scores.

“We celebrated these students’ academic achievement,” Goldhardt said. “These are the students who put forth the effort to learn the material and prepare for college. It’s a great partnership with the Rotary, who recognizes and values the importance of these students’ achievements.”

Max Adams, who was one of the honored seniors, appreciated the recognition being given to his classmates.

“It’s an important award that recognizes Murray High’s scholastic achievements and also, it means a lot coming from people who serve others, to so many of our students who are helping the community and finding a way to give back,” he said. 

Adams, who earned a perfect ACT score, plans to study finance in college, earned his Eagle in Boy Scouts and has been involved in music, theater, cross country, Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Health Occupation Students of America and Academic Olympiad. He was named the state Sterling Scholar for business and marketing.

His fellow classmates who also were honored include:

Bradley Baer, who has a 3.97 grade-point average, has competed for Murray High in both soccer and basketball, played in the concert band and earned his Eagle in Boy Scouts.

Tyler Bartunek, who wants to study mechanical engineering, holds a 3.96 grade-point average and earned a 29 on the ACT. He has helped with the Murray High ArtsFest and is involved in film. He also earned the Super Spartan Award.

Alexander Burns, a four-year cross country letterman, earned a 30 on his ACT and holds a 3.9 grade-point average while taking several Advanced Placement classes. He also is a volunteer counselor for Write On! Summer writing camp and plays violin.

Caitlin Coplan wants to study chemistry and has dreams of teaching science in high school. She was Murray High’s Sterling Scholar and has been involved in Key Club, Academic Olympiad and in the choir program. She is the school’s salutatorian and received the AP Scholar Award.

Lia Gale, who plans to study science and engineering in college, is the school’s vocal performance Sterling Scholar. Lia is a member of the teen advisory council at Murray Public Library, helps run junior high science fairs, plays lacrosse and is involved in the book club and choir program.

Nathan LeCheminant earned a 34 on the ACT, holds a 3.998 grade-point average and has taken six AP courses. He is a member of the National Honor Society, is the school’s English Sterling Scholar and volunteers with the Special Needs Activity Program.

Kaycee Mortensen, who plans to study finance, wants to be the first female general manager of a National Hockey League franchise. She will compete in the national Future Business Leaders of America contest this summer and also is involved in the school’s Spanish Club, cheer team, National Honor Society and DECA business and marketing organization.

Claire Nelson, who has been named an AP scholar with honors, plans to study science, technology, engineering or math. She has completed nine AP courses, has been on the honor roll every term while in high school and is a National Honor Society member. She also has competed in both Academic Olympiad and the state math test and volunteers at the Homeless Youth Resource Center.

Sarah Nelson, who was a Sterling Scholar state finalist in instrumental music, will graduate from Murray High with a 4.0 grade-point average. She has taken five AP classes, plays piano for the Madrigals and participated in the Girls Leadership Forum, National Honor Society and Peer Leadership Team. She also has been involved with the Special Needs Activity Program.

“The 10 students selected a teacher who has had the greatest impact on their education,” Murray School District Superintendent Steve Hirase said.

Goldhardt named the Meritorious Teacher as Chantel Olsen.

Olsen has been a teacher at Murray High since August 2003. She taught English until this year when she became the school’s work-based learning coordinator. She was the 2014-15 Teacher of the Year for Murray School District.

The Rotary has honored Murray High students for years and a Murray High teacher since 1972.

“I am appreciative for the Murray Rotary Club’s longstanding commitment to recognize the top senior scholars who attend Murray High School,” Hirase said. “These students are outstanding representatives of this year’s senior class and a great reflection of the outstanding school that Murray High School is.”