MANLIUS — Bureau Valley High School has announced its top 10 students for the Class of 2020.
The top 10 includes Alicia Backer and Katherine Monier, co-valedictorians; Trent DeVenney, salutatorian; Jenna Nordstrom, honor student; and Caroline Konneck, Molly Bohm, Kristen Higgins, Ryanne Balensiefen, Troy Blair and Mason Baker.
Backer is the daughter of Bryan and Jennifer Backer. She participated in track, cross country, Art Club, Spanish Club, National Honor Society and was a class officer. She received the Most Improved Player and Most Valuable Player awards for cross country. She plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College in the fall to study pharmacy.
Monier is the daughter of Jeff and Brenda Monier. She participated in Drama Club, Spanish Club, Acapella, Jazz Band, Solo and Ensemble contest, National Honor Society, Student Council, Interact Club, volleyball, softball and peer tutoring. She plans to attend Illinois College to become a teacher.
DeVenney is the son of Thomas and Margaret DeVenney. He has participated in golf, basketball, baseball, Scholastic Bowl, National Honor Society, National FFA Association, German Club, Robotics Team (sponsored by Martin Engineering) and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has been a church council member for three years. His awards include Illinois State Scholar, Dale and Shirley Espel Memorial Scholarship, golf Most Valuable Player, golf state qualifier and BCR Golfer of the Year. He plans to study economics at Illinois Valley Community College.
Nordstrom is the daughter of Patrick and Karen Nordstrom. She has participated in Student Council, volleyball, softball, National Honor Society (president), Renaissance, student mentoring program, prom and homecoming committee and class officer (president). Her awards include academic all-conference in volleyball and softball. She plans to attend Iowa State University and is undecided in the College of Human Sciences.
Konneck is the daughter of Scott and Dana Konneck. She has participated in basketball, volleyball, track, Spanish Club, Home Ec. Club and National Honor Society. She has been a three-sport athlete every year of high school. Her awards include Illinois State Scholar, Academic All-Conference, basketball Best Defensive Player, and numerous track medals at the indoor and outdoor state track meets throughout her high school career (fourth at indoor state in the 4x200, second at indoor state in the 4x200, state champion at indoor state in the 4x200, fourth at outdoor state in the 4x200, state champion at outdoor state in the 4x100, second at outdoor state in the 4x200, fourth at outdoor state in the 4x100, fourth at outdoor state in the 4x100 and ninth at outdoor state in the 4x200). She plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study biochemistry.
Bohm is the daughter of Ron Bohm and the late Nancy Olds Bohm. She has participated in volleyball, track, National Honor Society, National FFA Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Home Ec. Club. Her awards include volleyball Most Assists award, member of the volleyball regional championship, Academic All-Conference, first at indoor state in the 4x200, fourth at state in the 4x100 and ninth at state in the 4x200. She plans to attend Illinois State University and major in nursing.
Higgins is the daughter of Jeff and Debbie Higgins. She participated in National Honor Society (treasurer), Student Council (secretary), Renaissance, dance team (co-captain) and was a class officer. She was a teacher’s assistant for fourth and fifth grade and attended the Whiteside Area Career Center program for cosmetology. Her awards include being an honor roll student, first place in the Bureau County Fair talent show where she received eighth place at the state competition, currently reigning as first runner-up in the Miss Chillicothe Pageant and first runner-up in Miss Teen OSA. She won first place in the Voice of Democracy contest at Bureau Valley High School and third place at the district competition. She started dancing at the age of 4 and has competed for the past six years. This year, her honors included a trip to Disney to dance down Main Street USA as a UDA All-American, earning third place at the Dunlap regionals, and qualified for state. She plans to attend the Educators of Beauty, College of Cosmetology in Sterling after graduation.
Balensiefen is the daughter of Rob Balensiefen and Cassidy Balensiefen. She participated in Renaissance, National FFA Association and dance team (co-captain). She plans to attend Pennsylvania State University to major in political science with a minor in ethics and public policy.
Blair is the son of Roy Blair and Desiree Abrams. He participated in football, cross country, track, Spanish Club, Scholastic Bowl, Student Council and was a class officer (treasurer). He plans to attend the University of Iowa and major in business administration.
Baker is the son of Joseph Hunt and Adriane Baker. He participated in Drama Club, Art Club, Spanish Club, Newspaper Club, Jazz Band, Acapella and Anime Club. He plans to attend Sauk Valley Community College and study nursing.
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