Thomas Langr was so proud of the five students who earned the Excellence in Advanced Mathematics Award he wrote and recorded a song for them, all about math. It was presented to the students, along with their awards, at Senior Awards Night at Washington High School on Thursday, May 22.
During awards night, 22 students were named to the National Honor Society and 29 students were rewarded with a Silver Cord to wear at graduation. To earn the cord, students must complete a minimum of 200 hours of volunteer service over the course of their four years at WHS. Since the Silver Cord program began in 2008, the class of 2019 has volunteered the most hours totaling 9,036.
Erik Buchholz, WHS Principal, addressed the students and said they would be missed. He said the mark they have left on the school will continue to inspire classes to come and he looked forward to seeing all they would accomplish.
“We have unbelievably outstanding athletes. I have not seen as good of acting on stage as I have seen in the past couple years from the seniors out here,” he said. “We have some of the greatest musicians who have probably ever come through Washington High School. In this group of people, there is so much incredible ability, I’m really anxiously awaiting your guys’s five-year class reunion because I want to see where everybody is at that point.”
He said the Class of 2019 has strong leadership skills and a drive for success that will help them get far in life. Buchholz said every year he hopes one of his students will win the Nobel Peace Prize and he feels if any class can do it, this one can.
The Principal’s Choice Award was awarded to Meghan Newman. Buchholz said she was chosen because she is not only a leader in the classroom, but out of it as well. Newman helped write the music for the marching band which helped them win a Division 1 rating at state and composed music for the spring choral concert.
Newman said the award was a complete surprise to her, but an honor to receive.
“I didn’t find out until I was sitting in my seat and my name came up,” she said. “I was kind of like, ‘Oh, that’s my name.’”
She said being recognized for her hard work meant a lot to her because extracurricular activities made up a lot of her high school career. Her advice to other high-schoolers is to get involved and make a difference in their own way.
Porscha McClanahan walked away with a slew of awards and an associate degree in Liberal Arts from Kirkwood. She said getting to receive both her high school degree and a college degree at the same time is an accomplishment she is very proud of. In the fall, she plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa to major in elementary education.
Drama director LaVern Miller gave away the drama awards for the night. He awarded four students who participated in seven shows throughout their high school career, two who were in eight shows, and awarded the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award to Logan Hanson.
Hanson said he had no idea the award was coming and when he heard his name, he was both surprised and excited.
“It felt like it validated what myself and my friends have all done here in the drama club. Everything just came flooding back and it’s just reignited that personal connection I have with it,” he said. “It was an honor to receive this.”