OHS will honor 24 students who are graduating with distinction for graduating with a GPA of 4.0 or above.
OHS will honor 24 students with a special recognition for graduating with a GPA of 4.0 or above. They will graduate with Distinction.

Otsego High School is honoring 24 students for graduating with distinction; that means these students will graduate with a 4.0 GPA or above. The top two graduates, Jamie Hare and Carlie Weaver, are tied this year with a GPA of 4.323 and will serve as Co-Valedictorians. They will both give speeches at their June 3rd graduation ceremony. Otsego’s Class of 2017 has 177 students.

In the photo: 

  • Front row, left-right: Heather Parsons, Megan Aalberts, Melanie Vandervest, Jamie Hare, Abby Pula, Brooke Galloway, Kara Jubenville.
  • Middle row, left-right: Sophia Hirzel, Kayla Bidwell, Carlie Weaver, Sarah-Ann Moran, Heather Kline, Makenna Black, Claire Weaver, Francesca Sunnerville, Haley Wright
  • Back row, left-right: Erica Drobny, Jacob Goodrich, Adam Coe, Cameron Ouellette, William Woodhams, Samuel Moran, Sadie Bronkema

Congratulations to the following students on earning this academic honor:

Co-Valedictorians: Jamie Hare and Carlie Weaver

Jamie Hare is the daughter of John and Laurie Hare, of Otsego. Jamie will attend the University of Michigan to major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “My involvement in FIRST robotics, and volunteer time in other FIRST programs and technology camps, made me realize how much of an interest I had in engineering and programming.” She has received the Society of Women Engineers Certificate of Merit, AP Scholar Award with Distinction, and was on the Honor Roll (4 years.) In high school, she was the team captain of the FIRST Robotics team, Editor-in-Chief of Yearbook, Secretary of National Honor Society, Lesson Leader of Dare to be Different, Co-Captain of color guard and also participated in quiz bowl, SADD, book club, symphonic band, pit band, pep band, musical, and Purple Game committee. In addition to her classes, Jamie spent part of her day with a researcher in electrical engineering at Western Michigan University and presented her findings at the Michigan High School Math and Science Symposium.

Carlie Weaver is the daughter of Trevor and Laura Weaver, of Otsego. She will attend Lake Superior State University in the fall with the intent to transfer to a larger university later. She will major in biology with a pre-med focus. She would like to go to med school to eventually become a surgeon or anesthesiologist. “I am a very curious person and I don’t like the idea of a boring career. What’s better than saving lives and having an interesting, fun job?” She received the AP Scholar Award, Drum Major Award, the Board of Trustees Distinguished scholarship award from LSSU. In high school, she was in National Honor Society, SADD, Dare to be Different, quiz bowl, marching band (drum major), pep band, pit orchestra for the musical, tennis and was a middle school tennis coach.

Others graduating with Distinction: 

Megan Aalberts is the daughter of Stephanie Aalberts, of Plainwell. She plans to attend Bowling Green State University to run Cross Country and Track and study Accounting. She hopes to work for the FBI. In high school, she was a part of student council, National Honor Society, PYT (Pro Youth Team), cross country, bowling and track. She has received the Bowling Green Success Scholarship, Bowling Green Academic Scholarship and Bowling Green Athletic Scholarship.

Kayla Bidwell is the daughter of Brian and Wendy Bidwell, from Otsego. She will be attending Cornerstone University in the fall for Education to be an elementary or middle school teacher. “I really like kids and have always had some desire to encourage their curiosity. My 5th grade teacher, Jennifer Loomis, has been an inspiration and a role model for me. I believe that it only takes one teacher to change a child’s life and I hope I can do that.” Kayla received the Cornerstone Presidential Scholarship. In high school, she was in marching, concert and symphonic bands, pep band and ensembles; she was also in the National Honor Society.

Makenna Black is the daughter of Andy and Shannon Black, of Kalamazoo. She will attend Western Michigan University to study Chemical Engineering. “My dad is a chemical engineer so that’s how I got into engineering. Mr. Burrill helped me to truly love chemistry and that’s why I chose that type of engineering.” In high school, Makenna participated in marching band, band, yearbook, quiz bowl, dare to be different, robotics, National Honor Society, SADD, pep band, and was a tutor for chemistry and algebra, danced at Ballet Arts, was a part of AYSO soccer and ACE Winterguard. She’s been on the honor roll all four years and received the Jennings award in middle school.

Sadie Bronkema is the daughter of Owen and Roxanne Bronkema, of Otsego. She will attend Lawrence Technological University in the fall to study pre-medicine and chemistry. “My mom has always worked in the medical field; also, I really enjoy science.” She is also playing volleyball at LTU. Sadie received the LTU athletic scholarship and LTU trustee scholarship. In high school, she participated in National Honor Society, PYT (Pro Youth Team), volleyball and track & field.

Adam Coe is the son of Rodney and Ribut Coe, of Otsego. Adam plans to attend either Kalamazoo College or Western Michigan University in the fall to study chemical engineering or pre-med. “I really started liking the idea of using chemicals and different elements to create reactions and everything ‘hands-on’ in a lab so I thought chemical engineering was the ideal fit for me.” He also likes learning about how the body works and caring for others so he is also considering becoming a doctor. In high school, he took part in tennis, swim & dive and track & field; he was also a part of National Honor Society and Student Council. He did community service with Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes and the ESL (English as a Second Language) Program of Kalamazoo.

Erica Drobny is the daughter of Sally and Chad Drobny, of Kalamazoo. She will attend Michigan State University to study pre-dental; she plans to become a dentist or dental hygienist. “My dad inspired me to choose this career because he has always encouraged me to work hard in high school so a career choice like this is possible. He always encourages me to be extremely successful so it led me to the idea of becoming a dentist.” Erica is a 3-sport, 4-year athlete participating in cross country, basketball and soccer. She was also in the National Honor Society, on student council (secretary) and was a freshman mentor.

Brooke Galloway is the daughter of Scott and Tracy Galloway, of Otsego. She plans to attend Central Michigan University in the fall on a Centralis Gold (full-tuition) Scholarship and study communications and business; she hopes to work in non-profit. Being a lead committee member for the 2016 Purple Game benefitting Van Andel Institute inspired her future career, “I loved the fundraising and talking to businesses as well as organizing a large event.” She will be a member of the CMU Honors College and Leadership Institute. She plans to minor in leadership. In high school, she was a part of student council, National Honor Society, Varsity Basketball, Dare to be Different, the prom committee, musical, freshman girls’ basketball assistant coach, choir, youth group at Valley Family Church and was a freshman mentor. She also received the DAR Good Citizen award and the YWCA Young Woman of Achievement honor.

Jacob Goodrich is the son of David and Ann-Marie Goodrich, of Otsego. He will attend Western Michigan University in the fall to study mechanical engineering and/or computer science. He hopes to be a part of research and development at a major engineering or motor company, “I’ve always had a particular interest in science and mathematics and enjoy problem solving, so I’m naturally drawn towards a career in engineering. I also have close relatives working as engineers at companies like Ford and FEMA that have also helped inspire and influence me.” Jacob has received the WMU Dean’s Scholarship. In high school, he participated in cross country, swimming and track. He was also in the National Honor Society.

Sophia Hirzel is the daughter of Andrew and Tamara Hirzel. She plans to attend Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) this fall on an athletic scholarship for cross country and plans to study communication sciences and disorders; she is planning a career in speech pathology. “My sister, Mina, who is a neurolinguistics researcher, shared her experiences with me which inspired me to pick a career helping children.” She was also inspired by her time volunteering at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Summer Camp. In high school, Sophia ran cross country and track, was in the Otsego Running Club, in yearbook, writing club and National Honor Society.

Kara Jubenville is the daughter of Cynthia and Kirk Jubenville, of Plainwell. She plans to attend Michigan State University to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher. Her grandmother is her inspiration, “She was a teacher and always expressed how much she loved her job and the kids she worked with.” She received the Michigan Masonic Foundation Scholarship and the MSU Assistance Grant. Kara was a part of the varsity soccer team and the National Honor Society.

Heather Kline is the daughter of Wayne and MaryAnn Kline, of Otsego. She’ll attend Western Michigan University to study accounting and possibly Computer Information Systems with a minor in International Business. She’s thinking of becoming an auditor or business analyst. “My mother says, ‘common ‘cents’ isn’t so common anymore.’” Heather took part in quiz bowl, tennis, Dare to be Different, yearbook, book club, pit orchestra for musical, pep band, marching and symphonic band, the debate team and National Honor Society. Heather has received the WMU Legacy Scholarship, Haworth College of Business Dean’s Gold Star Scholarship and the WMU Dean’s Scholarship.

Erica MacQueen is the daughter of Steve and Kari MacQueen, of Vicksburg. She plans to go into the US Navy after high school and is looking ahead to a future in nuclear engineering. “My grandfather played a large part in my love for mathematics and problem solving. As a young girl, I grew up with him as a paper sciences engineering professor. Asking him math questions and getting bizarre answers completely astounded me and made me curious toward the world of mathematics and engineering.” In high school, Erica was in the National Honor Society, participated in quiz bowl and was on the varsity volleyball team.

Samuel Moran is the son of Tim and Leslie Moran, of Otsego. He plans to attend Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne this fall to study Mechanical Engineering. His interest in the field came from robotics, local engineer Andy Hirzel, problem-solving and brainstorming to create something for a real-life application. He received the Dean’s scholarship and an athletic scholarship and will run cross country at IPFW. In high school, he participated in cross country, track & field and was a part of the robotics team.

Sarah-Ann Moran is the daughter of Tim and Leslie Moran, of Otsego. She plans to attend Brigham Young University to study Music Performance and/or Music Education. “I have always loved music and singing. It is my joy and the core of who I am. It allows me to express myself. Mrs. Gudbrandson has done so much for me in inspiring me to pursue a future in music. I can see the joy that music brings to her life and I want that same joy and to share it with others.” In high school, Sarah participated in National Honor Society, tennis, diving, cross country, volleyball, musical productions for three years and was in choir. She was a member of the Regional and State Honors Choir, went to Blue Lake for two summers for choir and their Blue Lake International choir where she toured in the summer of 2016.

Cameron Ouellette is the son of Brian and Karen Ouellette, of Otsego. He plans to attend Michigan State University to study Secondary Education to become a high school English teacher. “My father, grandmother and grandfather were all educators. I work as a camp counselor in the summer and that has led me to discover my love of working with kids.” He’s been a Scholar-Athlete for four years and on the honor roll. He received the Masonic Foundation Scholarship. In high school, Cameron participated in football, basketball, track & field, National Honor Society and was in the Otsego United Methodist Church Youth Group.

Heather Parsons is the daughter of Sue and Scott Parsons, of Otsego. She plans to attend Bay Path University and major in legal studies to eventually become a prosecutor specializing in domestic violence and criminal sexual conduct law. “There’s no one event or person that helped me choose law, I just want to see justice done for those who have been wronged. I want to change the world for the better.” Heather has been a part of the school musical all four years of high school, choir, ACE Winterguard and band. She also danced at Shayna Kaye’s Dance Kraze. She received several scholarships from colleges where she applied including the Bay Path University 1897 Founders Scholarship.

Abby Pula is the daughter of John and Pam Pula, of Kalamazoo. She plans to attend Michigan Technological University this fall to major in chemical engineering and bioprocess engineering to become a chemical engineer in the medical field. “I have always been good at math and then in 6th grade science, we did a small chemistry experiment that I loved. After that, I was determined to find a career where I could do both and that is how I discovered I wanted to be a chemical engineer.” Abby received the AP Scholar Award and Michigan Tech Presidential Merit Scholarship. In high school, she participated in tennis, quiz bowl, pep band, Dare to be Different, book club, pit orchestra, SADD, National Honor Society, Robotics and volleyball.

Francesca Sunnerville is the daughter of William and Sally Sunnerville, of Otsego. She plans to attend Kalamazoo Valley Community College this fall to study biology. “My passion for science and love for the environment drove me to take AP Bio where I developed a very strong interest to learn more.” Fran has participated in the high school musical, softball and track & field in high school. She received the Athlete Scholar award and has been on the honor roll.

Melanie Vandervest is the daughter of Ken and Debbie Vandervest, of Kalamazoo. She will attend Western Michigan University in their Occupational Therapy Program with the plan to work in private practice focusing on helping kids with mental disabilities or special needs. “I became inspired to enter into occupational therapy because of my cousin who has autism. I became aware of how he was treated by others and how he struggled with everyday activities. I was able to help him while creating a relationship with him. I want to be able to help other kids and become a positive influence in their lives while teaching them skills to help them function better in society.” In high school, she was in student council, National Honor Society and French club.

Claire Weaver is the daughter of Trevor and Laura Weaver, of Otsego. She plans to attend the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Honors College for 1-2 years before transferring. She is considering a number of universities and a career in finance or a biology-related field. “We have a family friend who is a financial advisor, and I’d love to make a difference in the world, biology is a quickly growing/developing field that can do that.” She has received the Western Michigan University Dean’s Scholarship. In high school, Claire participated in Dare to be Different, quiz bowl, pep band, pit orchestra, SADD, National Honor Society (vice president), book club, debate club and was a freshman mentor. She also received the Drum Major award; she was drum major her junior and senior year.

William (Bill) Woodhams is the son of William and Cherie Woodhams, of Kalamazoo. Bill will attend Hope College to study biology/ Pre-med to become a medical doctor. He chose his area of study because of “my interest in nutrition, athletic performance and how the body works.” He will also play basketball at Hope. He played varsity basketball in high school and played on the ACB/MBA travel basketball team. He has received the Hope College Presidential Merit Scholarship, Masonic Foundation Scholarship as well as the Scholar Athlete Award all four years carrying a 4.0 GPA all four years.

Haley Wright is the daughter of Jeff and Jennifer Wright, of Otsego. She plans to attend Andrews University to go into Nursing. Her friends and family inspired her to choose her career path, “also my desire to help people.” Haley received the Andrews University Nursing Scholarship. In high school, she participated in writing club, book club, get real and pathfinders.