Allison Brown and Meghan Hedrick are the respective valedictorian and salutatorian for the class of 2018, which graduates at 2 p.m. Sunday, starting with a Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church. Rounding out the top five are: Kaitlyn Tomshack, Joseph Wise and Olivia Powers.
Brown, the daughter of Christopher and Vicki, said her fondest St. Paul memories are “producing a full marching band show drill, which the band was excited to perform” and running in the regional cross-country meet as an individual.
“I will miss the fall weekends spent on the cross-country course and then rushing back to enjoy football games with the band on the field. The family I have created here at St. Paul’s cannot be replaced and I am so blessed to be part of a community that makes it so hard to leave,” she said.
Brown’s top awards, achievements and activities include: Academic Ace award (4.0 GPA or higher all four years); Leadership by Example award her freshman year, Appaloosa Youth Association (multiple-time world champion equestrian competitor), Youth National Board of Directors past president, cross country (captain, four-year varsity letter-winner), band (president, John Philip Sousa Award), Student Ambassador, National Honor Society, altar server, IT minister, choir member, Kairos senior retreat assistant rector and promotion team leader for the Mapletree Road Race.
Her advice to underclassmen is to “always go the extra mile,” ask questions and be a friend to everyone.
“You never know whose life you can brighten and who will be there to brighten yours,” she said.
Brown will major in mechanical engineering at the University of Dayton.
“I will also participate in the Pride of Dayton marching band. In 10 years, I pray will be working to optimize a mechanical process or design new products in a great company. Also, I would be blessed to be starting a family and possibly raise them in the Norwalk community,” she said.
Hedrick is the daughter of David and Lisa.
“One of my favorite memories is standing on the podium with my relay team at the state track meet. I will miss the close-knit community of St. Paul High School and playing high school sports,” she said.
In addition to being the St. Paul salutatorian, her top awards, achievements and activities include: All-Ohio volleyball, All-Ohio track, MVP in swimming, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership attendee, school record-holder in track and swimming (seven total) and her Red, Black and Green recycling senior project.
“Dream big, work hard and you can accomplish anything” is Hedrick’s advice to underclassmen.
“I will continue my academic and athletic career at Ball State University, where I will study exercise science and run track and cross country. In 10 years, I see myself pursuing my dream of inspiring others to be active and healthy,” she said.
Ranked No. 3 at St. Paul is Tomshack, the daughter of Mike and Pam.
“My fondest high school memory would have to be starting every day my senior year with my crazy AP (advanced placement) biology class. I will miss playing high school sports and the camaraderie with my teammates,” she said.
Tomshack’s top awards, achievements and activities include: Volleyball (two-year letter-winner, two first-team all-academic), basketball and softball (three-year letter-winner, first-team all-academic), Academic Ace award, honor roll, National Honor Society, Norwalk Elks student of the month in January and folk group.
Her advice to underclassmen includes not being afraid to dream.
“Through hard work and determination, those dreams can become a reality,” Tomshack said. “I am attending the University of Notre Dame to study electrical engineering. I plan to finish my B.S. in engineering and go onto post-graduate studies.”
Wise, the son of James and Olga, is ranked fourth at St. Paul. His fondest memory is playing in the marching band at football games, which he will miss the most.
“Always work hard, even when you do not think it matters” is Wise’s advice to underclassmen.
His top awards, achievements and activities include: Leadership by Example award; marching, concert, jazz, pep and pit bands, Academic Challenge (co-captain), mock trial and National Honor Society (treasurer).
Wise will major in engineering at the University of Dayton.
Rounding out the top five for the Flyers is Powers, the daughter of Mike and Monica.
“My fondest high school memory is standing on the podium at the state track meet at Jesse Owens Stadium. The things I will miss most about high school are the school’s fiesta sticks and getting to run track with a great group of people,” she said.
“My advice to underclassmen is to stay true to God and yourself. Never be afraid to stick up for what you believe in and cherish the friends and family (who) support you.”
Powers’ top awards, achievements and activities include: Four-year Ace award, two-time All-Ohio in track, school record-holder in the 100, 200 and 4x400 relays, National Honor Society secretary, Student Ambassador, Eucharistic minister, volunteer for children’s liturgy, tutor for elementary school students and Fisher-Titus Medical Center volunteer.
“Next year, I will be attending the University of Mount Union, where I will be majoring in early childhood education and intervention specialist and minoring in coaching. I will be running track and hope to go on a mission trip while in college,” she said. “In 10 years I see myself living in a big city and teaching at an elementary school.”