Hiland scholars enjoy banner night at annual banquet

Hiland scholars enjoy banner night at annual banquet

Image Credit: Dave Mast

Studying, focusing on academics and preparing for the future is never easy, but for a number of Hiland High School seniors, their studies paid off at a recent event.

On Saturday, May 21, Hiland High School had its 34th annual Honors & Scholarship Banquet at Carlisle Village Inn at Walnut Creek.

This event was created to celebrate and honor the scholastic accomplishments of the high school student body, but in specific, it is a way for the community to gather to honor the seniors and dole out nearly three-dozen community-created scholarships.

A total of 37 scholarships and 25 more from the Holmes County Education Foundation made it an evening to celebrate.

“Tonight was a reflection of how talented this class is,” said Erik Beun, East Holmes Schools superintendent. “They’ve had a unique last three years of their high school experience, and they have certainly dealt with that by going above and beyond and finding mature ways to get through it all. It has been a pleasure watching them prosper, in all phases of school.”

The scholarships are created by businesses, individuals and organizations that understand the value of higher education and want to provide for the students. Each scholarship was handed out to its recipient by a representative of each business or organization, and many of them spoke about the community’s investment in its future.

“I’d like to thank Hiland for the opportunity to attend this event,” said presenter Jim Marks of First Federal Bank, who presented Annie Troyer with its company’s scholarship. “It’s an honor to be here, and I congratulate all the students. That is impressive to see this amount of kids on this list. It blew me away.”

Jerry Shoup was emotional in presenting the final Mike Shoup Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship has been given in honor of Mike Shoup to a Hiland baseball player for many years. Shoup was a standout Hiland baseball player before passing away his junior year, and in his scholarship’s final presentation, Jerry Shoup said they were encouraged by family and friends to begin the scholarship.

“We’ve been able to do that for 25 years,” Jerry Shoup said. “Tonight, my son Michael is here to present the final scholarship.”

“I received this scholarship three years ago, and I’m grateful for it,” said Michael Shoup, who is attending Ohio State University. He then announced the final recipient would be not a baseball player, but rather a tennis player, that being his brother Garret Shoup.

Presenting the Brian Hummel and Hummel Group Scholarships was Derrick Hummel, who congratulated all the scholarship recipients, noting during his presentation that this group came through a lot to get to where they were.

“With the last four years, I’m sure it’s been different, and for the teachers as well,” Hummel said. He went on to say this scholarship was not something his father Brian ever mentioned, but it grew out of his passing in 2006.

“I think he would be pleased with the impact this has had,” Hummel said. “He would not like his name on it, though. That would bother him.”

He then said a tradition has evolved for this particular scholarship winner. Brian Hummel was well known for picking up the meal tabs for people at restaurants unknowingly, so Hummel said a $20 bill comes with this scholarship, and the recipient is expected to follow suit and pay someone’s restaurant bill out of gratitude and service.

That honor now belongs to the Brian Hummel Memorial Scholarship winner Mya Coblentz.

Presenter Jim Gertz summed up the giving nature of many of these scholarship providers. He presented the Loren and Mary Hostetler Memorial Scholarship and said of the Hostetlers, “They were lifelong residents of Holmes County, and Loren was a lifelong educator, and the two of them would be so glad to know that the committee selected their great-granddaughter Paige Gertz to receive this award.”

Dr. Dan Miller presented the Dutchman Hospitality Scholarship and said while many of these young people are heading off to college, the idea of having them grow, experience life on their own and return to serve in the county in which they grew up was enticing.

“We see a tremendous potential employee pool here this evening,” Miller said. “If you students ever tire of school, you might want to try some employment here.”

Shasta Mast, Holmes County Education Foundation executive director, doled out $91,125 worth of scholarships to 25 different Hiland seniors.

“It’s my honor to be able to present this many scholarships,” Mast said, noting over the past 33 years the HCEF has awarded more than $33 million to Holmes County students.

In wrapping up the evening, Hiland Principal Matt Johnson awarded the evening’s highest accolades, the Valedictorian Scholarship, which went to Madi Keim, and the Salutatorian Scholarship, which went to Kate Bodiker.

A total of 25 seniors out of a class of 75 students received their fourth-year honors award, which meant they maintained a GPA of 3.5 or higher their entire career.

The scholarship winner list included Gus Johnson, Tristina Tucker, Kylee Kaufman, Brooke Pringle, Jeff Todaro, Savannah Yoder, Tony Yoder, Jayde Mast, Elliott Yoder, Molly Schlabach, Kate Bodiker, Brenna Moan, Alex Weaver, Annie Troyer, Grant Miller, Wyatt Freeman, Garret Shoup, London Yoder, Wyatt Jones, Daisy Hamsher, Mya Coblentz, Kendra Schrock, Madi Keim, Tatiana Hochstetler, Emma Coblentz, Sophie Flinner, Tegan Harris, Paige Gertz, Anthony Miller and Carter Mishler.