Taylor High School is graduating its very first class this year, and the seniors were honored (June 5) during the annual Farewell Assembly in the gymnasium.
The Taylor Schools Foundation for Educational Excellence handed out over $30,000 in college scholarships, and top DECA group members were also honored.
To close the ceremony, Principal Melissa Skopczynski and the Griffins' mascot took a selfie with the entire class.
Graduation took place at the Taylor Sportsplex on June 6.
The awards were as follows, first from the Foundation:
- Caroline Patts Award for Educational Achievement ($500): Samantha Bridge
- Charles Bonner Going Forward Award ($625): Zion Studivant
- Charles Dickelman University of Michigan Scholarship ($1,250 each): Katelin Hodges and Bhupender Kaur
- DFCU Education Achievement Award ($1,000): Dylan Maynard
- Educational Athletic Scholarship (($500 each): Austin Dukes and Kaily Nissen
- Rollie Hopgood Award for Continued Success (($1,000 each): Rachel Maudlin and Vheena Villareal
- John and Sharon Cruden Award ($2,000): Kaily Nissen
- John Pantalone Award for Future Teachers and Trade School Applicants: Andrew Basler ($5,000); Nicholas Balmus (total cost of one-year apprenticeship); Mikayla Black ($1500); Jose Lomeli ($500); and Hayley Toth ($2,500)
- Laura Trent Memorial Scholarship ($500): Patricia Floyd
- Mayor Rick Sollars Scholarship ($500 each): Trace Donahey and Samantha Rickard
- Robert Haarala School Service Award ($1,000): Horace Smith
- Taylor Churches Making a Difference Award ($750 each): Andrew Buendia and Amber Campbell
- Taylor Changing Lives Scholarship: LaAsia Lockhart ($250), Nicole Norris ($1,000), Marissa Ojeo ($500) and Eleazar Vega ($250)
- Taylor Public School Foundation Award ($500): Amber Beilfuss
- Taylor School District Alumni Association Award ($$500 each): Trace Donahey and Sara Stevenson
- Thomas Schuck Family Award ($1,000): Elizabeth Blevens
- Total Community Credit Union Scholarship: Dana Favot ($1,000)
- Van Kostegian Award for Educational Advancement ($1,000 each); Austin Dukes and Samantha Rickard
- Women’s Auxiliary of the Democratic Club of Taylor Scholarship ($500): Vheena Villarreal
- Anthony Joel Webb Memorial Scholarship ($500): Rachel Zorn
- Taylor Federation of Teachers and 26M employees union awarded $2,000 each to Haley Toth and Amber Beilfuss.
DECA, one of the most active organizations in Taylor High School, prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe.
The club awarded the following members:
- The Entrepreneurship Scholarship ($500) is for a student who is planning to open up their own business. This year’s recipient has gone above and beyond just wanting to open their own business. He spent all last summer in the entrepreneurship youth STEP UP program working with professionals to get his business started: DECA vice president Mohammad Monet (scholarship funded by Continental Express).
- Northwood University ($2,500) recognized a student for earning first place in the state for her buying and merchandising research project paper and presentation. In the history of Taylor DECA she is only the 11th person to make it to international competition: Oganayrukayway Odjugo.
- The Marketing Student of the Year scholarship ($200) went to a student who went above and beyond maintaining good behavior and good grades in class: Marissa Ogea.
- The Marketing Employee of the Year scholarship ($200) is given to a student who works constantly for our school store and DECA club: Karizma Melendez.
- The Leadership Scholarship ($200) went to a student who took on many leadership roles, not just in marketing but throughout the school as well: Vheena Villareal.
- The Manager of the Year ($200) went to a student who took on one of the hardest jobs at the school. Griffin’s Lounge manager: Madyson LaMothe.
The 2019 Valedictorians of Taylor High School are Katelin Hodges, Austin Dukes, Amber Beilfuss, Amber Campbell, Zion Studivant, Amanda Jackson, Lalah Burton, Gurliv Khehra, Dana Favot, Eleazar Vega, Bhupender Kaur, Drew von Hoffman, Hayley Toth, Sana Abedi, Kaily Nissen and Daniela Feraru. Rachel Zorn served as salutatorian.