Illinois State Scholars Announced

Geneseo High School Principal Mike Haugse is pleased to announce that 23 Geneseo High School students from the graduating class of 2015 have been recognized as ILLINOIS STATE SCHOLARS.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the state agency committed to helping to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois families, bestows this prestigious recognition to top Illinois high school students annually. This year, over 18,800 elite honorees join the other top state students honored for their academic achievements since the designation was first introduced in 1958.

Illinois State Scholars represent approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, hailing from 671 different high schools across the state. Selection is based on SAT, ACT or Prairie State Achievement Exam scores, and/or class rank at the end of the junior year. High school guidance counselors work with ISAC to determine the winners.

Superintendent Scott Kuffel emphasized that raising expectations for academic achievement is a core value of the district’s overall philosophy. “The State Scholar program is one capstone that demonstrates the many ways we seek to achieve quality in our academic program. This is an outstanding achievement for students, parents, staff and the community values of Geneseo.”

“Being recognized as an Illinois State Scholar is a tremendous personal accomplishment for each student,” said Principal Mike Haugse. “I know that I speak for all the staff of Geneseo High School in extending a heartfelt congratulations to all the selected students. I am personally proud of not only the students, but the teachers, counselors, support staff and others who have helped mold and guide these talented young ladies and gentlemen throughout their high school career,” continued Mr. Haugse. “Not only are these young men and women great students, they are better people.”

The following Geneseo High School students were named 2015-16 Illinois State Scholars: Lane Akre, Jonathan Barry, David Chenoweth, Alexander Christensen, Jean  Clark, Jonathan Dahl, Jessica Daly, Jacob Decker, Eric Dellett, Joshua DeSmith, Alexander Dichiser, Kendra Fobert, Kyle Gilmore, Asher Johnson, Eric Johnston, Hannah Pace, Mallory Park, Brice Piotrowski, Brock Piotrowski, Tanner Rusk, Gage Sears, Danielle Townsend and Jacob VanOpdorp.

“It is with great pride that we announce this year’s group of Illinois State Scholars,” said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC Executive Director. “In addition to congratulating our State Scholars for their commitment and hard work, we also want to commend their parents, teachers, coaches and mentors for helping these students achieve their goals. It really does take a village.” Zarnikow continued, “ISAC wishes all of the scholars at Geneseo High School the best as they pursue their future education and careers.”

While this distinguished recognition does not include a monetary prize, recipients are encouraged to cite the honor on applications for college admission and scholarships. In addition, students are urged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1st. The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal and state aid, including Illinois’ need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant, as well as for many forms of aid offered through colleges.

A calendar of free financial aid and college access events, including FAFSA completion workshops to assist students and families with the form, is available on ISAC’s website, Students can visit the agency’s website for a wealth of additional financial aid and college planning information and tools, as well as applications for grants and scholarships administered by ISAC. In addition, students can find out how to access free one-on-one assistance and mentoring in the college-going process.
These students will be honored at a ceremony on January 7, 2015 in the JD Darnall library beginning at 7:00 a.m.