School briefs


Waltz recognized as a National Merit Scholarship Program finalist

TROY – Troy Christian Schools’ class of 2020 senior Nathan Waltz was designated as a National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) program semifinalist in the fall of 2019. Out of the 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. Waltz was recently advanced to the finalist level. Merit scholar finalists are selected based on their skill, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Waltz’s resume of accomplishments and activities are too numerous to list. His future plans are to attend The Ohio State University in Columbus. He will major in mechanical engineering and was accepted into the University Honors Program. In 2018, he was awarded the Honda – Ohio State Partnership STEM award to recognize outstanding talent for students who excel in science, technology, math, and business at the high school level.

The Honda – Ohio State Partnership STEM Award recipients are automatically eligible to apply for the Honda scholarship, which allows students to pursue higher education at The Ohio State University’s College of Engineering. The scholarship program will also include potential internship and exposure opportunities within the global Honda companies, if students are interested.

Piqua student places 3rd in state competition

PIQUA — More than 600 students from across the state of Ohio participated in the Ohio Poetry Out Loud competition, and Piqua’s Zurie Pope took home third place. The competition, which is put on by the National Endowment for the Arts and state partner agencies, like the Ohio Arts Council, also works with regional partners to select the state finalists.

Zurie took home first place in the West Central regional competition with the highest cumulative score by our three judges in early February to advance to the state competition on March 6.

“This is such a fun competition and I couldn’t be happier with the way the West Central Region was represented by Zurie in Columbus,” said Piqua Arts Council Executive Director Jordan Knepper.

Zurie won the West Central Ohio regional final on Thursday, Feb. 6. That night, he competed in two rounds, with a different poem in each round.

“At the state competition, if they are one of the top six contestants, they will be asked to do their third poem and Zurie needed to be ready for that. He and his Language Arts teacher, Debbie Allen, have been working very hard to get ready for this competition,” said Knepper.

With the scores incredibly close after the first two rounds, the Ohio Arts Council made the decision for the first time in history to allow all nine competitors to compete in the final round. In the end, Austin Smith, of Bexley High School, took home first place, Monserrat Tlahuel-Flores, of St. Frances DeSales High School, came in second and Zurie finished third.

Pioneer Electric Cooperative awards 2020 scholarships

PIQUA — Ten area high school seniors have been selected to receive Pioneer Electric Cooperative’s 2020 scholarships.

The 10 scholars, all children of Pioneer members, were chosen through an application and interview process. Judges for the competition were not Pioneer affiliated.

Forty-five applicants from 19 schools throughout Pioneer’s service territory applied for the scholarships.

One judge summarized this year’s applicants by saying, “If these kids are any indication of what our future holds, we are in good hands.”

Winners include: $2,000 – Blake Holthaus, Fort Loramie; $1,500 – Elizabeth Michael, Anna; $1,000 – Caleb Baughman, Anna; and $500 — Joshua Johnson, Botkins; Nathan Johnson, Sidney; Sam Stickley, Graham; Cameron Tiefenthaler, Columbus School for Girls; Nathan Waltz, Troy Christian; Savannah Weaver, West Liberty-Salem; and Noah Wolf, Mechanicsburg.

“We are proud to support such a talented group of seniors through our annual scholarship competition,” said Nanci McMaken, Pioneer’s vice president and chief communications officer.

Hager given ‘Senior Spotlight’ by MVCTC

ENGLEWOOD — Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) senior Olivia Hager, cosmetology student from Tipp City, is employed with Broadway Hair Studio. Olivia is working half of her school day in the MVCTC Work-Based Learning Advanced Placement program. She successfully passed her Ohio State Cosmetology Board test and is now a licensed cosmetologist.

After graduation, Olivia plans to attend Sinclair Community College then transfer to Wright State University, majoring in business. She shared, “MVCTC has given me the opportunity to have a career before graduating high school.”

Olivia is the daughter of Shannon Holzfaster and Nick Hager.

FFA member places at state

MARYSVILLE — Emma Sutherly recently competed in the State FFA Public Speaking Contest held at Marysville High School. Emma is a sophomore and second year member of the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter.

Emma competed in the Beginning Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event and placed 4th overall in the state competition. She advanced to the state contest after placing first at the county and second at the district contests earlier in February.

Emma’s speech was entitled, “Could Chevon Save the World’s Food Supply?” Emma’s speech addressed the possibility of goat meat to fit the growing food security needs of the an increasing population. Her speech was 5-7 minutes in length and she answered questions related to her speech.