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Top 10 percent of seniors recognized

Dale Thompson, Of the Record staff

The top 10 percent of students at the top public high school in Utah were honored on Wednesday night.

At the fourth annual recognition banquet top seniors were recognized along with the teacher they named as most inspiring to them.

"We’re very proud of the achievements of the students," said Lynn Heinlein, Executive Director of the Park City Education Foundation.

During the ceremony Heinlein also thanked the teachers and parents.

Superintendent Dave Adamson addressed the audience and said students should feel quite accomplished. With over 27,000 high schools in the country Park City High School is rated in the top half of the top percent of those. He said to be in the top 10 percent at PCHS is no small accomplishment.

"With great accomplishments come great expectations," Adamson said, who continued to tell students they will be the leaders of the next generation.

He charged them with taking responsibility for causes his generation never resolved such as global warming, equal protection under the laws for everyone, the widening gap between the haves and have nots, and immigration.

"You leave with our confidence, you also carry our hopes for the future," he said.

Interim Principal Hilary Hays also congratulated students.

"I’m very proud to be here with all of you," she said.

Student’s names were read and they came on stage with their choice of an influential teacher. Both were given a framed picture taken of the two.

Halfway through the ceremony, class valedictorian Derek Painter read a children’s book he and a classmate wrote about global warming. Before he started Painter thanked the Superintendent for such a nice segue.

Teacher Maureen Amendola closed the evening, which was sponsored by Zions Bank. She listed the many things she enjoyed about the class of 2006.

"We love that your perspectives are global and that you value diversity," she said. "You make us feel wise, noble and intelligent."

And she said on the day when students find they are not necessarily in the top ten percent anymore, they should know there is a faculty at Park City High School that values them.

Excerpts from the recognition banquet brochure compiled by Bill Kahn, George Murphy, Hilary Hayes and designed and produced by Kelli Tompkins:

Jeff Bolling who has concentrated on social studies and the arts in high school is part of the National Honors Society, president and founder of the the Model UN, assistant Director of the Crescent Superband, named Craig Jacobs as his most influential teacher.

"He made me comfortable in expressing my views to groups who rarely agreed with me and arguing rationally about politics," Bolling wrote.

Bolling will be attending Georgetown University.

Nick Edwards has worked on various projects with the Interact Club and also volunteered for six months at the Rosenburg/Cooley/Metcalf Orthopedic Clinic. He is the founder and president of the Folk Music Club and plans to attend Dartmouth College.

He named Charlie Matthews as his most influential teacher.

"As a teacher, I always like to take credit for my students accomplishments. Easy to do for Nick Edwards. Straight-A student, outstanding musician, great sense of humor , and sincere confidence that few adults ever attain," Matthews wrote.

Lauren Johnson who concentrated on science and history has volunteered with highway clean- up projects, feeding the homeless and at a local television station. She participates in tennis, singing, paino, hiking, skiing and basketball. Johnson plans to attend BYU to pursue a career in international relations.

She seected Jim Fleming as her favorite teacher.

"He relates well to students, and I like his teaching style. He is a friend to everyone and he always provides discussions relevant to today’s world issues," she wrote.

Fleming had equally complimentary things to say about her.

" Lauren is here because of her intellect and hard work. However, knowing Lauren as I do, I’m reminded of the equally important qualities, often overlooked in the academic world, of kindness and goodness," Fleming wrote.

Emily Wheaton has concentrated in Music and Math, is a leader for Wyld Life and is a member of the Crescent Super Band, all state orchestra and all state jazz band. She plans to attend the University of Denver.

"Mr. Lewis taught me to appreciate and enjoy people for who they are and no matter what their standing may be, they deserve to be treated as a person," she said of Kyle Lewis, the drama teacher at Park City High School.

Lewis also said kind things about Wheaton.

"Emily has a strength that comes from a conviction in her personal beliefs that will serve her throughout her life. There is no need for her to strive for self-motivation. Emily is passionate about life and that passion carries over to everything and anything she is involved in," he said.


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