Rotarians honor Geneva's top students

Geneva High School freshman Giuseppe Pilumeli was among the Top 100 Geneva High School students honored by Geneva Rotary Club at the 21st annual Breakfast of Champions. Here, Pilumeli receives a framed certificate of achievement from Geneva Rotary President Richard Phinney.

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — Community leaders gathered at the Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva-on-the-Lake on March 16 to celebrate the achievements of Geneva High School’s most accomplished students. 

Those who have earned grade point averages ranking them in the top 25 of their respective classes were feted at the 21st annual Breakfast of Champions hosted by Geneva Rotary Club.

The Breakfast of Champions was established in 1995 by Geneva Rotary Past President and Geneva Schools Board of Education member, Ford Behm, to recognize Geneva High School’s best and brightest.

“These students personify Eagle Pride,” said GHS Principal and Geneva Rotarian Douglas Wetherholt. “We have lots of smart students at GHS, and it is extremely competitive to make the top 25 in their class, but these students who were honored this morning are more than just academically excellent. 

“As I looked around the room, I saw national champion athletes, Star Beacon columnists, State Science Team members, yearbook editors, Philanthropy Club members, speech contest winners, class officers and leadership conference delegates,” Wetherholt said.

“These students are talented actors, writers, artists, vocal and instrumental musicians. They devote hours of their time to community service projects and many hold down part time jobs,” he said.

Following the Invocation offered by Pastor Bryan Manary, Breakfast of Champions founder Ford Behm provided opening remarks introducing keynote speaker David Mager who offered inspirational words of advice that he titled “Living Life on Purpose.” 

Mager spoke of the importance of finding a purpose in life, appreciating each day, the power of persistence and kindness to others. “People don’t care how much you know; they want to know how much you care,” he said.

At the conclusion of the program, Geneva Schools Superintendent Eric Kujala and Rotary President Richard Phinney presented each Breakfast of Champions honoree with a framed certificate of achievement.

“Being honored at the Breakfast of Champions is something that is special to me and that I will always remember,” said four time honoree Noel Armstrong. “Not many schools are lucky enough to have an event like this put on for the students, so knowing how much support we have behind us really is quite amazing.”

2016 Breakfast of Champions Honorees:

Class of 2019: Casady Bruinsma, Kaitlyn Carson, Jessica Catanese, Marissa Covetta, Ryan Downie, Rachel Drees, Nicholas Drees, Annika Dudik, Natalie Frank, Seth Goodrick, Vonda Harold, Hannah Hollingshead, Hannah Hudson, Gabriel Jones, Benjamin Lambert, Alexandru Lechintan, Isaac Palinkas, Anna Pascoe, Giuseppe Pilumeli, Jacob Robinson, Mallory Sharpe, Nicholas Stoltz, Jonathan Van Vechten, Autumn Wagner, Mikayla Watts, Paige Williams.

Class of 2018: Jamie Bradbury, Aidan Cardaman, Abigail Clark, Andrea Cordova, Abigail Cramer, Brandon Delia, Rena Fennell, Isabella George, Marley Goff, Raenelle Kathlia Irons, Rebecca Jackam, Elena Logan, Deidra Marrison, Chelsea McMullen, Travon Miller, Emily Morris, Alyssa Murphy, Shelby Pandy, Sahil Patel, Brock Reese, Jacob Roney, Kevin Root, Megan Smith, Danielle Studer, Nicole Wainio.

Class of 2017: Alyssa Bernard, Hunter Brashear, Derek Cowles, Christiana Crites, Kelsey Davis, Aubrey DiPofi, Asia Dudik, Holly Engel, Emily Forman, Vanessa Frank, Kallee Gersin, Gracie Krashoc, Dareion Marrison, Olivia Pascoe, Rahi Patel, Kyle Peck, Jennifer Pruden, Brittany Rogers, Brian Seeds, Kyle Semmelroth, Hank Sigel, Kaylee Thomas, Amy Varckette, Ryan Watts, Linsey Zell.

Class of 2016: Noel Armstrong, Alexandria Arnold, Brittany Aveni, Logan Barmess, Hannah Bendelewski, Courtney Coffman, Shayla Cross, Mitchell Felde, Jack Frye, Taylor Hall, Courtney Harriman, Paul Hitchcock, Laura Jackam, Brooke Jewell, Brittani Kurt, Amanda Landon, Kaylee Morris, Brenna Paananen, Erika Perko, Alyce Simoes, Zachary Stehura, Derek Studer, Hannah West, Thomas Weston, Isabelle Wilms.

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