Class of 2023 Receives Honors and Awards

High School Principal Tony Petersen welcomed all the families and guests attending. “We are here this evening to recognize the outstanding achievements of an exceptional group of young men and women,” said Petersen. 

More than 50 scholarships, from corporations, memorial funds and other sources, were announced with many coming from the Thornapple Area Enrichment Foundation. 

The following scholarships and awards were awarded:

University of Michigan Award: Andy Liu and Natalie Alden

This award is given to one male and one female from the upper one-third (scholastically) of the senior class. The criteria considered when selecting these students are:

  •   Honesty
  •   Willingness
  •   Industry
  •   Courtesy
  •   Contribution to School
  •   Sportsmanship
  •   Initiative

The Barry County University of Michigan Alumni Club each year presents these students with a dictionary.

Henry J. Dugan Principal’s Award  - Tag Fortuna

This award is intended to bring public recognition to a senior student who has earned the respect of his or her school and the community.  The recipient is not always an active participant in every school function but someone who demonstrates that they can contribute without hurting others and that they can succeed by helping others to succeed. The following was considered when nominating this student:  school citizenship, academic excellence, peer respect, community service, involvement in co-curricular activities, and who quietly contributes to make his or her school a better place and who otherwise might not be publicly recognized for their effort.


Ray Page Service Award - Mia Dickman

This award is intended to bring recognition to a senior student who has contributed extra time and effort to help out when and where needed. The recipient isn’t necessarily a straight A or B student, but someone who always seems to be there when needed. We have many of these students who spend a lot of time helping out and we felt that a special “Service Award” should be given to the individual selected.


Scholastic Excellence Award - Luke Kaiser and Thea Zellmer

This award is intended to bring recognition to a senior student who demonstrates the qualities of an exemplary citizen, role model to younger students, traits of courage, poise, self confidence, and leadership.


Class of 1957 Scholarship- Alejandro Rodas

Adam Dipp Scholarship  - Andy Liu

Lorraine Dahlgren Memorial - Andy Liu

Barry County Humane Society - Anna Davis

Logan Michael Kimbrue Memorial Scholarship - Carsen Burbridge

Lois Ann Nagel Seppanen Scholarship - Carsen Burbridge

Alecia Lorraine Holst Memorial - Catherine Densham

Tad Thatcher Scholarship - Catherine Densham

Brian Appel Scholarship - Dylan LeClaire

Jody Helrigel Pratt Education Scholarship - Ella Palazzolo

McCullough Family Scholarship - Ella Palazzolo

Millicent Grace Knox Scholarship - Ella Palazzolo

Terri Yoder Scholarship- Ella Palazzolo

Julie Bender Women’s Athletic Scholarship - Emelia MacDonald

Coleman Agency Scholarship- Henry Leon

GFWC - Gun Lake Women’s Club Skilled Trade - Henry Leon

Emil Tyden Founders - Hope Vander Heide

Rodney and Rena Schad Memorial - Hope Vander Heide

Samuel McKeown Memorial Scholarship (Business) - Hope Vander Heide

Samuel McKeown Memorial (Business) - Natalie Alden

Samuel McKeown Memorial Scholarship (Medical) - Payton Stahl

Samuel McKeown Memorial (Medical) - Catherine Densham

Ray Page Scholar-Athletic Memorial Scholarship - Jakob Rodriguez

Clay Hills Farm Scholarship - Lane Cross 

GFWC - Gun Lake Women’s Club Scholarship - Mia Dickman

Southside Pediatrics Scholarship - Mia Dickman

Adele and Arnold Parker Scholarship - Mia Dickman

Dr. Wayne and Marie Finkbeiner Scholarship- Mia Dickman

Thomas Hamilton Memorial Scholarship - Mia Dickman

Robert Eveans Memorial Scholarship - Molly Shepard 

Thornapple Kellogg Alumni Association Scholarship - Molly Shepard 

Beth Helrigel Wester Memorial - Natalie Alden

Gerald and Ceta Williams Scholarship - Natalie Alden

Ethel Denton Groos Scholarship - Parker Stewart

Lynn Helrigel Summers Scholarship - Parker Stewart

Village Players of Middleville Scholarship - Parker Stewart

Jon and Kay Simpson Scholarship - Payton Stahl

RKW Working Students Scholarship - Payton Stahl

Gerald and Lois Page Scholarship - Stephany Lopez Tapia

Don and Catherine Williamson Scholarship - Tag Fortuna

Lydia Cole Memorial Scholarship - Thea Zellmer

West Michigan Viking Group Scholarship - Thea Zellmer

Katherine and Edward Wieringa Scholarship - Thea Zellmer

Middleville Women’s Club Scholarship - Thea Zellmer

Millicent Grace Knox Scholarship - Myah Andrus

Josh Hoffman Scholarship (Caledonia American Legion) - Molly Shepard

First Presbyterian Church of Hastings Scholarship - Zoey Ziny

Rotary Scholarships - Grace Zube, Zack Gibson, Andy Liu, Stephany Lopez Tapia, Mia Dickman

Woody Wyngarden Scholarship - Emelia MacDonald

TKEA Scholarships - Liberty Hess, Emelia MacDonald, Emma Thompson 

Michigan Blood Awards -  Aislinn VanDommelen, Lainey Guikema, Molly Shepard, Natalie Alden, Tessa Wenger, Cate Densham

Athletic Awards  

OK Conference Scholar Athlete

Logan Archambault, Carsen Burbridge, Tyler Bushman, Austin Chivis, Lane Cross, Benjamin Cuison, Jackson Curtis, Anna Davis, Zackary Gibson, Audrey Guikema, Lainey Guikema, Preslee Hall, Maggie Harmens, Corey Holt, Luke Kaiser, Gabriel LaJoye, Evin Lamance, Dylan LeClaire, Emmie MacDonald, Andrew Middleton, Calvin Myers, Madison Nagel, Connor Newland, Elaina O’Riley, Ella Palazzolo, Austin Pitsch, Rein Pranger, Peyton Pratt, Rachel Shoemaker, Payton Stahl, Greysen Stahle, Ellie Vandefifer, Lucy VanDemark, Lindsey Velting, Thea Zellmer, Kyron Zoet, Grace Zube

 Senior Athlete Award

Wyatt Barnes, Lydia Berg, Carsen Burbridge, Tyler Bushman, Austin Chivis, Hunter Cisler, Alana Compton, Jackson Curtis, Zackary Gibson, Preslee Hall, Presley Hall, Corey Holt, Wyatt Jacobson, Ethan Kriekaard, Gabriel LaJoye, Madison Nagel, Elaina O’Riley, Brendan Peters, Peyton Pratt, Noah Rosenberg, Kenneth Simon, Emma Thompson, Lucy VanDemark, Lindsey Velting, Kyron Zoet

Tri-Sport Athletes

Tyler Bushman, Austin Chivis, Corey Holt, Manon Mercier Perucchetti, Elaina O’Riley, Brendan Peters, Peyton Pratt, Olivia Renner, Monica Serrano Aguilar, Emma Thompson, AJ Wessoleck, 

TK Athletic Booster Scholarship - Carsen Burbridge, Emmie MacDonald, Elaina O’Riley, Lucy VanDemark 

Senior Athletes of the Year - Tyler Bushman and Payton Pratt


Western Michigan University Bronco Merit Award & School of Music Jazz Studies Scholarship - Haden Bovee

KCTC Agriculture Science Program Certified Green Industry Professional Certificate - Jasmin Cruz

Grand Rapids Community College Scholarship - Benjamin Cuison

Colorado Mesa University Distinguished Scholar Scholarship - Tag Fortuna

University of Kentucky Bluegrass Academic Scholarship - Maggie Harmens

Odyssey of the Mind and Natural Talent Scholarship - Liberty Hess

Davenport University Excellence Scholarship - Amber Niemi

Aquinas College of Merit and Golf Scholarships and St. Albertus Magnus Scholar Scholarship - Austin Pitsch

Kuyper College Faculty Scholarship - Jakob Rodriguez

KCTC Diagnostics Program - 2nd Place HOSA Regional Competition Health Career Photography - Noelle Smith

Kalamazoo College Lux Esto Scholarship - Lucy VanDemark

Michigan Tech University Presidential Platinum Scholarship and Excellence Award - Hope Vander Heide

Western Michigan University Bronco Merit Award and Alumni Association Legacy Scholarships - Tessa Wenger

University of Michigan HAIL Scholarship - Grace Zube 

TKHS Senior Department Awards


Art Department Award: Tahlia Choiniere, Emma Thompson, Anna Davis

Business/Computer Science Department Award:

Natalie Alden and Cameron Phillips


English Department Awards: 

Drama Award: Natalie Alden, Kaitlyn Baldry, Ethan Biltawi, Haden Bovee, Catherine Densham, Parker Stewart, Aislinn VanDommelen, Tessa Wenger.

English Award: Natalie Alden, Kaitlyn Baldry, Luke Kaiser, Emelia MacDonald, Lucy VanDemark.

Foreign Language Department Awards: Thea Zellmer, Keely Lambert, Madison Nagel, Zoey Ziny, Lucy Van Demark

Math Department Award: Luke Kaiser and Andy Liu


Science Department Award:  Adam Johnson, Luke Kaiser, Matthew Lozada, Emelia MacDonald, Payton Stahl, Dakota Troseth, Hope Vander Heide, Thea Zellmer.

Social Studies Department Award: Matthew Lozada


Technology Education Department Award: Austin Pitsch and Hope Vander Heide

Digital Media Department Award: Jace Averill, Adrian Bickford, Micah Bowerman, Connor Clay, Mark Douglas, Evin Lamance, Ziah Moore, Gavin Snelling, Parker Stewart.

Student Council Awards:  Mia Dickman, Tessa Wenger, Thea Zellmer, Zoey Ziny.

National Honors Society Awards: Natalie Alden, Kaitlyn Baldry, Olivia Beckering, Haden Bovee, Dillyn Bowers, Carsen Burbridge, Katie Burkhead, Austin Chivis, Tahlia Choiniere, Carly Cook, Jackson Curtis, Anna Davis, Catherine Densham, Mia Dickman, Nicol Figuereo Reyes, Lainey Guikema, Preslee Hall, Maggie Harmens, Ethan Hey, Luke Hinton, Luke Kaiser, Samantha Kruisenga, Keely Lambert, Dylan LeClaire, Andy Liu, Matthew Lozada, Emelia MacDonald, Andrew Middleton, Madison Nagel, Connor Newland, Amber Niemi, Anna Niemi, Elaina O'Riley, Ella Palazzolo, Rein Pranger, Peyton Pratt, Journie Scheltema, Molly Shepard, Josie Smith, Ian Sonza, Payton Stahl, Graysen Stahle, Parker Stewart, Emma Thompson, Ellie Vandefifer, Lucy VanDemark, Hope Vander Heide, Aislinn VanDommelen, Lindsey Velting, Tessa Wenger, Thea Zellmer, Zoey Ziny, and Grace Zube.

Foreign Exchange Student Recognition

Karl Dittmann - Germany

Emilia Egeman - Poland

Carmen Gonzalez Martin - Spain

Zuzana Kosova - Czech Republic

Manon Mercier-Perucchetti - France

Clemence Murzyn - France

Mariko Otomo - Japan

Olivia Renner - Germany

Monica Serrano Aguilar - Spain

Pietra Soares de Oliveira de Andrade - Brazil

Taku Sugiyama - Japan

Antje Wessoleck - Germany

Honor Students 

Seniors who have a G.P.A. of 3.98 and above are designated as Highest Honor Seniors and have   received a gold cord, seniors with a G.P.A. of 3.7 to 3.97 have received a silver cord (High Honors), and seniors with a G.P.A. of 3.5 to 3.69 have received a bronze cord (Honor).  Students are listed in alphabetical order


Highest Honors Seniors-G.P.A. of 3.98 and Higher

Natalie Alden, Kaitlyn Baldry, Haden Bovee, Benjamin Cuison, Jackson Curtis, Anna Davis, Catherine Densham, Mia Dickman, Tag Fortuna, Audrey Guikema, Lainey Guikema, Ethan Hey, Luke Kaiser, Zuzana Kosova, Keely Lambert, Andy Liu, Matthew Lozada, Emelia MacDonald, Manon Mercier-Perucchetti, Andrew Middleton, Clemence Murzyn, Madison Nagel, Connor Newland, Mariko Otomo, Rein Pranger, Anastasia Saba, Monica Serrano Aguilar, Pietra Soares de Oliverira, Payton Stahl, Graysen Stahle, Emma Thompson, Dakota Troseth, Lucy Van Demark, Hope Vander Heide, Aislinn Van Dommelen, Tessa Wenger, Thea Zellmer, Grace Zube

High Honors Seniors-G.P.A. of 3.7 to 3.97

Dillyn Bowers, Carsen Burbridge, Katie Burkhead, Tyler Bushman, Austin Chivis, Tahlia Choiniere, Carly Cook, Lane Cross, Emilia Egeman, Zackary Gibson, Maggie Harmens, Morgan Hoffman, Corey Holt, Adam Johnson, Dylan LeClaire, Calvin Myers, Amber Niemi, Anna Niemi, Elaina O’Riley, Ella Palazzolo, David Quist, Olivia Renner, Journie Scheltema, Molly Shepard, Josie Smith, Parker Stewart, Ellie Vandefifer, Emily Veenstra, Lindsey Velting, Antje Wessoleck, Kyron Zoet

Honor Seniors-G.P.A of 3.5 to 3.69

Logan Archambault, Olivia Beckering, Ethan Biltawi, Nicol Figuereo Reyes, Carmen Gonzlez Martin, Ava Grummet, Preslee Hall, Luke Hinton, Samantha Kruisenga, Gabriel LaJoye, Evin Lamance, Austin Pitsch, Peyton Pratt, Rachel Shoemaker, Gavin Snelling, Zoey Ziny

2023 Top Ten (alphabetical)

Each year Thornapple Kellogg Schools recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of our top ten students. In recognition of their efforts, they will each receive a sash and a “top ten” plaque. Students are listed in alphabetical order. The top ten of the class of 2023 is:

Catherine Densham

Lainey Guikema

Luke Kaiser

Andy Liu

Emelia MacDonald

Payton Stahl

Graysen Stahle

Dakota Troseth

Hope Vander Heide

Tessa Wenger

Thea Zellmer

*Eleven total - Two-way tie for 10th spot