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LPHS Top 10 and Special Scholarship Recipients

La Salle-Peru Township High School is pleased to announce its top 10 academic students after eight semesters from the class of 2019. They are listed below.

LPHS Top 10 Academic Students of 2019.

Valedictorian Georgia Kapetaneas is the daughter of Leonidas and Christina Kapetaneas of Oglesby. She is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Kapetaneas received LaSalle Bar Association, AFT Local Jacqueline B. Vaughn, Elizabeth Boyle, and Richard Henneberry scholarships. At LP, she has been involved in basketball, golf, bowling, Math Team, Key Club, Student Board, Link Crew, Foreign Language Club, and WYSE Team. She finished first place in math at the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) Sectional Competition. She has received Northern Illinois Academic All-Conference Honors in golf, bowling, and basketball. Kapetaneas also placed first in the IVHS Summer Golf League, and received the John Ourth Starved Rock Region Recognition Award and the LP Student Excellence and Physics Science Award. She was also a member of the NewsTribune All-Academic Team. As a senior, Kapetaneas attended LaSalle Rotary Club meetings. Outside of school, Kapetaneas volunteers here time with St. George Orthodox Church of Spring Valley and other local charities. Kapetaneas plans to major in biology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Salutatorian Hannah Lynch is the daughter of Christine and David Lynch of Peru. She is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. She received the Ficek-Carboni Heritage Scholarship. At LP, she participated in WYSE Team, Foreign Language Club, Student Board Teens on Positivity and Prevention, and LEAD. She finished second place in computer science in the WYSE Competition and was selected for the All-Academic teams in soccer and tennis. She also was named an AP Scholar, places first in the literary festival, was an Oglesby Elks and LPHS student of the month, and was a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership recipient. As a senior, Lynch attended Peru Rotary Club meetings. She volunteered with Cops 4 Cancer and the city of Peru. Lynch plans to major in aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Yogini Patel, daughter of Renuka and Narendra Patel of Peru, is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. She received Jostens Renaissance, Senior Class President and QuestBridge scholarships. She competed in tennis and soccer. Patel also participated in student board, serving as Senior Board President, as well as Renaissance, Foreign Language Club, Math Team, Link Crew, Key Club, and FBLA. As a senior, she attended Peru Rotary Club meetings. She volunteered her time at Illinois Valley Community Hospital. Patel plans to major in business and psychology at Emory University.

Jalen Depenbrock, son of Jason and Angelique Depenbrock of LaSalle, is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. He received an Aurora University Board of Trustees, Booster Club and LP Foundation Scholarships. He competed in soccer, track, and tennis. He was named an All-Conference Academic athlete in soccer and track and was a varsity MVP and team captain in soccer. He was part of a state-qualifying relay team in track. He participated in Science Club, FBLA, Student Board, Link Crew, WYSE Team, and Chess Club, and was a student athletic trainer. He was a state qualifier in the Illinois State Personal Finance Challenge and also finished first place in biology in the WYSE Regional Competition and third in the sectional. As a senior, he attended LaSalle Rotary Club meetings. He volunteered with local youth soccer organizations. Depenbrock plans to major in exercise science/athletic training at Aurora University.

Rachel Whaley, daughter of Philip and Frances Whaley of Peru, is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. She received the Evelyn E. Biederstedt Memorial Scholarship as well as Truman State University Presidential and Merit scholarships. Whaley competed in softball, being named to that All-Academic team. She also received the Bertusi Award, was named an AP Scholar, and was selected for the NewsTribune All-Academic Honorable Mention team. Whaley participated in Renaissance, Foreign Language Club, WYSE Team and Math Team. She played flute in the LP Band, performing in the ILMEA All-State concert. As a senior, she attended LaSalle Rotary Club meetings. Whaley volunteered her time at the Illinois Valley PADS Shelter, Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble, and local churches. Whaley plans to major in psychology and exercise science at Truman State University.

Skylar Arwood, daughter of Keith and Darsi Arwood of Utica, is an Illinois State Scholar. She received the Knights of Columbus Calvert Council 792 Scholarship and the Illinois State Scholar Start to Finish Scholarship. She is an LP Renaissance 7-semester Gold Card recipient and blood drive red cord recipient. She participated in Math Team, Key Club, and WYSE Team, finishing third place in chemistry in the WYSE Competition. Arwood received honorable mention in the 2017 NIB 12 Literary Festival for personal narrative. As a senior, she attended Illinois Valley Sunrise Rotary Club meetings. Arwood volunteered her time as an election judge, during blood drives, and at Canal Connection. Arwood plans to major in biology at Illinois Valley Community College.

Alexandra Wren, daughter of Christopher and Angela Wren of LaSalle, is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. She received the Future Advocate Scholarship. Wren also was named an AP Scholar. She participated in Foreign Language Club, FBLA, Link Crew, Special Olympics Polar Plunge, Renaissance, and Science Club and competed in volleyball for three years. As a senior, she attended LaSalle Rotary Club meetings and was chosen to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. She volunteered her time with Habitat for Humanity. Wren plans to major in criminology law and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College.

Jacob Pocivasek, son of Erin and Tom Pocivasek of Utica, is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. He received the Truman State University President’s Honorary and Live, Learn, Lead scholarships. He competed in swimming and cross country, qualifying for the state tournament in swim his senior year. He was named an All-Academic and All-Conference athlete. Pocivasek participated in FBLA. As a senior, he attended Illinois Valley Sunrise Rotary Club meetings. He volunteered his time with at Grace United Methodist Church. Pocivasek plans to major in political science at Truman State University.

Jake Zeman, son of Jim and Jean Zeman of Peru, is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. He received PQ Corporation and Tirza B. Ennor Mathematics scholarships as well as the LP Rabe Award for mathematics. He participated in student board and Link Crew. Zeman competed in golf and baseball, earning All-Academic honors each year and qualifying for the golf sectional tournament. As a senior, he attended Peru Rotary Club meetings. Zeman plans to major in electrical engineering at Illinois Valley Community College.

Nena Perry, daughter of Debi Perry of Peru and Jeff Perry of LaSalle, is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. She received the R. Earl Trobaugh Presidential Scholarship. Perry competed in soccer, tennis, and cheerleading. She was named All-Academic for tennis and received the Tom Pitchford Sportsmanship Award. She participated in student council, student board, Renaissance, Link Crew, FBLA, and Key Club. As a senior, she attended Peru Rotary Club meetings. Perry plans to major in business marketing at Illinois Valley Community College.

Rylee Reed, daughter of Dana Reed of Peru and Paul Reed of LaSalle, is a member of the LP Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. She received the LaSalle Lincoln Junior High School Miguinis Scholarship. She competed in tennis and bowling, earning All-Academic honors in tennis for two years. She participated in student board, Key Club, LEAD, Math Team, Link Crew, Foreign Language Club, Science Club, and Book Club. As a senior, she attended LaSalle Rotary Club meetings. She volunteered her time with the Crossbridge Community Church food pantry. Reed plans to major in marketing at the Ohio State University.

Additionally, LPHS is happy to announce the recipients of two prestigious student scholarships.

Tammy Humpage of Hometown National Bank presented the top eight graduating seniors of LaSalle-Peru Township High School’s Class of 2019 with Wagenknecht Scholarships.

LPHS Wagenknecht Scholars of 2019.

The Wagenknecht Scholarship was established in 1972 by the 1964 last will and testament of Frank C. Wagenknecht. The will established a trust to ensure “the income therefrom shall set up a scholarship for the student or students graduating each year from LaSalle-Peru Township High School…and attaining the highest scholastic grades in his or her class.” The scholarship award is used by the students to pay tuition and other expenses to the extent of $2,500 annually while attending a four-year course at a college or university of the student’s choice.

The first Wagenknecht Scholarships were given out in 1976. Since that time 224 scholarships, totaling more than $2.24 million, have been granted to LPHS graduates, not counting those given out this year.

This year’s LPHS recipients are Yogini Patel, Skyler Arwood, Salutatorian Hannah Lynch, Alexandra Wren, Rachel Whaley, Valedictorian Georgia Kapetaneas, Jalen Depenbrock, and Jacob Pocivasek.

Peter Corgiat of Hometown National Bank presented the Edward and Hilda Snow Scholarship to Rylee Reed and Ashley Bratkovich, both graduating seniors from LaSalle-Peru Township High School.

LPHS Snow Scholars of 2019.

The new scholarship, valued at approximately $4,500 this year, was established by Mrs. Anita (Goodman) Copeland in memory of her beloved grandparents. Mrs. Copeland, who greatly valued education, was a 1944 graduate of LaSalle-Peru Township High School. Upon graduation from LPHS, Mrs. Copeland attended LaSalle-Peru-Oglesby Junior College (now IVCC). In 1949, she married Richard Copeland and the couple moved to Chicago where she resided until 2002 at which time she returned to live in Peru. Mrs. Copeland lived at Liberty Village until her death on April 29, 2018. The scholarship is awarded to two LPHS students based on plans to pursue higher education, ranking in the top 20 of the graduating class, having been accepted to a two- or four-year college full-time, demonstrating participation in school-community activities, having no major disciplinary offenses, and submitting an application and essay.