Meet the Class of 2020 Top Scholars
By Kat Bryant
Courtesy of the Grays Harbor News Group
Aberdeen High School recognized 16 Top Scholars in this year’s graduating class.
To be honored as an AHS Top Scholar, a student must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8 or better at the end of the first trimester of their senior year — or, if they’re in the Running Start program, at the end of that fall quarter.
Top Scholars take advanced, academically rigorous courses and must earn at least four credits each of English and math; three credits each of lab science and social studies; and two credits of a single world language.
“They have all worked very hard to earn that honor,” says Principal Sherri Northington.
Here are this year’s Top Scholars, starting with three co-valedictorians (each with a 4.0 GPA):
Annika Eisele, Co-Valedictorian
Annika, 18, is the daughter of Chris and Anne Eisele of Cosmopolis. She was the 2019-2020 yearbook editor, a six-time World Class Scholar and a National Honor Society inductee. She’s also been a Rotary Business Week CEO.
The four-year Scholar Athlete was 2019 captain of the varsity swim and dive team. She won three individual state championships and was voted the team’s Most Inspirational twice. She also conducts swimming classes as a volunteer. She is entering Pacific Lutheran University to swim and to study for a Bachelor of Nursing in Science.
Eric Eng, Co-Valedictorian
Eric, 18, is the son of Mary and Abel Eng.
The four-year Scholar Athlete earned three varsity letters in tennis and was voted Most Inspirational on that team. He also was a member of the soccer team, marching band, jazz band, pep band and concert band. Eric, a National Honor Society inductee, was active with the Renaissance Action Team, FFA Forestry, SkillsUSA Robotics and SkillsUSA Entrepreneurship, where he placed 14th nationwide. He’s a member of Mathletes and Chess Club and has earned a black belt in Taekwondo. He also served as an Outdoor School volunteer for three years.
In addition to his AHS diploma, Eric is receiving an Associate of Arts degree this month from Grays Harbor College through the Running Start program. He plans to enter the University of Washington’s College of Engineering this fall to pursue an engineering degree.
Melissa May, Co-Valedictorian
Melissa, 18, is the daughter of Gregory May and Anne Marie Wong May.
The World Class Scholar holds four varsity letters each in swim and dive and track and field, and serves as drum major in the marching band. She’s also captain of the swim team and a winner of the Randy McDougall Outstanding Swimmer Award. She volunteers with Mini Marchers and offers tutoring. At her church, she was an Extraordinary Minister.
Melissa plans to major in mechanical engineering and mathematics at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, with an eye toward working in aerospace engineering at NASA.
Sara Allmaras, Salutatorian
Sara, 19, is the daughter of Charlene and Michael Allmaras.
She has participated in marching band and pep band for four years, playing tenor saxophone. She also competed on the bowling team for two years. She has maintained a GPA of 3.985 while holding a part-time job this academic year, and graduated as salutatorian.
Sara plans to attend St. Martin’s University and become a child welfare social worker.
Alexis is the daughter of Gary Sherman and Melanie Beer. She was graduating with a 3.959 GPA. No further information was available by press time.
Molly, 18, is the daughter of Kristin and Pete Scroggs. She was a Top Scholar who was serving as ASB class treasurer and a student representative on the Aberdeen School Board. She’s also the girls’ tennis team co-captain, with three varsity letters in that sport. The National Honor Society member also was a four-year scholar athlete and competes in Mathletes. In addition, she served as a Food Ball chairperson for two years and volunteers with Feed the Hungry.
Molly plans to attend the University of Washington to study business administration, with an eye toward a career in finance.
Katelynn Elaine Kindle
Katelynn is the daughter of Jason Kindle and Marcy Miles.
She has been on the tennis team for the past three years, and a Scholar Athlete for two of them.
She also participated for a year each on the Mathletes team and in the dance club. She has helped decorate businesses for Winterfest and volunteered at several St. Mary School events.
The Running Start student has been on the Grays Harbor College president’s list multiple times and was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. She plans to continue at GHC to complete a degree in nursing.
Maddie, 18, is the daughter of Keri Elliott of Montesano. She completed an internship through Grays Harbor Youth Works at the Montesano Timberland Library and has been volunteering at the Aberdeen Driftwood Players for the past three years.
As a Running Start student, she has been on the Grays Harbor College President’s List five times. She is transferring to the University of Washington this fall with plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Her goal is to become a forensic scientist for the Washington State Patrol.
Isabel, 18, is the daughter of Julie Rifenberg.
She was a varsity tennis player, sings in the advanced choir, and was active in ASB and Food Ball. She also has done volunteer work with the Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia and held jobs through the Ecology Youth Corps and Washington State Parks.
The Running Start student also was on the President’s List at Grays Harbor College. She plans to transfer to Western Washington University in the fall to study environmental sciences and music.
Grace, 18, is the daughter of Erin Swint and Will Carossino.
Her activities include marching band, jazz band, the Renaissance Action Team and the tennis team. She was a one-year Scholar Athlete and a three-year Scholar Musician, as well as a field marshal for the marching band. She also has volunteered at Outdoor School.
The Running Start student also is receiving her Associate of Arts this month from Grays Harbor College. She will transfer to the University of Portland next year and would like to become a child psychologist.
Daisha, 18, is the daughter of Dustin and Shalina Stevens. She is a World Class Scholar, a Scholar Athlete and an All American cheerleader.
Daisha was active with ASB and the AVID college preparation program. She has done volunteer work with PAWS of Grays Harbor and the Food Ball competition. She has been inducted into both the National Honor Society and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
The Running Start student will finish her Associate of Arts degree this summer at Grays Harbor College, then transfer to Washington State University to pursue a medical degree. She intends one day to open her own pediatric practice.
Allison, 17, is the daughter of Shannon and Dan Patterson of Hoquiam. She was drum major of both the marching band and pep band, and the lead soprano in choir. She has earned Scholar Musician and Scholar Athlete awards and a varsity letter in golf, and served as a behavioral specialist at Outdoor School.
Allison has played the lead role in an AHS musical and was a Grays Harbor Concerto Competition winner. She plans to study music education at Whitworth University.
Joshua, 18, is the son of Paul and Melissa Fritts.
He was a yearbook editor and chapter vice president of the National Honor Society, as well as a Rotary Business Week CEO and winner. He also has volunteered as a referee for grade-school basketball games and as a Food Ball chairman for a year.
Joshua was a seven-time Scholar Athlete and has earned six varsity letters combined in football, track and field, and the cheer stunt team. He served for two years as captain of the football team and was twice named Lineman of the Year. In track he earned a Coach’s Award, served as captain for a year and made it to sub-district competition.
Joshua plans to attend Eastern Washington University to become a teacher and football coach.
Gavin, 18, is the son of Eric and Stacey Timmons of Elma.
He has earned multiple varsity letters and Scholar Athlete awards for golf. He also has been involved in baseball, Aberdeen High Arts and the Smash Bros. Club, and has logged many volunteer hours during his high school career canvassing for Food Ball.
He intends to attend Grays Harbor College for two years, then transfer to a university to attain a bachelor’s degree. He would like to become a computer engineer, computer science teacher or high-school math teacher.
Lucas, 18, is the son of Doug Strom, Angela Disher and stepdad Bob Disher.
He was a field marshal in the marching band and active with the jazz band and wind ensemble. He holds a varsity letter in tennis and was an Outdoor School volunteer. He intends to finish his Associate of Arts degree at Grays Harbor College, then transfer to a four-year school in Washington to study music composition.
Nick, 18, is the son of Ryan and Erin Farrer.
He was a National Honor Society inductee, seven-time Scholar Athlete and three-time Top Scholar Athlete. He was captain of the varsity basketball and golf teams and has been on the lacrosse and track and field teams all four years. Overall, he earned nine varsity letters.
Nick served for four years as ASB vice president, a Food Ball chairman and a church youth group leader. He’s also an Eagle Scout and Outdoor School counselor, and he volunteers as a youth sports referee and assistant coach of the junior-high basketball team.
He plans to leave soon for a two-year service mission to Urdaneta, Philippines, then attend Brigham Young University when he returns. He hopes to go on to medical school to become a radiologist.