With the new 2017-18 school year at O’Fallon Township High School underway two senior hopefuls Elizabeth “Liz” Boehning and Grant Appel, both said they’re dually excited for the honor of being the school’s September Students of the Month.
Both are varsity athletes, leaders in school-related activities and have earned high GPAs at OTHS.
OTHS seniors are nominated by faculty and staff, and then voted on and selected by the Student of the Month Committee each month from September through May. The honor is to highlight academic excellence and integrity exhibited by students with active involvement in various academic, civic and athletic groups, while maintaining high grades and honors.
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“I’m really involved in a lot of clubs and activities at the school — I play varsity golf; I’m a lead delegate for Model United Nations; (and) I am chief electrical officer for the Robotics Team here,” Liz said.
“I think my activities and also my community service through Girl Scouts really led me to this achievement,” Liz said, as well as membership in National Honors Society and Spanish Honor Society.
Receiving the Girl Scouts of America Gold Award is the highest Girl Scout honor, which Liz secured last year after her service project of spearheading LaVerna Evans Elementary playground blacktop re-sealing and painting with 28 different games/activities.
Liz said community service and volunteering are important to her. Her volunteer service includes preparing meals for the homeless with the O’Fallon Community Food Pantry and playing piano at the Shrine in Belleville and other assisted living facilities in the metro-east to lift the spirits of residents.
Liz has been nominated for U.S. Senate Youth among other awards and honors.
Liz also enjoys traveling. “I like to travel a lot. I’ve been to all 50 states and 18 countries.”
Liz already has her sights set on a family tradition — attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“After high school I plan on going to the University of Illinois to study electrical engineering. My whole family went there, and my sister actually just graduated last year. So, I’m looking forward to going to college and to explore things at the University of Illinois,” Liz said.
Grant feels his tenacity in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps as well as his involvement in varsity soccer, Saturday Scholars, Future Business Leaders of America and National Honor Society helped him earn the honor.
“I’m really honored because school has always been a priority in my life, especially now, since I’m hoping to someday have an appointment to the United States Air Force or Naval Academy,” Grant said.
Grant is also very involved in Ultimate Frisbee as well as a varsity soccer at OTHS.
But soccer doesn’t end when the season does for Grant, who plays Club Soccer during the off-season.
“I played for St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club and Metro East Legacy Soccer Club,” he said.
In previous years, he’s participated in Spanish Club and Math Team.
The Greater Belleville Area Youth Leadership Council awarded Grant with the 2017 Youth Salute Award. He was also a recipient of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Award, a national award given to a AFJROTC cadet with a high degree of patriotism, academic excellence and leadership quality. Among other awards and honors, Grant was recognized by OTHS with a Scholar Athlete Award.
When he’s not hitting the books or fields, or leading his JROTC drill team, Grant spends his time volunteering, fishing and golfing.
Grant hopes to take what he’s learned from the JROTC program, and apply it to his future after OTHS.
“I am very involved in JROTC at my school, and I was the first cadet to be promoted to officer position in just one semester in the whole entire (OTHS) core (history), which I’m very honored of,” Grant said. “My goal is to be a pilot in either the U.S.A.F. or U.S. Navy. I plan to accomplish this goal by applying to the USAF and USN Academy(’s), while focusing on aeronautical and mechanical engineering.”