O’Fallon Township High School has many bright stars, but for the month of March — Seniors Alexandra Lloyd and Ryan Byrnes were shooting stars, going above and beyond earning them the OTHS March Students of the Month recognition.
Both students are heavily immersed in extra curricular activities including scholastic and civic organizations, as well as, athletics.
The daughter of Matthew Lloyd, a U.S. military member, Alexandra has had the opportunity to live in an array of places like New Jersey, Alabama, California and Illinois.
With her diverse background she has earned herself many worthy academic and civic organization awards such as Illinois State Scholar and Girl Scout Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards. She has also been honored at the National Youth Leadership Council, received the Seal of Commendation for Biliteracy in Spanish, and was recognized for Illinois Honorable Mention for Best Poetry and Prose.
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“Earning all three Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in Girl Scouts allowed me to ear the Trifecta Award,” Alexandra said. “These awards and projects were incredibly meaningful and some of my proudest accomplishments.”
Three years experience on the varsity softball team at OTHS has earned her a Sportsmanship Award and a Best Defensive Player Award. Four years on the Math Team has led Alexandra to gaining two Seventh Place ribbons and one Eighth Place ribbon. She has also played on the volleyball team.
Alexandra isn’t just a volunteering, athletic brainiac — she also has a taste for the arts like poetry and her involvement in marching band, wind ensemble, concert band and pep band. She earned awards for her excellence in marching band like Best Performer, Best Marching Technique and Positive Attitude.
Alexandra is also a member of the Spanish Club, Model United Nations, Friends of Rachel, Diversity Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society, Robotics, Helping Open People’s Eyes, Leadership Council, Interact Club and February Frolics.
Ryan is the son of Steve and Anne Byrnes, and O’Fallon is his hometown.
Already a business owner and published writer, Ryan’s tenacity for the written word has placed him above your average teenager.
“I have been working at a publishing print company, Avery Press, for the last three years,” Ryan said. “I am the founder and only employee. My work requires me to write, edit, format, publish, market, advertise and sell my own novels.”
That’s right, you read correctly — Ryan is the published author of four novels and one children’s book.
“During the summers, I work about 30 hours a week, where as during the school year I have more flexibility to focus on my studies, so I work about three hours a week.”
School organizational involvement is not limited to, but includes: History Club, WYSE, Math Team and Robotics.
All four years of high school at OTHS, Ryan has been recognized as a Scholar Athlete. In his freshman year, Ryan earned the 2013 Gateway East Young Achiever Medallion Award and finished second in his class. Sophomore year, Ryan again finished with excellent grades at second in his class. Junior year, Ryan finished third in his class; and this year, Ryan earned the National Merit Semifinalist Award.
Ryan has been a member in the O’Fallon Writer’s Guild since 2013, and has contributed many hours of community service to the club since. He has also held the position of Editor at the student-run magazine for two years called “Endeavors.”
Academic tutor to youngsters at Estelle Kampmeyer is another positive note on his long list of accomplished community service endeavors.
“I also give talks to local elementary school students on the importance of reading and writing,” Ryan said.
Ryan doesn’t just go the extra mile academically, he is also focused and patient, as an integral member of the OTHS cross country team and track team.
Just when you thought the duo would be tired, you’re wrong — they’re both actively involved in his and her church.
Alexandra is on the leadership team, worship team, was on the Middle School Life Group Leader, Nursery Volunteer, Chaperone for Middle School Retreat and Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend Mission Trip coordinator.
“I’m very passionate about my volunteer efforts,” Alexandra said. “I serve in the nursery of my church twice a month and have participated in several outreach efforts with my youth group including work with Inner City Mission in Springfield, Ill.; and, St. Louis groups such as Shower to the People, which provides homeless people with hygiene supplies and showering services; Love the Lou, which works to improve St. Louis; and, a group that helps Nepali refugees in St. Louis adjusting to life in America,” Alexandra said.
Alexandra has been instrumental in several other organizations and volunteering efforts in the metro-east and St. Louis region focusing on humanitarianism.
Ryan, not only plays the role of Lector at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in O’Fallon, he is also a leader in his youth group too.
“I have helped plan multiple religious retreats at my church and have spent many hours of community service druing Luke 18 Retreats,” Ryan said.