Highland News Leader

Highland student earns honorable mention in national scholar contest

From left are Highland High School teacher Chris Durbin, Connor Mortland and Ashley Crays of Club Z In-Home Tutoring of Edwardsville.
From left are Highland High School teacher Chris Durbin, Connor Mortland and Ashley Crays of Club Z In-Home Tutoring of Edwardsville. Courtesy photo

The results are in and the local Club Z In-Home Tutoring Annual Achievement Awards turned out to be a success for two local students.

Connor Mortland, a sophomore at Highland High School, was chosen as the winner of the Fall 2016 Award, and Ryan D’Antonio of Triad High School was the local Annual Achievement winner. Winning entries were judged based on their performance, service, merit and achievement.

Both were presented with a certificate and check for $200 and were entered in a contest put on at a national level for the company. Mortland was one of six students selected for recognation at the national level, receiving an honorable mention and another check, this one for $500.

Mortland was nominated by his technology teacher, Chris Durbin, who said that Mortland continues to grow and take on more and more responsibility in the Technology Club at HHS.

Mortland has also volunteered to spend many hours organizing the technology equipment on behalf of the entire club.

Durbin said Mortland is a “lead from behind” kind of student, who isn’t looking for a compliment, but rather performs duties above and beyond what is expected because he genuinely cares. Fellow classmates ask to be Connor’s partner on group projects because they know he has the knowledge and work ethic to get the job done, Durbin said.

“He has expertise on many technical concepts in the classroom, and displays the traits of honesty and integrity and is well known for these traits with many of the teachers at the school,” Durbin said.

D’Antonio was nominated by his engineering teacher, Andy Brendel.

D’Antonio has been a student under Brendel’s guidance since his freshman year at Triad. During this period, D’Antonio has shown improvement in his quality of work and dedication to group projects, Brendel said.

D’Antonio is also successful outside the classroom and participates in cross country and various other activities.

“He shows great leadership inside and outside of the classroom,” Brendel said.

D’Antonio experienced an unimaginable hardship this last year, the loss of his father. Despite the loss, he continues to preserver and accomplish his goals.

“He continues to work hard, despite a heavy heart,” Brendel said.

About the Awards

Club Z Tutoring of Edwardsville serves the entire Metro East area and will continue to recognize local students for their achievements.

Local winners advance to a national level competition, where more than $10,000 in scholarship prizes will be given out.

Annual Achievement winners do not have to be Club Z students to apply. There will be another opportunity to win during the Spring of 2017