The Waynedale News Salutes Area Vals and Sals, by rls

Each year the local high schools honor their top students. The Salutatorian is the student (or students in case of a tie) which has held the second highest GPA over their high school career. At commencement exercises, the Salutatorian presents the salutatory, which welcomes all guests.

The Valedictorian is the person or persons that have achieved the highest grade point average during their high school career. At commencement ceremonies they present the Valedictory. We at the Waynedale News would like to not only congratulate those with the highest grades but also congratulate all the graduates and wish them the best as they venture into society, or into a higher level of education.




Sarah Junk, daughter of Beverly Fox, Salutatorian, Wayne High School.

Past Activities: Drama Stage Manager, Special Education, Future Problem Solvers, Key Club President, Literary Magazine, Newspaper Staff, St. Therese Youth Group, Allen County Teen Court, McGregor Publishing Outstanding Achievement, Academic Letter, National Honor Society, Allen County DAR Good Citizen, National Merit Finalist, Sterling Sentinel Nominee, Who’s Who among American High School Students.

Present Thoughts: Being a Wayne General means facing the critics and saying, “I have just as much a right to be here as you do.” It means refuting the many stereotypes and misconceptions. Wayne is a home for all varieties of students-the intelligent, the lost, and the successful. A true General honors one’s abilities and faces the future with pride.

Future Plans: I will attend Northwestern University and major in Journalism.


Jillian Paulen, daughter of Larry Paulen & Dawn Siey, Salutatorian, Wayne High School.

Past Activities: School Play, School Musical, FWCS Summer Musical, Choir, Key Club, Future Problem Solvers, National Honor Society, Powderpuff, Academic Team, Who’s Who among American High School Students, National Honor Roll, Sterling Nominee (Mathematics).

Present Thoughts: Hard work and dedication have fueled my success throughout high school. Also, I would attribute much of my success to my parents always pushing me to do my best and teaching me that I can do anything if I put my mind to it.

Future Plans: I will attend the University of Indianapolis. I plan to major in biology and specialize in human Biology. In five years should be in medical school. In ten years I will be finishing my residency and be close to getting a Ph.D.




Kelly Aschliman, daughter of Dave and Kathy Aschliman, Co-Valedictorian of South Side High School.

“The thing that most impresses me about Kelly is her wonderful character. To me, that’s just as important, if not more important than academics. For the four years I have known her, she has excelled in both, ” said Ron Holmes, history teacher. Kelly spends much of her time playing for the Archer tennis team and participating as an after school tutor. She will attend Indiana State University next year. ‘I plan to major in political science. I hope to run for a political office eventually as a U.S. senator or congressman,” she said. She credits her success to her parents, her faith in God, and a few key teachers, like Ron Holmes and Joann Piatt. She shares the Valedictorian title with Emily Miller this year. She does not seem to mind that though. Aschliman said, “I like it just as much as if I were by myself. It’s not as stressful knowing there is someone that’s tied with you and it’s fun because Emily is my good friend.”


Emily Miller, daughter of Bob and Pristilla Miller, Co-Valedictorian at South Side High School.

“Emily is a person with a lot of depth, not always perceived at first glance. Of course she is a conscientious student with high goals, but she is also very thoughtful, loving and charitable with a passion for Jimmy Stewart movies and memorabilia. I’m proud of what she has become as a person and a student. She will soon begin a life that I know will impact many lives with love, intelligence, and a unique global consciousness,”said Lisa Walborn, French teacher. Emily is the president of the South Side French Club and plays tenor sax in the jazz band. In the future, Emily will attend Hillsdale College. “I want to major in chemistry and minor in French,” said Miller. She is not upset about sharing the Valedictorian title. “I was surprised about being the highest in the class my freshman year, and I have worked hard to hold my grade,” she said. “I think that Kelly worked just as hard as I did. She is a very humble person.”


Megan Rockwell-Ashton, Salutatorian of South Side High School.

Rockwell takes a humble position in receiving the Salutatorian honor saying, “I’m happy to receive it, but there were others that deserved it just as much as I did.” Rockwell Ashton participates in several activities outside of school. She is a French club member, Letterman’s club member, plays in the Jazz band, and plays on the tennis team. Meagan will not be going to college immediately. She plans to take a year to do service at LouHelen Baha’i School. “Service is an important part of the faith and I am very excited to be serving,” said Rockwell-Ashton. Following her year of service she will attend McAlester College, “because it is a small liberal school. It has a strong study abroad program and is diverse with numerous activities and sports,” she said. She is proud to have received the Salutatorian title. “I’m the dedicated over-achiever, I admit. I am happy to have gotten any recognition at all.”




Sujal M. Pandya is a Waynedale resident who attended Waynedale Elementary, Kekionga, and Memorial Park Middle Schools. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Manoj Pandya.

Throughout his four years at Elmhurst High School, Sujal has maintained an unweighted GPA of over 4.30 and a rank of number one in his class. He has excelled in many disciplines as he has participated in AP and Honors courses. As president of two organizations, the Elmhurst Multicultural Organization, Speech Team and Vice-President of Student Council, Sujal has been awarded the Youth Leadership Award from the Fort Wayne Rotary Club. This fall, Sujal will continue his studies at the University of Notre Dame as a winner of the full tuition Lilly Scholarship. He will major in Pre-Law and Political Science.


Felicia Chapman, Elmhurst’s Co-Salutatorian, daughter of Sarah Chapman, attended Lindley Elementary and Portage Middle School. She has received awards in the National Technical Vocational Honor Society at the Anthis Career Center. Felicia is a Sterling Sentinel nominee and a News Channel 15 student profile of the week recipient. She is also in the Thurgood Marshall National Achievers Society and was a 2000 graduate of Youth Leadership Fort Wayne. She is a DAR Good Citizen and Rotarian of the month for March. Felicia received a silver medal at the Family Community Career Leaders of America Conference last year for Focus on Children. She received the YMCA/Wells Fargo Scholarship along with other Taylor scholarships. She is also a 21st Century Scholar. She received the Leanne Mensing Leadership Award at Anthis. Felicia has been a part of the Elmhurst Multicultural Organization. She’s in Project Set and a peer mediator at Elmhurst, as well as at Anthis. She has participated in the Elmhurst Academic Team, winning first place at regionals and fourth in State last year. Felicia plans to attend Taylor University-Fort Wayne this fall. She will be majoring in Early Childhood.


Holli Fisher, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Fisher is Elmhurst’s Co-Salutatorian for the class of 2002. She attended Price Elementary and Portage Middle School. Holli has been involved in numerous activities, including being a member of varsity tennis team for four years and is the current team captain. She is a member of the National Honor Society, President of her church’s youth group and was her school’s Sterling Sentinel nominee for mathematics. Holli has numerous grades of A+, a class rank of number two and an impressive math SAT score. Simply put, Holli is a student who has truly taken advantage of her high school experience, as well as giving back.

There is not an honors or advanced placement course at Elmhurst that Holli has not taken. Her top priority has always been to be as prepared for college as possible.

Holli was also active in the school choir for three years earning a position in the advanced choir last year. She participated in Spanish and cinema productions clubs, as well as maintaining perfect attendance. Holli will be attending Indiana University in the fall, majoring in either Math or English while exploring different career choices.


by Martha Kowalczyk


Jennifer Johnson and Ann Marie Castleman have been named as this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.

Castleman’s current GPA of 12.204 has risen every semester from an 11.8 freshman year. “I didn’t even know my class rank until second semester of my junior year, and I was surprised to find I was second,” exclaimed Castleman.

Castleman claims she has no study habits and just works and studies until all of her homework is done. Sometimes all of this work can keep her up until the wee hours of the morning but Castleman doesn’t mind. “I’m a workaholic so sleep is not a priority for me,” she said.

Since Castleman lives a half-hour from school, she often stayed at Luers or went to the library and studied in between school and her many activities, such as Show Choir and World Culture Club. Castleman took advantage of every extra moment between activities and during classes. “I just use my time wisely,” she said. “I can get a lot of homework done during the last five minutes of class when the teacher stops teaching.”

Castleman claims the hardest class she took at Bishop Luers was Honors Geometry, with Honors Physics coming in as a close second. The one person who inspired Castleman the most was her seventh and eighth grade teacher, Susan Nice. “I didn’t really learn from her until now,” Castleman explained, “She helped me realize my capabilities and to not be afraid to show who I am.”

Castleman will attend Xavier University in the fall and major in Natural Sciences. She plans to continue on to medical school and become a general practitioner or a surgeon. Her longtime goal is to become a medical missionary and help the less fortunate in Latin America.


Johnson’s GPA also gradually increased over the last four years. Since freshman year, Johnson worked extremely hard to keep her position at number one. “People who don’t know me always assume that I am naturally smart, this is far from the truth,” she noted. “I do well in school because I work extremely hard.” “My goal has been to be a balanced person; somebody who doesn’t just focus on grades or sports, etc.,” she said, “but somebody who tries lots of different things.” Johnson has certainly been involved at Luers and has participated in soccer, tennis, and Key Club, not to mention many other activities.

Despite her terrific grades, certain classes and assignments have challenged Johnson. “Pre-Calculus is just a struggle all around,” she admitted. “I am definitely not, in the words of Mrs. Kingsbury, ‘mathematically spectacular’.”

Also motivating Johnson along the way were her parents. “Who else takes the stress of having a big test or a last minute research paper with you?” she asked. “No matter how difficult anything in life is, they are the ones who will always, always care.”

Johnson will attend Franklin College next year and will major in Biology. She wants to do something in the medical field but is still undecided on what exact profession she would like to pursue.

Both Castleman and Johnson have set high goals for themselves and, due to their success in high school, are sure to be successful in all of their future endeavors.

The Waynedale News Staff
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