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Monticello High School Announces 2017 Illinois State Scholars

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2016-17 - Illinois State Scholars(ISAC) Monticello, IL – Monticello High School Principal Tip Reedy is pleased to announce that 19 Monticello High School students from the graduating class of 2017 have been recognized as Illinois State Scholars.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the state agency committed to helping to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois families, bestows this prestigious recognition to top Illinois high school students annually. This year, nearly 19,000 elite honorees join the other top state students honored for their academic achievements since the designation was first introduced in 1958.

Illinois State Scholars possess strong academic potential and are chosen based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank. State Scholars rank in approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, representing 765 high schools across the state.


“Obtaining the high academic status to qualify for the Illinois State Scholar Award is a great honor for these individual students.  It is an award that the parents and students should take great pride in.  Congratulations to this year’s Illinois State Scholar recipients,” said Mr. Reedy.

The following Monticello High School students were named 2016-17 Illinois State Scholars:

  • BRENT BUFFENBARGER son of Tonya and Andrew Buffenbarger  - Monticello
  • MIKAYLA BUSBY daughter of Susan and Matthew Busby – Monticello
  • ELLIE CARPENTER daughter of Phil and the late Penny Carpenter - Monticello
  • BRITNI GORTNER daughter of Nicole Moore – Monticello and Mark Gortner – Monticello
  • CLAUDIA KARNES daughter of Janice and Steve Karnes – Monticello
  • EVELYN KNITTLE daughter of Meghan and John Knittle – Monticello
  • ABBEY LEISCHNER daughter of Stephanie Cresap – White Heath and Bill Leischner – Weldon
  • LEAH MARTY daughter of Dr. Ann Marty and Tim Marty – Monticello
  • KENDYL MCFARLAND daughter of Angela and Chad McFarland - Monticello
  • MARISSA MCPIKE daughter of Leann and Joseph McPike – Monticello
  • SOPHIE PUSZKIEWICZ daughter of Tonya and Scott Puszkiewicz – Monticello
  • JARRON ROY son of Keely and Kevin Roy – Monticello
  • LIVIA SCHUMACHER daughter of Shelle and Greg Schumacher – Monticello
  • KATLYN SMITH daughter of Staci and David Smith – Monticello
  • LESLIE TAYLOR daughter of Laurie and Rob Taylor – Monticello
  • COLLEEN WESTBURG daughter of Paula and Eric Westburg – Monticello
  • HANNAH WHETSTONE daughter of Melissa and Jim Whetstone – Monticello
  • NATALIE WHETZEL daughter of Sara and Dan Whetzel – Monticello
  • CLARENCE WITTIG son of Cristy Wittig – Monticello

“It is always an honor to announce another extraordinary group of State Scholars,” said Eric Zarnikow, ISAC executive director. “At a time when postsecondary education could not be more important to future job and career success, these students have demonstrated the kind of effort and dedication that will help them advance not only their futures, but the future of the state as well. We wish each of them the best as they pursue their chosen educational path.”

ISAC encourages students interested in attending college next fall to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible to determine eligibility for federal and state financial aid. This year marks the first year of “early FAFSA”—allowing students to file their 2017-18 FAFSA beginning on October 1, 2016, rather than having to wait until January 1, 2017, as in previous years.

ISAC offers free financial aid and college access events to assist students and families with the college-going process. Students can also visit the ISAC website and in particular the new ISAC Student Portal for college planning, financial aid and financial literacy information and  free tools, as well as information on how to contact the ISACorps, a group of recent college graduates who act as near-peer mentors, for one-on-one assistance and mentoring.

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