La Salle-Peru High School announced its top 10 academic students after eight semesters from the class of 2022.
They are Salutatorian Shea Rathburn, Addison Ernat, Valedictorian Elia Becker, Mary Kuzma, Sebastian Serratos, Matthew Beard, Emilio Phlippeau, Caden Valenzuela, Allison Beavers and Isabella Lambert.
These students will continue their educations at a variety of colleges and universities next year. Becker will attend Florida Gulf Coast University; Rathburn will attend Columbia University; Lambert, Ernat and Beavers will attend Illinois Valley Community College; Valenzuela will attend the University of Missouri; Serratos, Beard and Phlippeau will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Kuzma will attend Lake Forest College.
L-P Wagenknecht Scholars
La Salle-Peru High School announced the recipients of the 2022 Wagenknecht Scholarships.
This year’s LPHS recipients are Salutatorian Rathburn, Ernat, Valedictorian Becker, Lambert, Serratos, Beard, Phlippeau and Valenzuela. The scholarships were presented by Tammy Humpage of Hometown National Bank.
The Wagenknecht Scholarship was established in 1972 by the 1964 last will and testament of Frank C. Wagenknecht. The will established a trust to ensure “the income therefrom shall set up a scholarship for the student or students graduating each year from La Salle-Peru Township High School … and attaining the highest scholastic grades in his or her class.” The scholarship award is used by the students to pay tuition and other expenses to the extent of $2,500 annually while attending a four-year course at a college or university of the student’s choice.
The first Wagenknecht Scholarships were given out in 1976. Since that time 254 scholarships, totaling more than $2.5 million, have been granted to LPHS graduates.
La Salle-Peru High School announced this year’s recipients of the Edward and Hilda Snow Scholarship. They are graduating seniors Francesca Eggersdorfer and Kuzma. The scholarship was presented by Tammy Humpage of Hometown National Bank.
The scholarship, valued at about $4,500 this year, was established by Anita (Goodman) Copeland in memory of her beloved grandparents. Copeland, who greatly valued education, was a 1944 graduate of La Salle-Peru Township High School. Upon graduation from LPHS, Copeland attended La Salle-Peru-Oglesby Junior College (now IVCC). In 1949, she married Richard Copeland and the couple moved to Chicago where she resided until 2002 at which time she returned to live in Peru. Copeland lived at Liberty Village until her death on April 29, 2018. The scholarship is awarded to two LPHS students based on plans to pursue higher education, ranking in the top 20 of the graduating class, having been accepted to a two- or four-year college full-time, demonstrating participation in school-community activities, having no major disciplinary offenses, and submitting an application and essay.
Top 10 biographies
Becker is the daughter of Matt and Kami Becker, of Peru. She is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Becker received the Tirza B. Ennor and PQ Corporation scholarships at L-P, as well as the Florida Gulf Coast University Blue and Green Scholars Award. At L-P, she has been involved in volleyball, math team, TOPS, Link Crew, ACES and Green Team. She was recognized as a Most Inspirational Student at LPHS in 2021, was an ACES state qualifier in math, and received the Exceptional Senior Student Award by the Starved Rock Region of the Illinois Principals Association in 2022. As a senior, Becker attended La Salle Rotary Club meetings. Becker plans to major in environmental engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Rathburn is the daughter of Brad and Jaci Rathburn, of Peru. She is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Rathburn received the Evelyn Biederstedt, Renaissance and Georgia Stohr scholarships at L-P, as well as a Columbia University grant. At L-P, she has been involved in band, musicals, Scholastic Bowl, Renaissance, Writing Club, Science and Research Club, Math Team, ACES, Key Club, Book Club, Foreign Language Club and Winter Guard. She was recognized with the Bertusi Social Science Award, Knights of Columbus US History Award, John Phillip Sousa Award, Carol Walsh Memorial Spanish Award, La Salle County Student of the Month recognition, and Presidential Spirit of Community Award. As a senior, Rathburn attended La Salle Rotary Club meetings. Outside of school, Rathburn volunteered her time with Illinois Valley Animal Rescue. Rathburn plans to major in creative writing and biology at Columbia University.
Lambert is the daughter of Chad and Catherine Lambert, of Tonica. She is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Lambert received the R. Earl Trobaugh, Brian Towne/Nancy Kochis Legal Profession and Lucy Pomatto scholarships at L-P, as well as the 15 to Finish Illinois State Scholar Award and and IUOE Local 150 Scholarship. She also received the George Preston Blow Medal, All-Conference and Academic All-Conference Honors in soccer and volleyball. In soccer she received the Rookie of the Year Award and was a captain her sophomore through senior years. She was a member of the NewsTribune All-Area Soccer Team. At L-P, she has been involved in Key Club, Harbor Homerooms, Link Crew, JSA, LEAD and Forensic Science Club. She was recognized as an L-P Student of the Month and with a Rotary International Scholastic Achievement Award. As a senior, Lambert attended Peru Rotary Club meetings. Outside of school, she volunteered her time with Illinois Valley Animal Rescue, Tonica United Methodist Church, and Tonica baseball, softball and volleyball programs. She has donated her hair on multiple occasions to Wigs for Kids. Lambert plans to major in forensic criminal investigation at IVCC before transferring to a four-year university.
Ernat is the daughter of Donald and Stacey Ernat, of Peru. She is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Ernat received the Illinois Science Teachers Chemistry Award at L-P, as well an Illinois State Scholar Scholarship at IVCC. At L-P, she has been involved in Book Club, Key Club and Renaissance. As a senior, Ernat attended Peru Rotary Club meetings. Outside of school, she volunteered her time with Cops 4 Cancer fundraisers. Ernat plans to major in civil engineering at IVCC.
Valenzuela is the son of Jami and Edward Valenzuela, of Utica. He is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Valenzuela received Central Bank Illinois Scholarship at L-P, as well as the University of Missouri Ledford Scholarship. He participated in golf, baseball and basketball. At L-P, he has been involved in FBLA, Harbor Homeroom and Foreign Language Club. Valenzuela plans to major in accounting at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Serratos is the son of Bernardo and Luz Serratos, of Oglesby. He is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Serratos received the multiple scholarships and grants from the University of Illinois. He participated in cross country, track, and soccer, earning all-academic honors in all three sports. At L-P, he has been involved in band, earning the Wood Herman Jazz Award, Science Club, Chess Club, Foreign Language Club and musicals. Outside of school, he volunteered his time with Illinois Valley Animal Rescue and the Illinois Valley Food Pantry. Serratos plans to major in aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Beard is the son of Jim and Lisa Beard, of Utica. He is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Beard received L-P Class of 1956 scholarship, as well as a grant from the University of Illinois. He participated in cross-country and track. He was a state finalist in cross-county. He was a nominee for All-State Academic honors and earned All-Conference Academic honors in track and cross-county. He was named to the NewsTribune boys cross-country all-area team, as well as an all-county and all-conference runner for track and cross-country. At L-P, he has been involved in band, math team, and Science and Research Club. He is an Eagle Scout and was named Oglesby Elks Teen of the Month. Outside of school, he volunteered his time with numerous Boy Scout-related projects and the Illinois Valley Food Pantry. Beard plans to major in biochemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Phlippeau, of LaSalle, is the son of Jerry Phlippeau and Jessica Rios. He is an Illinois State Scholar. Phlippeau received the Dr. A.J. Sellett Medical and L-P Foundation scholarships. At L-P, he has been involved in Link Crew and JSA. Outside of school, he volunteered his time with Illinois Valley Animal Rescue. Phlippeau plans to major in biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Kuzma, of La Salle, is the daughter of Sheryl Churney and Todd Kuzma. She is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. Kuzma received the Jack Lyon and PQ Corporation scholarships at L-P, as well as Lake Forest College’s presidential scholarship. At L-P, she has been involved in GSA, Writing Club, Art Club, Green Team and band. As a senior, Kuzma attended La Salle Rotary Club meetings. Kuzma plans to major in environmental studies at Lake Forest College.
Beavers is the daughter of Jennifer Raley, of Oglesby, and David Beavers, of Peru. She is a member of the L-P Honor Society and an Illinois State Scholar. At L-P, she has been involved in student council Key Club, Link Crew and volleyball. As a senior, Beavers attended Peru Rotary Club meetings. Beavers plans to major in diagnostic medical sonography at IVCC.