Huntington North High School has announced that senior Jessica Smith has been tapped as the valedictorian for the Class of 2020.
In addition, HNHS has chosen two students, Logan Bolding and Haileigh Nissley, as Class of 2020 co-salutatorians.
Smith is the daughter of Todd and Tina Smith. She has a grade point average of 11.5614 on an 11.0 scale.
She has taken a variety of honors and advanced placement classes, including Honors English 9, 10 and 11, Honors Biology, Honors Chemistry, Honors Geometry and Honors Algebra II. She has also taken AP U.S. History, AP Psychology, AP Spanish and is currently in AP Chemistry and AP Calculus. She has taken a variety of dual credit classes as well, some of which are AP U.S. History, Trigonometry, Computer Science I, Speech, Expository Writing and is currently in World Literature, Horticulture Science and Finite Math.
Smith has been on the All-A Honor Roll and in the top 25 all four years of her high school career and she is a member of the National Honor Society, where she holds the office of secretary.
She has also been involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, including Class Council for three years, Freshman Mentoring for two years and was a council member for Freshman Mentoring this year. She has been a member of the Rotary Interact Club for two years and was a Junior Rotarian.
She was also recognized as a Commended Student for National Merit Scholars, which was based on her outstanding PSAT scores, and she was awarded the Lilly Endowment Scholarship for the Class of 2020 for Huntington North High School.
Smith’s future plans are to attend Purdue University and study chemistry.
Bolding is the son of Todd and Stephanie Bolding. He currently has an 11.4808 grade point average on an 11.0 scale.
He has taken five advanced placement courses along with multiple honors, dual credit and online courses. In addition, he worked with the HNHS mathematics department to complete an advanced independent study course. He will receive the state’s highest distinction, an Academic Honors diploma.
Bolding was involved in the Academic Super Bowl Mathematics and Interdisciplinary teams in his junior and senior years, serving as the captain of the mathematics team during this time. Under his leadership, the 2019 Academic Super Bowl Mathematics Team placed eighth in the state and was on track for a repeat performance this year.
The majority of Bolding’s community involvement has centered around seeing the need to assist others. He serves as a peer tutor to students who are struggling in their mathematic courses. He was chosen as a Junior Rotarian in January of this year and has assisted in raising money to send to the Dominican Republic to purchase books for children.
He is a member of National Honor Society and has participated with Huntington North’s Freshman Mentoring program. Along with being dedicated to his academic endeavors, he worked at Huntington 7 Movie Theater, where he reached the rank of senior staffer.
Bolding’s future plans include attending Purdue University and majoring in computer and electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics.
Nissley is the daughter of Curtis and Heather Nissley. She and has earned the co-salutatorian distinction with an 11.5 grade point average on an 11-point scale.
Nissley has taken four honors courses, two advanced placement courses, is currently participating in the Health Science and Emergency Medical Services program and will have earned 40 dual credits.
She has volunteered at the Huntington City-Township Public Library for seven years, helping with children, shelving books and planning events. She has also been active in her church community, working with infants while parents participate in classes and services. She has served with Operation Christmas Child for the past 11 years and has been an active member of 4-H for 10 years, serving the Crystal Clovers 4-H Club as the secretary for two years, vice president for one year and president for three years.
Within the school community, she has been a part of Student Council for four years, Class Council for four years and the tennis team for one year. She served her fellow students as a Freshmen Mentor and served as part of the Mentor Council her senior year, which is the leadership team for the Freshman Orientation/Mentoring Programs.
She has also received such honors as qualifying for Top 25 students four years in a row, National Honor Society, Junior Rotarian and earning the Presidential Scholarship from Ball State University.
Nissley’s immediate plan after high school is to take the EMT certification she earned during high school and start working to gain contact and experience with patients. In the fall, she plans to pursue a nursing degree at Ball State University in her journey towards being a pediatric oncology nurse. Her goal is to eventually work and serve at Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.
Huntington North Principal Rief Gilg recognized this year’s best and brightest among the Class of 2020 with a note of pride.
“Every class is special, and every class is exceptional, as you look at, particularly, the end of the year – what these students have gone through and the resiliency they’re showing through it,” he says. “It’s a tribute, not just to themselves and their parents, but to the community as a whole. Huntington creates young men and women who are strong and able to get through adversity, and that’s never been more demonstrated than it has been the past couple of months, and will continue to be so.”
The valedictorian and salutatorian presentations are generally made at a breakfast, which will not happen this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions and the closure of Hoosier schools. Gilg says HCCSC will plan something to honor the achievements of Smith, Bolding and Nissley, as well as the Top 25 students in the Class of 2020, plus those students who won college scholarships and other awards.
“Like everything else, we’re waiting to see what outside agencies will kind of let us do,” he says. “But plans are ongoing – we’re making all sorts of contingency plans, and so when we do find out, we can do what’s best for our kids. This is a tough situation; we can’t wave our magic wands, of course, but we’re going to do everything we can to make it as meaningful for our students as we can.”
At this point, Huntington North’s commencement ceremony is still set for Sunday, May 31.