Nicholas Courtney, the valedictorian at Springfield High School, takes a break from hitting the books to make sure other teenagers are reading.
Nicholas, 17, volunteers with a community group called Springfield Holland Asset Partnerships for Excellence (SHAPE), which is operated by residents of all ages. The group works to promote healthy activities for adolescents.
After being impressed last year by the group's campaign against drunken driving on prom night, Nicholas decided to join. Now he is co-chair of the SHAPE committee on literacy.
"We're trying to promote reading for fun," he said. "Kids often think of reading as being just school-related."
Nicholas has been teaching himself about web design to create a web site for SHAPE, and he is helping the literacy committee compile pamphlets encouraging reading.
The pamphlets will refer to popular movies or television shows and list books with similar themes, he said. The group hopes to distribute the reading lists to area libraries this summer.
In addition to volunteering with SHAPE, Nicholas competes in Quiz Bowl and is captain of his high school's speech team. He qualified for the state speech and debate tournament in the competition's impromptu speaking category.
As president of a local National Honor Society chapter, Nicholas said he started a project for honor students to show appreciation for a favorite teacher. Nicholas decided to do a favor for Michael O'Shea, principal of Springfield High School.
He is planning to attend Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and major in biology.
Other top students from around the area are:
Springfield High School: Sean Daugherty, salutatorian.
Perrysburg High School: Allison Walton, valedictorian; Karl Meyer and Erika Osterholzer, salutatorians.
Anthony Wayne High School: Jessica Wilbarger, valedictorian; Kevin Perkins, salutatorian.
Maumee High School: Sarah Fetters, valedictorian; Maureen Madrzykowski, salutatorian.
Otsego High School: Lauren Fitch, Lindsey Smith, and Jennifer Graf, valedictorians.
Toledo Christian School: Drew Oostra, of Holland, valedictorian; Alissa Toth, of Toledo, salutatorian.
Maumee Valley Country Day: Jamie Wasielewski, of Erie, valedictorian. Rossford High School: Mackenzie Caldwell, valedictorian; Eric Soltis, salutatorian.
Central Catholic: Andrew Schetter, Holland, valedictorian; Jocelyn Oblizajek, Toledo, salutatorian.
Notre Dame Academy: Jennifer Enright, Maumee; Kelly Gallagher, Oregon; Hafsa Kanjwal, Sylvania; Emily Kenney, Sylvania; Lauren Kluz-Wisniewski, West Toledo; Shannon McNamara, South Toledo; Laura Miller, Bowling Green, and Megan Slanina, South Toledo, valedictorians.
St. Francis de Sales: Michael Zook, Toledo, valedictorian; David Tighe, Toledo, salutatorian.
St. John's Jesuit: Joseph Farinella, Perrysburg; Adam Holewinski, Toledo; Nathan Niese, Maumee, and Matthew Zapotosky, Toledo, valedictorians; Michael Cassidy, Toledo, salutatorian.
St. Ursula Academy: Kristen Monarch, Toledo, valedictorian; Rebecca Nusbaum, Toledo, salutatorian.
Cardinal Stritch: Michael Walters, Curtice, valedictorian; Jonathan Wicks, Toledo, salutatorian.
Emmanuel Baptist: Connie Neyhart, Toledo, and Sharon Stookey, Sylvania, co-valedictorians.
Eastwood High School: Does not recognize a valedictorian or salutatorian. Student graduation speakers are Sarah Longbrake, Jacob Speck, Angela Hackworth, and senior class president Doug Russell.
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