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Cover: ads High School science teacher Dr. Joseph Wagner designed and printed these 3D Science Awards for the Banquet held on Thursday.
Photo: Dr. Waggoner

By Betsy Barnett

2021-05-11 19:22:21

Last Thursday the annual Eads Athletic & Academic Award Banquet was held with a large audience in attendance.  This is a culminating event that highlights excellence in the student body at Eads High School.

The evening started out with a wonderful potluck dinner organized by parents of the students and LaDawne Britten, high school art teacher and media specialist.  The entire staff at Eads High School was on hand to honor the students from within their own curriculum departments. 

The Independent was not able to obtain the entire list of awards but received the following lists of achievement coming out of varying curriculum departments:


Algebra 1 - Top Student Award - Katie Johnson

Algebra 2 - Top Student Award - Maggie Haase

College Algebra - Top Student Award - Levi Johnson

College Stats - Top Student Award - Ross Brown

Geometry - Top Student Award - Piper Sorter


English I  “A” Honors: Katie Johnson, Rachel Kopasz, Breanna Lawrence-Wilson, Brentley Lening, Madison McDowell, and Porter Spady

English I Top Student: Breanna Lawrence-Wilson

English II  “A” Honors:  Samantha Courkamp, Taygen Ferris, Maggie Haase, Kylie McKibben, Brenden Reifschneider, Piper Sorter, and AJ Vasquez

English II Top Student:  Maggie Haase

English III  “A” Honors:  Ross Brown, Levi Johnson, Rhealie Rittgers, Kyra Sheridan and Ty Wilson

English III Top Student: Rhealie Rittgers

English IV  “A” Honors:  Damien Barnes and Colby Stoker

English IV Top Student:  Colby Stoker

Intro. To Lit. “A” Honors:  Ross Brown, Mollie Kelley, Lexi Lopez, Rhealie Rittgers, Kyra Sheridan, and Ty Wilson

Intro. To Lit. Top Student:  Mollie Kelley

College Speech “A” Honors:   Mollie Kelley, Amber Kopasz, Hatch Nelson, and Ally Spady

College Speech Top Student:  Mollie Kelley


Freshman Geography

A Honors – Katie Johnson, Rachel Kopasz, Brentley Lening, Keenan Smith, Porter Spady, Breanna Wilson

Top Student – Breanna Wilson

US History

A Honors –Samantha Courkamp, Maggie Haase, Brenden Reifschneider, Piper Sorter, AJ Vasquez

Top Student – Maggie Haase

Civics (only those students who were in the class both semesters)

A Honors – Zack Fowler, Levi Johnson

Top Student – Levi Johnson

World History

A Honors – Ross Brown, Maggie Haase, Levi Johnson, Crystal Watson

Top Student – Ross Brown and Maggie Haase

PSY 101 Fall semester

A honors – Joe Haase, Mollie Kelley, Amber Kopasz, Hatch Nelson, Ally Spady

Top Student – Ally Spady

POS 111 Fall Semester

A Honors and Top Student – Rhealie Rittgers

HIS 101 Fall Semester

A Honors – Joe Haase, Mollie Kelley, Amber Kopasz, Hatch Nelson, Ally Spady, Colby Stoker

Top Student – Ally Spady (.1%)

PSY 102 Spring semester

A honors – Joe Haase, Mollie Kelley, Amber Kopasz, Hatch Nelson, Ally Spady

Top Student – Mollie Kelley (by .02%)

HIS 102 Spring Semester    

A Honors – Joe Haase, Mollie Kelley, Amber Kopasz, Hatch Nelson, Ally Spady

Top Student – Mollie Kelley

GEO 105 Spring Semester

Top Student – Cade McDowell


Joe Haase – 49

Mollie Kelley – 47

Amber Kopasz – 52

Brandon Lening – 37

Hatch Nelson – 40

Ally Spady – 45

Zack Fowler - 29
Colby Stoker - 29


Brianna Wilson


Physical Science - Breanna Wilson

Advanced STEM - Lexi Lopez

Biology 1 - Maggie Haase

Chemistry - Colby Stoker

Astronomy/Zoology - Breanna Wilson

Biology 2 - Rhealie Rittgers

STEM - Piper Sorter


  1. The officers helped our chapter achieve the Peak V award for the 14th year in a row. This is the top chapter award in Colorado. 
  2. Andrew Grant, Breanna Wilson, Maggie Haase, and Rhealie Rittgers achieved a Business Achievement Award.
  3. Amber Kopasz, Maggie Haase, and Rachel Kopasz placed 8th at the State Virtual Conference in their Hospitality & Event Planning event.  


Varsity members Joe Haase, Mollie Kelley, Amber Kopasz, and Hatch Nelson concluded their high school knowledge bowl careers in an impressive manner when the team finished in a tie for fifth place among the 16 1A teams that competed in the Colorado Knowledge Bowl State Championship. 

Student excellence does not end in the classroom, however, as the following special awards were handed out by school counselor Mary Vasquez:


This award is open to all interested sophomore students each year.  The requirements were that the students must have the potential to become enthusiastic, sympathetic leaders.  The students must be open-minded and eager to embrace challenge.  The staff was asked to nominate two students who they felt signified these qualities.

Maggie Haase and A. J. Vasquez were chosen as this year’s Eads High School Nominees. 


The young lady must possess the following qualities:  a well-rounded, good character; work cooperatively with others at school; have patriotic spirit; maintain high scholastic average; have qualities of leadership, and will carry the title of Zonta Girl of 2021 proudly.

The staff chose Mollie Kelley as the 2021 nominee. There was a dinner to recognize the area awardees earlier in the year.


Last fall, the staff was asked to vote for the senior student that they felt was deserving of the DAR Good Citizen Award.  The criteria included the characteristics of Dependability (truthfulness, loyalty, punctuality), Service (cooperation, courtesy, and consideration of others), Leadership (personality, self-control, ability to assume responsibility), and Patriotism (interest in community, school, family, nation).

This year’s nominee was Mollie Kelley.  According to Vasquez, “This is a prestigious honor that was well-deserved.

CU-Boulder Outstanding Junior Award:

Fortunately, this year, CU brought back its Outstanding Junior award. This student is selected by the EHS staff for exhibiting excellence in all areas.  This student will receive a Colorado Buffalo medallion, as well as a $4,000 scholarship if he/she chooses to attend CU-Boulder.  This year’s nominee for Eads High School was Rhealie Rittgers. 

Society of Women Engineers:

Each year the school is asked by the Society of Women Engineers Pikes Peak Chapter to nominate three young women in the junior and/or senior classes who excel in the areas of math and science.  These nominees are ranked as “With Honor,” “High Honor,” and “Highest Honor.” Each of these young women will receive a special certificate from the Society of Women Engineers.  Mr. Brian Bohlander stated, “This year’s deserving nominees are Rhealie Rittgers as the With Honor recipient; Mollie Kelley as the High Honor recipient; and Ally Spady as the “Highest Honor” recipient.  Congratulations, ladies for being recognized for your excellence in the math and science fields.” 

The new Student Council Officers were also inducted during the banquet.  Outgoing officers including President, Ally Spady; Vice-President, Rhealie Rittgers; Treasurer, Samantha Courkamp; and Reporter, Brentley Lening.  STUCO sponsor, Mary Vasquez, stated that the outgoing council team had been a joy to work with.  They had appropriately chosen as their focus, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” as they battled through a difficult year of COVID mandates. 

Mrs. Vasquez and the 2020-2021 officers then inducted the new crop of school leadership for the 2021-2022 school year.  They include President, Rhealie Rittgers; Vice-President, Cade McDowell; Treasurer, Breanna Wilson; and Reporter, Kaden Dunlap.

In addition to scholastic and leadership recognition, the many successes of the athletes were recognized as well.  Those who lettered in Football, Basketball, Golf, Volleyball, and Wrestling were announced.  Currently, the girls and boys track athletes and the baseball players are just starting their season.  Overall, however, the coaches were quite complementary of the student athletes, especially given the strict covid mandates they had to play through this year.

Finally, the bell-weather awards were announced by Principal Brian Bohlander.  He said, “The Principal’s Leadership Award is chosen by the staff and exemplifies the one student who has shown the most leadership in his/her daily work as a student at Eads High School.”

Bohlander stated, “The All-Around Student Award is someone who excelled in many areas of school life including mentoring others and working out in the community.  The Eads High School All-Around Student Award went to senior Mollie Kelley.”

There will be more awards handed out this week as the high school’s FFA and FBLA Chapters will hold a banquet together.  Within those two leadership organizations will be numerous recognitions and examples of student excellence throughout this year of the pandemic. 

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