New Knoxville student garners Walter Award

An area student — who has a passion for English and writing — was selected as the county representative for an annual award, and she nominated an inspirational teacher who introduced her to this passion.

Lydia Felty, a senior at New Knoxville High School, was chosen from among six county students to represent Auglaize County for state recognition for the Franklin B. Walter All Scholastic Achievement Award.

The Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award program was established in 1990 by the Ohio Educational Service Center Association to recognize an outstanding senior student from each county within the state of Ohio. Eligible students must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement as indicated by high school grades, test scores and awards.

Felty, who has a 4.0 GPA and has a score of 34 on her ACTs, meets all of this criteria, and then some — which includes another passion of community service.

“The area that is most near and dear to her is service,” said Felty’s principal, Linda Tebbe. “What defines Lydia is character and her belief in helping the fellow man.”

Not only will she go out of her way to help a student, Tebbe noted Felty has a positive spirit and is evident as she walks down the halls at New Knoxville High School.

Felty is the editor of her yearbook, a National Honor Society member, class secretary, German Club member, 4-H member, an organizer for New Knoxville’s Wave volunteer program and recently received her Girl Scout Gold Award.

“Lydia has made an impact on New Knoxville and New Knoxville is better for it,” Tebbe said, as she introduced Felty on Wednesday evening at the annual county-wide Franklin B. Walter Award ceremony held at Wapakoneta High School.

Felty plans to study English as she wants to become a book publisher. She is uncertain about a college, but she said she is looking for one that will give her plenty of volunteer and leadership opportunities.

“I am so excited,” the daughter of Michele and Rick Felty said of representing the county with this award. “It is such a blessing and such an honor to be chosen.”

As part of the award ceremony, after each principal introduced the student representing their school, each of the six students nominated a teacher that has positively influenced them during their school career, and Felty chose her former English teacher Stephanie Boyle Fledderjohann.

Boyle Fledderjohann was Felty’s teacher in eighth grade and when she was a high school sophomore and junior.

“Throughout my 13 years of school, I have been taught by some of the brightest people I know,” Felty said. “No one taught me more or pushed me harder than Ms. Boyle Fledderjohann.”

Boyle Fledderjohann, who is a graduate of New Knoxville, started teaching at her alma mater when Felty was in the eighth grade.

“I was scared to have her as a teacher, but I was won over by how much she knew and by how much she could teach me,” Felty said. “I was pushed to do my best.”

Boyle Fledderjohann moved away after Felty’s junior year of high school, as she currently resides in Lexington, Ky.

“After she moved away, she agreed to help me with my essays and anything I needed,” Felty said.

Boyle Fledderjohann helped Felty with essays for high school classes and also for her college applications, and she is thankful for her help — even though she is not her teacher anymore.

“I am thankful for her brilliant and insightful edits,” Felty said. “In her spare time, she puts in the same effort as if I were still her student.”

Boyle Fledderjohann said it is an honor to be recognized, and as she was Felty’s teacher for three years. During these years, she watched Felty grow up into a young adult.

“She is so bright,” Boyle Fledderjohann said. “I had her when she was 13 years old, and I got to watch her grow up into a mature adult.”

Boyle Fledderjohann, who made the special trip up to for the awards ceremony, said Felty is very involved in school.

“She is very service oriented,” Boyle Fledderjohann said.

Felty will represent Auglaize County in a special recognition luncheon next week in Columbus.

Also recognized during the ceremony was Wapakoneta High School senior Nicole Brown, who is also in the top of her class.

“It’s a real honor, I wasn’t expecting it,” Brown said, of representing her school.

Brown chose to honor her seventh-grade teacher Joni Ruppert for two reasons.

“She just really cares about you as a person,” Brown said. “She always has a bright smile, and she is one of the nicest people I know.”

The secretary of National Honor Society and FFA said she considers Ruppert a role model in her own life.

Wapakoneta High School Principal Scott Minnig said Brown has always been a quiet leader, who is involved in many sports and activities in high school.

“It’s hard for me to imagine what she accomplishes everyday,” Minnig said of Brown’s busy schedule. “Whether she is preparing for a test, or perfecting her shot in basketball, Brown always gives her best effort.”

Another student who gives her best effort is Brooklynn Plummer, of Waynesfield-Goshen High School.

Plummer was the honorary student from her high school and has been involved in cheerleading, cross country, track and field, 4-H, a Junior Fair Board member, president of National Honor Society and a member of the Civil War Brigade.

Plummer honored her teacher Shaun Ricker.

“I remember how terrified I was to have Mr. Ricker,” Plummer said. “But I never realized he could be the greatest teacher I ever had. He truly believes his students have what it takes to succeed in life.”

Plummer noted Ricker has given her the confidence to achieve any goal she sets in life.

Representing Minster High School is senior Adam Wehrman.

“What separates Adam from other students is his devotion to service,” Minster High School Principal Mike Lee said. “In 2011, he earned his Eagle Scout award. This award takes 21 merit badges, and this man received 36.”

Wehrman selected Lori Brunswick as his teacher to honor at the awards ceremony.

“I can’t think of another teacher who has made an impact on me like Ms. Brunswick,” Wehrman said, as he said she has taught him knowledge he will take with him to the next chapter of his life.

Representing New Bremen High School on Wednesday is Meagan Brandt.

Her principal Brian Pohl told the crowd she is a well rounded individual.

Brandt selected her chemistry teacher, Dan Kanney, to honor.

“He has helped me to become the person I am today,” Brandt said. “He puts his heart and soul into teaching.”

Another top student, Kevin Dammeyer, was selected as the representative from St. Marys City Schools.

Dammeyer, who is ranked no. 1 in his class, is the valedictorian for the 2013 senior class. He is involved in numerous activities and sports, and has earned seven varsity letters.

Dammeyer picked his teacher Andrea Johnson to honor on Wednesday evening and noted her class was the toughest class he has ever taken.

“Her class was the most difficult, and I worked harder than I ever did, and I am so much better for it,” Dammeyer said. “She gave me so many skills to help me succeed.”

Frank Borchers, representative from the Auglaize County Educational Service Center, said all six students should be proud of their achievements.