Community Notices

Martin, Hopkins, Wayland ‘Vals and Sals’ announced

The valedictorians and salutatorians for the Class of 2017 have been announced at Wayland, Hopkins and Martin High Schools.

The following is a brief sketch of the honorees, pictures and their plans for the future:


  • • Valedictorian Samantha Dzierzyc — Daughter of Amy Bass and Jacob Dzierzyc. She has been a four-year member of the Science Olympiad program and has been president of the local Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter.

She will attend Lake Superior State University next fall in Sault Ste. Marie to enroll in a pre-med program. She then intends to enroll in four years of medical school and become a doctor, specializing in anesthesiology.

• Salutatorian Emily Staple — Daughter of Jeff and Julie Staple. Emily has been a violinist with the Wayland High School String Orchestra and a four-year member of the Lady Wildcats’ tennis team. She was president of the PALS program, a peer tutor and was a member of the National Honor Society.

She won a special award from the Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce and will attend Michigan State University this fall to major in business and supply chain management.


  • • Valedictorian Taryn Kilbane — Daughter of Paula and Brian Kilbane. Very active in Lady Vikings’ sports programs, she was a letter winner in cross-country, soccer and girls’ basketball. She took part in the state cross-country meet for three years and was all-conference as a midfielder in soccer.

Taryn was a member of the local chapter of the National Honor Society and the Student Council.
Her plans are to attend the University of Loyola at Chicago and major in biology.

  • Salutatorian Hannah Kuperus — Daughter of Brian and Kathy Kuperus. Hannah’s passion throughout her high school years has been the robotics program and she says she wants to be an engineer. After developing and designing an miniature lathe, she was selected as Student of the Year for the Machining & CNC Technology program at the Allegan Career and Technical Center.

So it’s no surprise that she plans to attend Kettering University to student mechanical and manufacturing engineering.


  • Valedictorian Sara Spicer — Daughter of Colleen and Joseph Strobel. The senior class vice president and secretary of the Student Council, Sara won a scholarship award from Grand Valley State University and the Gun Lake Casino.

She plans to attend GVSU to pursue a degree in education or in publishing. She also has expressed interest in joining the Peace Corps.

  • Salutatorian Helena Maes — Daughter of Lisa and Robert Maes. Helena was senior class treasurer and a was a member of the local chapter of the National Honor Society.

A recipient of a Grand Valley State University Laker Scholarship, she will attend GVSU and plans to major in chemistry.

PHOTOS: Samantha Dzierzyc    Emily Staple

Taryn Kilbane    Hannah Kuperus

Sara Spicer    Helena Maes

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