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    Marmaton Valley High School’s valedictorians for the Class of 2019 deliver a joint address at Saturday’s senior commencement. They are, from left, Paige Becker, Sarah Spillman, Elizabeth Johnson and Kari Shadden.

Twice as nice

MV grad earns HS diploma, ACC degree simultaneously
The Iola Register

MORAN — Sarah Spillman has never been a big fan of waiting for things to happen.

She was entering her sophomore year when she also enrolled at Allen Community College.

By the time she was a junior, Spillman was taking four ACC classes which she then upped to five per semester her senior year as part of the dual credit alliance between Marmaton Valley High School and ACC.

By the time Spillman earned her high school diploma Saturday, she’d been a graduate from ACC for two full weeks.

 Sarah Spillman graduated with honors from Marmaton Valley and Allen Community College simultaneously. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK SPILLMAN

The simultaneous graduations are part of Spillman’s fast-track effort to become a veterinarian.

“I always knew I wanted to work with animals,” she said. “And I knew once I got this done, I’d be one step closer.”

Spillman graduated from both schools with a 4.0 grade-point average.

She did this on top of a full slate of extra-curricular activities, including softball, volleyball, basketball, band and theater, FFA, Scholars Bowl, Student Council, National Honor Society, and KAY Club.

Despite all this, Spillman has also worked part-time at Red Barn Veterinary Clinic in Iola, where she will continue to work over the summer.

“It’s pretty amazing to get to work at such a respected veterinary clinic,” she said. “I’ve always loved animals, probably more than people. I really think that’s my purpose.”

From here, Spillman will attend Kansas State University.

Marmaton Valley High School’s Caiden Elliott is congratulated by USD 257 school board member Steve Becker during Saturday’s senior commencement.

SPILLMAN is a fourth-generation MV graduate. Her mother, Jenny Spillman, grandmother, Nancy Houk Chandler, and great-grandmother, Opal Sullivan Houk, all are Wildcats.

“It’s been nice having my family all around here,” Spillman said.

She’s also lucky to have many lifelong friends. Of the 17 graduates, eight have been classmates of Spillman since kindergarten. 

Spillman, the daughter of Mark and Jenny Spillman, is one of four valedictorians for Marmaton Valley’s Class of 2019, along with Paige Becker, Elizabeth Johnson and Kari Shadden.

Karlie Stephens was salutatorian.

They were recognized with medals and honor cords for maintaining a GPA of at least 3.5 through high school. Other honor cord recipients were Hannah Dahl, Caiden Elliott, Jasmine Gardner and Nicole Woods.

Shailee Woods decorated her cap with a message of inspiration at Marmaton Valley High School’s senior commencement Saturday.

DURING Saturday’s ceremony, school counselor Kaylan Lawson listed the assorted scholarships the graduating seniors will receive in college. If all of the scholarships are used in their entirety, MV’s 17 seniors will have $131,750 available to them to continue their education.

The list of recipients follows:

Paige Becker — Allen Community College Presidential Scholarship, Marmaton Valley Teachers Association and Marmaton Valley Cooks Scholarship.

Caiden Elliott — Moran Ruritan Scholarship.

Jasmine Gardner — Washburn Freshman Academic Scholarship, Jim and Lili Knight Scholarship, Jones Hardy Post No. 385 American Legion Scholarship and Masonic Lodge Scholarship.

Isaac Heskett — Southwestern College Football and Institutional Scholarships, American Legion Scholarship and Ronald Larson Memorial Scholarship.

Elizabeth Johnson — R.E. French Scholarship, Marmaton Valley Teachers Association Scholarship and Barclay College Full Tuition Scholarship.

Patricia Outlan — Allen Community College Volleyball Scholarship.

Kari Shadden — Allen Community College Presidential Scholarship, Marmaton Valley Teachers Association Scholarship, Marmaton Valley Cooks Scholarship and Haberbosch Family Scholarship.

Colton Sneed — Neosho County Community College Art Scholarship and Neosho County Community College After-Prom Scholarship.

Sarah Spillman — Kansas State Foundation Scholarship, Kansas State First in Class Scholarship, LaHarpe Alumni Scholarship, Marmaton Valley Teachers Association Scholarship and McFadden Scholarship.

Karlie Stephens — Allen Presidential Scholarship, MFA/AG Choice Scholarship, Masonic Lodge Scholarship, Marmaton Valley Teachers Association Scholarship, American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 385 Scholarship, Haberbosch Family Scholarship and Marmaton Valley FFA Scholarship.

Trent Vest — Moran Ruritan Scholarship, Marmaton Valley Teachers Association Scholarship and Cooks For Kids Scholarship.

Shailee Woods — Allen Community College Dean’s Scholarship, Cooks For Kids Scholarship and Marmaton Valley Teachers Association Scholarship.

Earning honor cords at Marmaton Valley High School’s senior commencement Saturday were, from left, Paige Becker, Hannah Dahl, Caiden Elliott, Jasmine Gardner, Elizabeth Johnson, Kari Shadden, Sarah Spillman, Karlie Stephens and Shailee Woods.

The Iola Register

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