Crestwood inducts 22 into National Honor Society


CRESCO - Howard-Winneshiek Community School District is proud to announce that 22 juniors and seniors were inducted into National Honor Society (NHS) at Crestwood High School for the 2016-17 school year. They join 29 present members and were honored at the 57th Annual Induction Service that took place in the high school auditorium on the evening of Monday, Nov. 28.
NHS recognizes students who display and uphold the core attributes of Character, Scholarship, Leadership and Service, and was founded on the principle that true education develops well-rounded personalities.
“We know that the young men and women who possess these qualities today will be the leaders of tomorrow,” said student Kaylie Henry at the Induction Service. “It is the aim of all members of the Society, not only to possess these qualities, but also to uphold them so that they shall induce others to aspire to scholarly habits, worthy service, and active leadership.”
No honor conferred by Crestwood High School excels that represented by NHS. Other honors at the disposal of the school are only partial in the sense that they recognize specialized ability, skill, or talent; but this Society looks upon education as a total product measured by the four dimensions of life.
New Inductees
Class of 2017: Madison Fitzgerald, Jordan Girolamo, and Ashley Halverson.
Class of 2018: Brynn Bodermann, Abbigail Burke, Allison Burke, Ashley Fencl, Ellie Friesen, Emily Friesen, Alexis Gosnell, Judd Grover, Amanda Johnson, Cassidy Kennon, Kayla Lentz, Allison Martinek, Torie McConnell, Madison McKenna, Clayton Ollendieck, Taylar Pecinovsky, Shannon Pisney, Madison Steffen, and Karissa Stika.
Present Members
Class of 2017: Elaina Balk, Blair Bodermann, Kelsey Burnikel, Lauren Butikofer, Katrina Cotant, Spencer Cuvelier, Alisha DeWolf, Payge Duerre, Carter Dull, Shaunna Erickson, Karley Freidhof, Kandise Hauber, Kaylie Henry, Katie Huhe, Alexander Kerian, Joseph Labosky III, Haley Martin, Tracy Martinek, Amber Mast, Austin McAllister, Casey Ollendieck, Alysa Osmonson, Isaiah Passmore, Alexis Pitzen, Megan Ryan, Nicole Saltou, Sarah Schoeberl, Morgan Schrage, and Katelyn Stortz.
Keynote Speaker
Dr. Ann Howard Jones, professor emerita of music at Boston University, provided this year’s keynote address at the National Honor Society induction service at Crestwood High School. Dr. Jones, a distinguished clinician, teacher, and conductor, is a 1960 graduate of Cresco High School, who in the fall of 2016 began as a visiting professor and conductor of the famed Nordic Choir at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Dr. Jones has led many All-State and regional choruses, workshops, and master classes in the U.S., Europe, South America, Canada, and Asia. In the spring of 2017 she will fill the position as sabbatical replacement at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
“Her musicianship, integrity, and influence are present in every corner of the country through the numerous academic appointments of her former students,” announced senior Blair Bodermann prior to the professor’s address. “Former students of Dr. Jones hold conducting positions at Harvard University, MacAlester College, Lewis & Clark College, Gonzaga University, the University of Hawaii, Centenary College, Lucknow, Central Connecticut, Boston University, the Westminster School, the Boston Children’s Chorus, the Handel and Haydn Society and many others.”
What follows is an abridged version of Dr. Jones’ address to students on the evening of Monday, Nov. 28:
“Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to visit my old school,” Dr. Jones began. “It was a different school when I was here, because I graduated just as the consolidation [of Howard-Winn CSD] was taking place, so it was still ‘Cresco High School’ in those days. When I add up the years since, I think it’s been 56 years and that’s hard to imagine.
“If you’d asked me when I left Cresco High School what I wanted to be when I grew up, I probably would have said I wanted to go to college, get a degree in music education, and prepare myself for a career as a high school music teacher. I was sidetracked twice. Once when I thought I might major in Spanish, not music, and once when I was offered a chance to go to graduate school in another field. I did spend one year in the College of Education at the University of Iowa, and wouldn’t you know it? In a strange twist of fate, one of the people in the class I took was to be my future husband.
“As it turned out I never did teach high school music. My first job was at a community college in California. At age 23, I crossed the Missouri River for the first time in my life and went by train from Marion, Iowa, to Los Angeles to start my career.
“Marriage, a couple more moves, a doctorate, and a lot of teaching later, we ended up in Georgia. Two experiences from that time were pivotal. [First], I went to Brazil on a Fulbright professorship; a daunted prospect frankly, because I’d never heard a word of Portuguese. Second, I found myself in the [presence] of one of the most important people in my profession, Robert Shaw, who was the conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
“I auditioned for the chorus, made it, and almost immediately was given responsibility for assisting Mr. Shaw with the choruses in Atlanta. One time, nine busloads of us visited Berlin before the Berlin Wall came down. That was in 1989…I spent several years in France in the summers, singing and recording in choruses Mr. Shaw conducted. We won Grammy’s, sang in some of the world’s concert halls, and I don’t mean to minimize any of that – it was spectacular.
But who could have imagined or predicted where Dr. Jones’ career would take her?
“Certainly not I,” she said. “As I think back over the indelible influences in my life that have led me [here], I first think of my family. My mother’s mother was the Congregational Church organist here in Cresco. She also was the librarian at the Carnegie library in town. Her sisters had their own string quartet. My grandfather entertained all of his grandchildren on Sundays by sitting at the piano and making up songs…Then there were the teachers. Thanks to them we had an excellent education here at Cresco High School. Like many of my fellow students, I participated in as many activities as I could – sang in the choruses, played the piano, and played in the band.”
Others who went before Dr. Jones, she said, showed her that even those who come from a little town called “Cresco” could accomplish interesting, even great, things. “[They could] travel to unimaginable places and make a positive impact no matter where or in what field,” she added, before continuing to note some of the select people who have helped to show the way for those from Cresco. “The list includes many who are nationally and
internationally noted for their influence,” starting with the most notable and the most obvious: Dr. Norman Borlaug (March 1914-Sept. 2009).
“Imagine that Cresco, Iowa, has a Nobel Peace Prize winner – one of only 97 given since 1901. Once when I was in Oslo, [Norway], I went to the building where all of the Peace Prize winners and their accomplishments are laid out. There he was. Not ‘he’ literally, but all of his stuff. He used to drop into our classroom, because his niece was in my class. We knew he was doing important work in plant science, that he was the Father of the Green Revolution, and that millions are not starving today because of his work.
“[Borlaug’s] legacy is honored by another Cresco graduate: Ken Burr, who worked in [Borlaug’s] labs and recently came back to Cresco to tell us all about a hyper-productive soybean that was soon to be in production and would bear eight times the amount of the current soybean plant – able therefore to feed all of South America.
“Borlaug said in his Nobel lecture, quote: ‘If you desire peace, cultivate justice, but at the same time cultivate the fields to produce more bread; otherwise there will be no peace.’”
The Atlantic Monthly once said that, quote: “‘Borlaug has already saved more lives than anyone whom ever lived.’ He was a big thinker and a big doer. Who will be next?
“You probably drive by the sculpture of Dr. Borlaug in the park by the highway and wonder about the person who created it. The work was commissioned and created by Karen Laub in 1971, a fine visual artist from Cresco. When she lived here she taught in the summer arts recreation program, where with her guidance many of us tried our hands as young kids. She married the famous philosopher/theologian Michael Novak.
“And while we’re on the subject of fine arts, some of you will recognize the name Phyllis Somerville. She wasn’t exactly born in Cresco, but her father was the pastor of the United Methodist Church downtown and we claim her. She’s a working actress who appears in soap operas, movies, and on Broadway. She got her start here in school plays and variety shows. She was also an excellent clarinet player and in all of the choruses.
“It’s hard to know where to start with all of the outstanding athletes that are from Cresco. I was in school when Tom Peckham, a standout wrestler, won two NCAA Championships for Iowa State and was a two-time Olympian. Bob Hess was another Cresco native who was a national champion and Olympian. Other national champions were Gary Kurdelmeier, Harold Nichols, Don Nichols, Dale Hanson, Robert Hanson, Gene Lybbert, and maybe as many as nine altogether. Harold Nichols and Gary Kurdelmeier coached, respectively, at Iowa State and Iowa concurrently for many years, sporting remarkably successful teams. The wrestlers of the 1960 team won a state championship and will forever go down in the annals of Cresco wrestling. Peckham was on that team, another is Don Henry, the only Cresco wrestler who made it to the high school state tournament championship match in his weight class all four years.
“It’s a strange coincidence I suppose but the coach of all of those teams was my uncle, Chris Flanagan. Thanks to his success and the success of years and years of wrestlers, the Wrestling Hall of Fame is in this little town. Uncle Chris gets a lot of credit for the wrestlers who got college scholarships as a result of their success and of his encouragement. Don Henry remembers at least 12 in the four years he wrestled, and all graduated.
“You know George Champlin for his generous philanthropy to benefit Cresco – for the large part he played in the theatre renovation here in town and for his advertising career. What many people don’t know is that he was instrumental in helping young people from Cresco get started in college or business in the Twin Cities. That support began with Mr. Champlin’s recruitment of Norman Borlaug, of all people, to attend the University of Minnesota. Another of those fortunate enough to have Mr. Champlin’s help was my youngest brother, Mark; himself an Honor Society member at Cresco High School. His first job was at Mr. Champlin’s advertising firm in Minneapolis. By the way if you don’t remember anything else about George Champlin, he has been credited with naming ‘Cheerios.’
“On a visit home from the university when I was a freshman,” Dr. Jones further recalled, “I passed by the corner clothing store downtown. I think it was called ‘Warners.’ I noticed a big shiny trophy in the window. To  my great surprise, that trophy was awarded by the national honor society Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Iowa, to the Iowa high school that had the largest percentage of its freshmen enrollment with a Grade Point Average over 3.5. As it turned out, six of us from Cresco were freshmen and four of us received over a 3.5…
“What does all of this mean? Why do I bring all of this attention to these names when you [as students] are being honored?
“This little town and this little school have great expectations of its students. We were determined to be tenacious; that the remarkable intelligence, talent, and skill exhibited by those [aforementioned] who showed us that almost anything is possible. If we worked hard and applied ourselves we [could] follow in a long line of those who went before us, and of those who undoubtedly will come after, who call Cresco and the little towns around, ‘Home.’
“After 50 years of teaching, I still come back filled with gratitude for all I’ve learned here. For the examples that were set for me to observe and honor, or the expectation I’ve always felt that we would try our best at everything we did, and we would persevere even if we fell on our faces. That we would try to bring credit to our families, our school, our town, and ourselves, and that we would aspire to achieve all we could – even if that meant taking an occasional, unthinkable risk.
“I’ve had an opportunity to travel all over the country and world, singing and conducting, and teaching. It’s been my good fortune to perform both as a singer and a conductor many times in great places, like Carnegie Hall. To have worked with some of the worlds great singers and conductors and to have taught many students who are now in positions of leadership. I feel every day a sense of responsibility to try to make the world a better place. I think it’s getting harder and harder. My commitment to music goes beyond learning notes, rhythms, producing beautiful sound, and singing a great repertoire. I also have a focus on music’s capacity to be, quote: ‘…the persistent focus of our intelligence, aspiration and goodwill.’ That’s from Robert Shaw.”

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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