Local students prep for West Michigan Student Showcase

April 9, 2019

Several students from local high schools are gearing up for the West Michigan Student Showcase on Wednesday and Thursday at the Frauenthal Center in Muskegon, an annual program recognizing excellence in athletic, academic and artistic achievement.

Mason County Central, Ludington and Mason County Eastern high schools are each sending students to this year’s showcase with high hopes.

Thirty-four regional high schools will participate in academic, athletic and several artistic categories for $10,000 in scholarship funds.

Students will present their accomplishments at 7 p.m. Wednesday and there will be an award presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Students are selected by educators at their own school.

Mason County Central

MCC is sending six students to the showcase: Rachel Allen and Zech Kmiecik for athletics; Bruce Banks for academics; Ashley Metheny for visual arts; Jillian Mickevich for literary arts; and Jocee Schwass for performing arts.

Jeff Tuka, MCC High School principal, said the school is proud of the participating students for the hard work they’ve put into their respective areas of concentration.

“All the students were chosen for good reason, and they excel in their areas. We hope they do really well,” Tuka said. “All these students deserve the recognition for what they’ve accomplished in their areas.”

Tuka added that MCC has had one West Michigan Student Showcase overall winner — Chloe Kimes, in 2015 — and he hopes to see an MCC student earn that award again.

“There’s some pretty talented students here,” he said.

Ludington High School

Ludington High School is sending only one student this year, senior Anna Gwiazdowski, who is entered in the visual arts category.

Gwiazdowski recently won the West Shore Community College Regional High School Art Competition for the second year in a row, and will present several pieces she’s worked on with LHS art teacher John Lipa.

Steve Forsberg, assistant principal at LHS, said the school is proud of what Gwiazdowski has achieved.

“She’s such an accomplished artist,” Forsberg said. “She works so hard at it that it’s nice to have other people go and see (her art).”

He said Gwiazdowski, through art, sports and overall spirit “represents what it means to be an Oriole.”

“We’re just really proud of her,” Forsberg said.

Mason County Eastern

Mason County Eastern High School will send five students to the student showcase with one, Jenny Appledorn, participating in both academics and athletics.

In addition to Appledorn, MCE will also send Steven Sturtehant for athletics; Emily Robinson for performing arts; Samantha Goodman for visual arts and Katherine Nelson for literary arts.

MCE Schools Superintendent Paul Shoup said the student showcase is a valuable experience for students who excel in different areas.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that the West Michigan Student Showcase provides for our kids, and it’s nice for students to get academic and arts recognition along with the athletics,” Shoup said. “It gives quite an opportunity for the arts to be highlighted in a beautiful fashion.”

More about Showcase

The arts categories, which also include digital media, are competitive, and all arts honorees will have their work or performance judged by a panel of professionals in their respective field of choice on Wednesday.

Awards will be presented at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Tickets are available through StarTickets at 1-800-585-3737 and are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can also be purchased for $10 at Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon.

For more information, visit www.westmishowcase.org.