Four Chester High School seniors have been named Illinois State Scholars.
Jakob Cushman, Emma Draves, Elizabeth Soellner and Jacob Wingerter have been honored by the Illinois Student Assistance Program for their academic excellence.
Illinois State Scholars perform in the top half of their class, and score in the 95th percentile on the ACT, SAT or Prairie State Achievement Exam.
Scholars represent approximately the top 10 percent of high school seniors from 765 high schools from across the state of Illinois.
The son of Jess and Jackie Cushman, Jakob, 18, is a member of the National Honor Society. He has been on the Honor Roll all four years, qualified for American Legion Boys State and was named the Elks Student of the Month. He was a 2018 Prom Prince and a member of the 2018 Homecoming Court.
His athletic involvement includes cross country (named Most Improved Player in 2017), golf, basketball (co-captain in 2016, co-captain varsity, 2018-2019), baseball and the Summer Volleyball League.
His extracurricular activities include marching band, concert band, swing choir, drama, the musical, theater (set crew, lighting technician and actor), Spanish Club, Student Council, Spirit Squad and Point Guard College.
Jakob's volunteer activities include a recycling drive, Little Jackets basketball coach and participant, Basketball Game Day bookkeeper and clock-timer, Basketball referee, and cleaning the grounds after athletic events.
He has been employed as a lawn mower, a construction worker assistant and as a family farmworker. Jakob enjoys hunting, fishing, and playing basketball and volleyball. He also likes to incubate/raise chickens and he is an amateur carpenter and mechanic.
Emma is a senior at Chester High School and has lived in Chester her entire life. She is the daughter of Michael and Roxanna Draves of Chester and the granddaughter of Lee Love of Terre Haute, Indiana and Gary and Sherry Love of East Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Emma's interests include academics, animal welfare and the environment. She is an avid reader and especially enjoys science fiction and dystopian novels.
Emma has been involved in three CHS theater productions: the comedy, "Buckshot and Blossoms", last year's musical "The Little Mermaid", and this year's musical, "Annie". She has also been active on the CHS Scholar Bowl Team at both the junior varsity and varsity levels.
Emma will continue her postsecondary education at the university level at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering.
Elizabeth Soellner is the daughter of Larry and Melissa Soellner. At CHS Elizabeth is president of the Spanish Club, vice president of the National Honor Society chapter and competes on the Lady Jacket Cross Country Team.
Elizabeth also is an active member of the Student Council and the Chester High School WYSE Team.
As a member of the CHS drama program Elizabeth has had several major roles in recent Chester High School plays and musicals. This spring she will be in a featured role in the production of "Annie".
Outside of school, Elizabeth does service work with an organization called "The Lodges of Ondessonk" and "Tekakwitha" based out of Camp Ondessonk. her intention is to go to college and major in Biology.
The son of Bob and Jody Wingerter, Jacob has been a member of the Chester High School YellowJacket Golf Team and is a member of the National Honor Society, Scholar Bowl Team and WYSE teams.
Throughout his high school career Jacob has been active in the CHS Marching Band, Concert Band and Jazz Band. He was also an active member of the Concert Choir and Swing Choir, "Sound Affect".
Last year in the spring of 2018 Jacob made his stage debut as King Triton in the CHS Production of "The Little Mermaid". He did extremely well and enjoyed his experience so much that he auditioned again this year for "Annie," and landed the male lead as Daddy Warbucks.
Jacob is employed as a cook at the St. Nicholas Landmark restaurant in Chester. He also does a great job singing in his church praise team. When at home Jacob loves spending his free time with his dad, Bob Wingerter, and his dog, Izzy.
After graduating in May 2019, Jacob will attend the University of Illinois in Urbana, where he will pursue a career in marketing management.