The Grapevine

by Martin McConnell

Independence High School student Grant Sears received the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio’s “Excellence in Education Peer Award” for 2022.

Sears was also recognized by multiple outlets earlier this year for his efforts in the field of American Sign Language. As the president of Independence High School’s ASL Honor Society, Sears was chosen to teach signing to a deaf toddler by the name of Barrett Hovanic-Weeda.

The Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio aims to serve students and the educational community of the greater Cleveland area. The organization’s Peer Award is meant to recognize students who have built strong relationships with others in their community and within the educational field.

Independence softball player Sophie George collected an RBI single during the Ohio Varsity All-Star Classic on June 15. This year’s All-Star Classic game was extra special, as it also served as a celebration for the 30th anniversary of the movie “A League of Their Own.”

To go with the “A League of Their Own” theme, the teams this year were announced as the Rockford Peaches and the Racine Belles. George’s performance helped power the Peaches over the Belles with a final score of 14-0.

Volunteers from the Independence branch and other area bracnhes of KeyBank, volunteered at Independence Historic Hall on June 7. They inventoried the historical museum’s hat collection, cleaned, ironed vintage clothing, dressed mannequins and stuffed/addressed envelopes.  KeyBank sponsors an annual “Neighbors Make a Difference Day,”and this was the second year they volunteered at the museum. “They worked tirelessly for four hours, completing tasks that would have taken the organization weeks to complete,” said Independence Historical Society President Deb Hudnall. “There is still much to be done, but now we are much closer to our goal of opening the museum by the end of 2022.”

Tyler Polman, of Independence, earned a BS in Exercise Science and Physiology from Youngstown State

University this spring.

The following Independence natives have been named to the Baldwin Wallace University Dean’s List for the spring semester: Hayley Biondi, Independence High School alumna, majoring in early childhood education; Ricky Dilworth, IHS alumnus, majoring in pre-allied health/pre-physical therapy; Michael Jedrzejek, IHS alumnus, majoring in sport management and marketing; CeCelia Leone IHS graduate, majoring in digital marketing; IHS alumna Bonnie Malue, majoring in sport management; Morgan Martin, majoring in psychology; Maria McCollum, IHS alumna, majoring in public health. Greg Paparizos, majoring in digital marketing.

The following Independence residents were named to Ohio University’s Spring 2022 Dean’s list: Liv Michota, Abby Myers, Courtney Zakraysek, Alex Nemecek, Megan Fink, Kana Wisniewski, and Hannah Fleming.

Sarah Foley, from Independence, graduated with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in osteopathic medicine from Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in spring 2022.

Independence natives Emma Somrak and Ryan Hocking were named to the President’s List at Miami University. To be named to the list, students must be ranked in the top three percent of undergraduate students within each division for the spring semester 2021-22.

Alexis Misconish of Independence, made the Dean’s List for the spring 2022 semester at Miami University.

The following students from Independence graduated from Baldwin Wallace University: Miranda Lyons, IHS alumna, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Marketing. Morgan Martin graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Maura Montague, IHS alumna, graduated with a Bachelor of Science: Environmental Science. Greg Paparizos graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Marketing.

Emma Morrow and Angela Vitantonio of Independence were named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2022 semester at the University of Mount Union.

Aliya McDonald recently graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in Philadelphia, Pa.

Elek McDonald, of Independence, made Dean’s List for the second year in a row at Desales University in Center Valley, Pa., where he is studying accounting and playing men’s soccer.

Stefanie Marek of Independence, majoring in Communication Studies, media track, was named

to the Dean’s List at Youngstown State University for the spring 2022 semester. ∞