Seniors named state, regional academic all-stars


Three area high school seniors were recently honored for their academic prowess by the Indiana Association of School Principals.


In a May 7 press release, Jasper High School’s Jacob Barry was recognized as one of 40 Academic All-Stars across the state, while Forest Park High School’s Connor Luebbehusen and Heritage Hills High School’s Kayla Blake were honored as two of 50 Indiana Regional All-Stars. All three honorees are in the running for or have secured the valedictorian or salutatorian titles at their schools.

According to the release, the students were selected from a field of 274 outstanding nominees from the state’s private and public schools. Each school may nominate one senior for consideration as an Indiana Academic All-Star. From these nominees, a selection committee chose the 40 Indiana Academic All-Stars and the Regional winners — which represent five regions in Indiana.

“It’s definitely an esteemed list of students,” said Forest Park High School Guidance Counselor Dee Ann Wylam. “So, it’s always an honor to be named one of the top students in the state. I think that’s fantastic.”

Guidance counselors from all three high schools said they were proud of their award-winning students for their work throughout the years.

Sean Jochum, a Jasper guidance counselor, spoke highly of Barry’s perfect ACT score (36 out of 36) and impressive transcript.

“He’s just top-notch all the way around,” Jochum said of Barry, who will attend Purdue University next fall. “He’s definitely been an asset to our school.”

Wylam has watched Luebbehusen grow throughout high school and said he is “truly an outstanding student” and that his recognition as a regional all-star is a deserved honor. Wylam said Luebbehusen is very community and service-minded and serious about his schoolwork.

“Connor is just one of those young men who is just truly a kind and caring person,” she said. “Going hand in hand, I think he is a completely well-rounded young man and I think he will be successful in whatever he chooses.”

After graduation, Luebbehusen plans to attend the University of Evansville and major in computer engineering.

Heritage Hills guidance counselor Ashley Tempel said Blake has phenomenal test scores, a very high GPA, and is very active in the community. Tempel said Blake is well-prepared for what lies ahead — studying neuroscience at the University of Evansville — and will make the high school proud.

“More than anything, we’re proud of her,” Tempel said of Blake. “She is a good representative who we want to send out of Heritage Hills.”

A mathematical formula that combines the SAT or ACT composite score and the seven-semester grade-point average with the academic achievements, honors, courses and academic extracurricular activities as well as other extracurricular activities, community service and leadership qualities are used to determine the school’s Academic All-Star nominee as well as the final all-star and regional all-star distinctions.

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