Southridge graduates 116 seniors

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Southridge High School graduated 116 in the Class of 2020 last week when e-learning came to an end. The school hopes to hold a commencement ceremony on Saturday, July 18, at Raider Field, pending local, state and federal COVID-19 guidelines.

Valedictorians are Jaffet Cruz Valencia, Audra Hochgesang, Elisha Painter, Evalyn Sherer and Grace Sickbert.

The salutatorian is Alexandra Hasenour.


Cruz Valencia is the son of Wences and Yessica (Valencia) Cruz of Huntingburg. He participated in many extracurriculars while at Southridge, including cross county, track and field, the Huntingburg Mayor’s Youth Council, National Honor Society and Spell Bowl. The five awards he’s most proud of are the Rising Star of Indiana Class of 2020, Optimist Youth of the Month, National Hispanic Recognition Scholar, first team Academic All-State for track and field and the Southridge Academic Honor Roll.

He plans to attend Indiana University-Bloomington to major in supply chain and operations management. He received several scholarships including a Kelley School of Business Dean’s Council scholarship from Indiana University, the Ruby and Dick Smith scholarship and the Ronald E. Blesch Memorial scholarship. He was also admitted into the Jesse H. and Beulah Chanley Cox and the Hudson and Holland scholars programs at IU.


Hochgesang is the daughter of Kent and Yvonne (Pulley) Hochgesang of St. Henry. While at Southridge, she played volleyball and tennis and was in choir and musicals. She participated in YoungLife and was a WyldLife leader. She was also Student Council president and vice president of Business Professionals of America. The awards she’s most proud of are Optimist Youth of the Month, Rising Stars of Indiana, Academic All-State for volleyball, tennis doubles Pocket Athletic Conference All-Conference and tennis Most Valuable Player.

She plans to attend Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, to study business. She was admitted into the Collins Scholar Honors Program and received the Lipscomb Trustee Scholarship, the Marian Klausmeier Roettger Scholarship and the Builders Association Scholarship.


Painter is the daughter of Greg and Bonnie (Klem) Painter of Huntingburg. Her favorite activities while at Southridge were cheerleading, band, National Honor Society, Spanish Club and Natural Helpers. The awards she’s most proud of are Most Improved Cheerleader, the leadership award and the All-American Cheerleader award.

She plans to pursue a degree in exercise science from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, with the ultimate goal of becoming a physical therapist. She received the Distinguished Scholar award and the Knights of Honor award from Bellarmine.




Sherer is the daughter Drs. Ryan and Rachelle Sherer of Huntingburg. While at Southridge she was a member of several organizations and teams, including the band, the tennis team and the Huntingburg Mayor’s Youth Council. She also performed in several musicals. She was the Southridge representative for the Indiana Academic All-Stars and received the Arion Award for band, the Huntingburg Optimist Youth of the Month award in January, the leadership award for tennis and Most Valuable Player for diving.

She will attend Indiana University-Bloomington to major in biology and was accepted to IU’s Hutton Honors College.




Sickbert is the daughter of Chad and Billie (Buse) Sickbert of Huntingburg. While at Southridge she ran track and field, played basketball and was a member of the Huntingburg Mayor’s Youth Council, National Honor Society and FFA. The awards she’s most proud of are being named an Indiana Rising Star for the Class of 2020, being named a National Merit Commended Scholar, the Huntingburg Optimist Youth of the Month, the Southridge Academic Excellence Award and Most Valuable Player for track and field.

She plans to attend Purdue University to study chemical engineering. She was awarded a Lilly Endowment scholarship, a Farbest Foods scholarship and a Huntingburg Optimist scholarship.



Hasenour is the daughter of Sherri Neher and the late David Hasenour. While at Southridge she ran cross country and track and was a member of the German club, Natural Helpers, National Honor Society and the Academic Bowl team. She served the German Club as secretary her sophomore year and as president her senior year. She was also a member of her church’s youth group and went on three mission trips. She was awarded the Southwest Dubois County School Corporation academic excellence award each year of high school, was on the honor roll, was named student of the month and won the Huntingburg Optimist Youth of the Month.
She plans to attend Purdue University to study engineering. She was awarded the German Club scholarship and Purdue’s Ben Meissner scholarship.




More on DuboisCountyHerald.com