With 7 valedictorians, Forest Park graduation set

Herald Staff Writer

FERDINAND — Forest Park High School Class of 2013 will graduate at 2 p.m. Saturday in Buechler Arena. The seven valedictorians will address the assembly of 95 graduating seniors.

Valedictorians are Marissa Emmert, Libby C. Gress, Amanda Marie Jacob, Andi Elizabeth Kempf, Lori Nicole Uebelhor, Amanda Waninger and Logan Welp. The salutatorian is Jaylen Renee Miller.


Emmert is the daughter of Robin and Michelle (Becker) Emmert of Ferdinand.

She has participated in cheerleading, swimming, National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Rangers for Christ, marching band, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, the Beta, Key and Spirit clubs and the spelling and English academic bowl teams. She also tutored elementary and junior high school students.

She is a member of St. Ferdinand Catholic Church where she is in the youth group and adult choir and volunteers with vacation Bible school, at the church picnic and as a server and Christmas caroler.

She has been involved in the Girl Scouts, 4-H and the Teens Encounter Christ retreat. She has been a violin student of Strings Inc. for the past 12 years and has performed with the Owensboro Symphony Youth Orchestra.

She was named the Outstanding Freshman Band Member and received the Pocket Athletic Conference Academic Scholar Athlete award. She had a poem published in Vincennes University’s Autumn Voices.

She received the University of Southern Indiana Departmental Scholarship and will attend the Evansville school to study psychology and occupational therapy.


Gress is the daughter of Robert and Teresa (Lashley) Gress of Huntingburg.

She has been the manager of the cross country team, a member of the basketball team, student council vice president and a peer tutor. She participated in SADD and the Beta, Community Impact and Renaissance clubs.

She is a member of the Talent Seekers 4-H Club.

She was named the school’s top academic cross country runner and a PAC academic scholar for basketball. She won the basketball Mental Attitude Award, was published in Autumn Voices and was a homecoming queen candidate.

She has received a 21st Century Scholars scholarship that she will use to attend Indiana University in Bloomington to study genetic engineering and business.


Jacob is the daughter of Wayne and Barbara (Henke) Jacob of Huntingburg.

She has been a member of the soccer, basketball and track teams, as well as the Beta, Renaissance and spirit clubs, SADD, NHS, student council, Rangers for Christ and Peers Educating Peers. She is senior class president.

She is a parishioner at St. Ferdinand Catholic Church where she is a lector, leader of the children’s liturgy, Eucharistic minister, youth group member and picnic and vacation Bible school volunteer.
She volunteers for Dubois County Community Meal, Scenic Hills Care Center and Ferdinand Folk Festival.

In soccer, she received the Mental Attitude, Golden Foot, Most Valuable Player and PAC honorable mention awards and was first team all-state and second team all-district. In basketball, she was honorable mention for the PAC. She had a poem published in Autumn Voices and an art piece featured at Brescia University in Owensboro, won the school Poetry Out Loud competition and the Beta Club state math contest. She was homecoming queen.

She received the Southwestern Indiana Officials Association and Purdue University Trustee scholarships, which she will use to study engineering at Purdue.


Kempf is the daughter of Todd Kempf of Huntingburg and Darin and Amber (Vonderheide) Englert of St. Anthony.

She was a member of Peers Educating Peers, the prom board, the spirit, Beta and Renaissance clubs, NHS, SADD and the dance team. She served as the manager for the soccer team as a freshman.

She was an Indiana High School Dance Team Association state champion for three years and works at the Hodgini School of Dance & Gymnastics and at St. Nick’s Restaurant in Santa Claus.
She received the University of Southern Indiana Departmental Scholarship and will attend USI to study nursing.


Uebelhor is the daughter of Curtis and Rita (Beckman) Uebelhor of Ferdinand.

She has participated in marching band, NHS, the Beta, Key, Renaissance and Community Impact clubs, color guard, student government and SADD and has been the manager for the wrestling team.

She is a member of the St. Ferdinand Catholic Church where she teaches religion to preschool students, volunteers with vacation Bible school and participates in a youth group.

She is a member of the Crusaders 4-H Club and serves as a math tutor and a volunteer for Dubois County Meals on Wheels.

She has received the best of show award in art at the national Beta Club convention as well as the St. Maria Goretti Youth Distinction, Earth and Space Academic and Ferdinand American Legion Americanism Essay awards. She was a Hoosier Girls State delegate.

She also has been awarded the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Valedictorian Chancellor’s, Dean of Science and Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union Ted Hitch scholarships, which she will use at IUPUI to study biology in preparation for an optometry degree.


Waninger is the daughter of Randy and Sonya (Vittitow) Waninger of Ferdinand.

She has participated in NHS, the Beta, Renaissance and Key clubs, SADD, Rangers for Christ, marching and concert bands, cheerleading, English academic bowl and track.

She is a member of St. Ferdinand Catholic Church and sings and plays flute in the church choir, participates in the youth group, volunteers for vacation Bible school, performs Christmas carols at local nursing homes and delivers Communion to the homebound.

She has been involved in 4-H and Girl Scouts and has tutored elementary school students.

She has won Dubois County Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen, cheerleading PAC All-Conference Academic Scholar Athlete and 2012 Track First Team Academic All-State awards as well as a National Merit letter of commendation and best-in-class honors in biology and chemistry. In 2011, she was the runner-up at the state level of both the academic bowl and the Beta Club individual German contest.

She received the Bepko Scholars and Fellows Program Scholarship from IUPUI, where she will  study occupational therapy.


Welp is the son of Tony and Patricia (McCain) Welp of Huntingburg.

He has been involved in SADD and works at the Huntingburg Subway restaurant.

He was awarded the best-in-class honors in business law, Spanish I, interactive media, speech and pre-calculus.

He received the USI Presidential Scholarship and will study business administration at USI.


Miller is the daughter of Brent Miller of Petersburg and Dale and Amie (Braunecker) Wright of Huntingburg.

She was a member of NHS, student council, SADD and the Beta, Key and Renaissance clubs and served as a tutor.

She works part time at the Subway restaurant in Huntingburg.

She received the Outstanding Student Award in Spanish, was a junior football and senior basketball homecoming nominee and attended the Deaconess Health Science Institute.

She was awarded USI Departmental, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and Henry and Hazel Bennighof scholarships that she will use at USI to major in nursing.

Contact Claire Moorman at cmoorman@dcherald.com.

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