2023 Senior Awards

Without a doubt, this class has shown dedication to academics, excellence and perseverance.  We look around at these seniors and see future teachers, engineers, nurses, welders and technology experts. Some of you will have jobs that don’t even exist today.  These young people leave Jefferson High School with a solid educational foundation to build upon.  This community has rallied around our youth to provide quality academics, fine arts, athletics, and beautiful facilities.  

Elected senior class officers:

Treasurer: Maison Leon

Secretary: Hailee Buehler

Vice President: Allison Campbell

President: Paige Wagner

 These students have served as leaders for their peers.  They were elected by their classmates to represent their class as a whole.  Thank you for your service to Jefferson High School. 

Jefferson High School Student Council is proud to recognize their executive officers for the 2022-23 school year.  

First we have Treasurer, Kirstyn Loyd. Kirstyn has been involved in Student Council throughout her high school career. After serving in class officer positions her first three years of high school, this year she stepped up to serve as student council officer for the first time. Kirstyn is organized, professional and a true asset to our school. Kirstyn took every job and event seriously and poured her heart into making her last year at JHS a memorable one. Kirstyn will be missed.

Next, we have Secretary Maclayne McPeters.  Maclayne has also been in Student Council all four years of high school and this year made the decision to step up and serve as a leader of our council. Maclayne is a valuable member of our team and will always jump in and do whatever needs to be done with a smile on her face and positive words of encouragement for her peers. We can always count on Maclayne to bring her enthusiasm and persistence to get the job done. Maclayne has been a tremendous asset to our council and to our school.

Next, we have Vice-President, Emma Breier. Emma has served as Vice-President of Student Council for the past two years, and as class president for the two years prior to that. No stranger to leadership, Emma takes her role seriously and has been a tremendous asset to our team. Emma is passionate about her projects, specifically the Special Olympics, and is a natural at organization as well as execution in any of her endeavors. We will miss Emma's leadership immensely.

Lastly, we have President, Ava Roth. As a member of student council for the past four years, and Student Council President for the past two, Ava has shown her love for Jefferson High School every step of the way. Ava has natural leadership qualities and such an inviting personality that draw others to her. Her passion for making her final year at JHS was infectious and her service and leadership will be tremendously missed.


Seniors who have received scholarships to the college they will be attending in the fall.  

Mineral Area College is awarding the Career and Technical Signing Day Scholarship to Konner Armstrong.

Missouri University of Science and Technology is awarding the Honors Academy Scholarship, Kummer Vanguard Scholarship, Diversity Scholarship, Groundbreaker Package Scholarship to Nate Bernatow.

Pittsburg State University is awarding an athletic scholarship to Emma Breier.

Lindenwood University is awarding an Academic Merit Tuition, R & B, and the Missouri Access Grant scholarship to Hailee Buehler.

Mineral Area College is awarding the Scholastic Scholarship to Allison Campbell.

Truman State University is awarding the President’s Honorary, Trumerit, Access Missouri Grant, Tru Opportunity, Girls State, Bulldog Legacy, and A+ Recognition scholarship to Elisha Clayton.

Jefferson College is awarding the Board of Trustees Ray Henry scholarship to Riley Duvall. 

Jefferson College is awarding the Board of Trustees President’s scholarship to Addison Heine. 

Southeast Missouri State University is awarding the Will to Do, Residence Life, Copper Dome, and Access Missouri Grant scholarship to Kristen Hopkins.

Jefferson College is awarding the Janet and Jack McClard scholarship to Danny Lamkin.

William Woods University is awarding the Lead and Golf scholarship to Malayne Lednick. 

Baylor University is awarding the Distinction Award and Excellence scholarship to Maison Leon.

The University of Alabama - Huntsville is awarding a Volleyball Scholarship and the Charger Merit Award Scholarship to Grace Lowery.

Missouri Southern State University is awarding an athletic scholarship for Volleyball to Kirstyn Loyd.

The University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy is awarding the academic merit scholarship to Maclayne McPeters.

The University of Mississippi is awarding the Red and Blue Scholarship and an academic merit Scholarship to Kaelyn Nilson. 

Jefferson College is awarding the Optimist Scholarship to Ava O’Neal.

Southeast Missouri State University is awarding the Will to Do award, Access Missouri Grant, Copper Dome, and Residence Life scholarship to Latecia Recendiz.

Stephens College is awarding a Volleyball, Visit Incentive, and FAFSA incentive scholarship to Avery Richardson.

Jefferson College is awarding the Board of Trustees President scholarship to Caycee Schwartz.

Missouri Valley College is awarding an Athletic and Academic Scholarship to Paige Siebert.

Missouri University of Science and Technology is awarding the Diversity and Ground Breaker  scholarship to Tessa Tsoka. 

Culver Stockton College is awarding a football scholarship to Sean Usery.

Southeast Missouri State University is awarding the Copper Dome, Visual and Performing Arts, Marching Band, All-State Band, and the Residence Life scholarship to Cole Van.

Lindenwood University is awarding a Merit Scholarship scholarship to Christina Walsh.

Lindenwood University  is awarding the Women’s Archery Athletic, Academic Merit and  R & B  scholarship to Katie Wondell.

St. Louis University is awarding the SLU Vice President Tuition Scholarship and Grant to Ava Wright. 


Graduates who have enlisted in the military. 

Army National Guard - Kristen Hopkins

Air Force Reserve - Madison Robbins

Coast Guard - Kayden Rundel


On behalf of the American Institute of Steel Construction and the David B. Ratterman Fast Start Scholarship committee, they are awarding one of their scholarships to Hailee Buehler

To address recruitment efforts across the state, DESE made grants available to all local education agencies (LEAs) to establish or expand local Grow Your Own (GYO) programs. Our school district was fortunate to be awarded the funds to offer scholarships to graduates who plan to get their degrees in education.  The following seniors are being awarded scholarships for $825.00 each. Congratulations to Elisha Clayton, CJ Johnson, Greta Plyler, Latecia Recendiz, Cole Van, and Paige Wagner. 

The Twin City Optimist Essay Contest and BB 5K Scholarship were awarded to Kristen Hopkins. 

The Southern Gateway Association of REALTORS® Scholarship.  Every year the Southern Gateway Association of REALTORS® raises money to offer a scholarship to a graduating senior.  The scholarship is for $500.  Applicants must be a son, daughter, grandson, or granddaughter of a REALTOR® MEMBER of the Southern Gateway Association. This year, Maison Leon is one of the recipients.  His father, Ruben Leon, is a member of the Southern Gateway Association. Congratulations!

The Blue Jay Foundation and the staff at Jefferson R7 would like to recognize a student with a $300 scholarship who took advantage of the opportunities Jefferson High school has to offer and plans to continue her postsecondary education at Southeast Missouri State University.  This scholarship goes to Latecia Recendiz.

The Blue Jay Foundation is pleased to announce that with the money raised through scholarship fundraising events that they are awarding a $300 scholarship.  Awards were based upon a student's past and present commitment to provide service to our community and an essay. The recipient of the Blue Jay Foundation Spirit of Community Scholarship is Emma Breier

Brenda J. Preston was an educator at Jefferson R-7 for over 25 years.  She was a 7th & 8th grade math teacher at Danby and later became the counselor, testing coordinator, psych examiner, and special education process coordinator for the entire district.  Sadly, she had to take an early retirement from the job she loved due to a medical issue and shortly thereafter passed away.   In honor of her memory the Brenda J. Preston Memorial Scholarship was established. This scholarship  is represented in our Academic Hall of Fame. The 2023 recipient of the Brenda J. Preston scholarship has been awarded to a student based on his merit, community service and dedication to mentoring others. He plans to attend Jefferson College next fall to pursue a degree in the field of education. Cole Van Congratulations on earning the 2023 Brenda J. Preston Scholarship. 

The Daughters of the American Revolution is an organization of women whose mission is to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.  Congratulations to Ava Roth for being selected as the Jefferson High School DAR Good Citizen Recipient.

The English department is pleased to present a scholarship in the amount of $250 to a senior who has excelled in the area of English. This scholarship is possible due to the fundraising efforts of the department, specifically Ms. Boyer and Mrs. Guffey and their hard work organizing the annual Mr. JHS show. This year’s recipient is Greta Plyler. 

Festus-Crystal City Elks:

Jess Blankenship, Ian Ehrhardt, Kirstyn Loyd, Avery Richardson, and Caycee Schwartz

The Lyly Koenig Memorial Scholarship honors the memory of our beloved daughter and sister, Lyly Koenig, who LIVED her life without fear…..LOVED everyone blessed to know her….and loved to LAUGH.  These scholarships were made possible by the support of our community through our Annual Hoops for Hope Event.  We are awarding two scholarships in the amount of $500 each to two graduating Jefferson R-VII seniors who have the courage to live, love and laugh.  The two recipients of the Lyly Koenig Memorial Scholarship are Maseo Mercer and Maclayne McPeters.

The Jefferson R-VII MSTA and MNEA chapters have established a scholarship fund in an effort to assist Jefferson High School students achieve postsecondary goals.  These scholarships are in the amount of $500 each and the winners are Maison Leon and Elisha Clayton. 

The Jefferson County MSTA Region Scholarship is being awarded to Avery Richardson. Congratulations!

The Hobby scholarship was created in 2009 as a lasting memorial to celebrate the life Andy Habsieger lived and the ultimate sacrifice he gave for our country. Andrew Habsieger was a standout football player and a 2004 graduate of Festus High School and after high school enlisted in the United States Army. Pfc.Habsieger was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.; Andy was killed in action on March 23, 2008 in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The ones that knew him best know that he had an uncanny ability to be a leader and he was always helping people that couldn’t help themselves. The Hobby scholarship was created in 2009 as a lasting memorial to celebrate the life Andy lived and the ultimate sacrifice he gave for his country.  The scholarship started at Festus High School in 2009.  Since that time their foundation now works with and offers scholarships to several programs and schools in Jefferson County, Ste. Genevieve County, and St. Louis County. The recipient of this scholarship is Nathan Bernatow.

The JHS Music Boosters Scholarship is being awarded to Kristen Hopkins. This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding senior who has dedicated themselves to the music department in either band, choir or both throughout their high school career.  This student is a dedicated member and shows dedication through leadership and commitment to the ensemble.  

The BlueJay Music Booster’s All-State Scholarships are awarded to students who go above and beyond in their musical endeavors.  These students auditioned and participated in multiple Honor Groups throughout their high school career and were named to the All-State ---Band, Jazz Band or Choir.  Congratulations to Maseo Mercer and Cole Van for this scholarship.

The Heather Schnitzler Pre-K Graduate Scholarship was set up and funded by the proceeds of the Jefferson R-VII School District’s Annual Pink Week Event in Fall of 2022.  In 2014, Mrs. Schnitzler was diagnosed with PAH (pulmonary arterial hypertension).  Pulmonary artery hypertension affects the heart and lungs.  It is characterized by abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension) in the pulmonary artery, the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs.  In May of 2015, the doctors recommended that she resign from teaching to take care and focus on her health.  In December 2015, her doctor put her on a CADD-Legacy pump that is giving her pulmonary medication 24-7.  In December of 2021, her doctors told her that it was time to visit the transplant team. She was on the waiting list for a lung transplant. She received new lungs in November of 2022.  She wanted some of the funds to go to a scholarship to give back to the senior class in the form of a scholarship.  The first recipient of the scholarship is Addison Heine.

The Jefferson R7 Parent Teacher Organization works incredibly hard throughout the year to raise money that directly benefits our Jefferson High School students.  Tonight, the Jefferson R7 PTO will award 4 scholarships in the amount of $500.00 each. 

PTO established the Making a Difference scholarship to recognize a JHS graduate with emphasis on Leadership and Civic mindedness.  Congratulations Emma Breier for being awarded the PTO Making a difference scholarship. 

The Blue Jay All the Way Scholarship is designed to recognize students who have attended Jefferson R-7 from kindergarten through the 12th grade.  

Congratulations to Maison Leon  for being awarded the PTO Blue Jay All The Way Scholarship.

The Blue Jay dollar scholarship is symbolic of the money students receive at Telegraph and Plattin to use at the blue jay store.  The money that high school graduates need is different from those blue jay dollars but PTO wanted to extend a scholarship to seniors who show financial need.  Congratulations Ava Wright  for being awarded the PTO Blue Jay Dollar Scholarship.

The Jo Ellen Murphy Scholarship is awarded to one Jefferson High school graduate attending Jefferson College.  Congratulations to Addison Heine for being awarded the PTO Jo Ellen Murphy Scholarship.  

The Debbie Blaha Memorial Scholarship is in memory of  Mrs. Blaha. She was an elementary teacher in the Jefferson R-VII School District for 33 years. She originally worked in the business world when she decided she could do much more to help others reach their goals. Debbie herself was a non-traditional student. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary education with honors. She was hired at Plattin Primary as a first-grade teacher. 

Debbie was always concerned that the standard techniques of teaching did not work for everyone and made the decision to move into the position of Title 1 reading specialist. This required returning to college to receive a master’s degree to dedicate her life to keep students from slipping through the cracks. She devoted 14 years to being a reading teacher and countless hours of researching new ideas to reach the myriad of learners in her program and school. 

Debbie had such a unique personality.  She never knew a stranger.  No matter what age, many older students, parents, or fellow staff would come to her just to talk or share whatever was on their mind. She would offer her time unselfishly to aid and provide inspiration to work through problems or towards goals. During all those years, she also never hesitated to volunteer for all clubs and organizations at Jefferson, surrounding schools, and community projects. Anywhere there was a need, she would find the time to assist. She truly believed that the best feeling came from the ability to help others. 

The Debbie Blaha Memorial Scholarship is for the amount of $1000.00. The scholarship committee was looking for a personable student who wants to make a difference. A student with the ability to inspire, mentor, or volunteer to just be there for others. The first recipient of this scholarship goes to Elisha Clayton.

Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation’s Access Extra Scholarship is a private scholarship for seniors who are eligible for the Access Missouri Financial Program and have earned a 3.5 gpa or higher through at least seven semesters at a Missouri High School.  Congratulations to Caycee Schwartz on receiving this scholarship. 

The High School Scholarship Program for Red Cross Service is sponsored by the Red Cross.  This program is available only to high schools which host an American Red Cross blood drive during the school year. Jefferson High school hosts three blood drives yearly. Scholarship amounts are based on how many students and community members donate at each drive.  So, thank you for supporting our blood drives.  The Red Cross scholarships are being awarded to Emma Breier, Malayne Lednick and Caycee Schwartz

What would it take to change the world? Rotary's 1.2 million members believe it starts with a commitment to Service Above Self.  The Festus/Crystal City Rotary Club honors one senior from each local school for each month of the school year. Rotary Senior Students of the Month are nominated and selected by the Jefferson High School staff.  These students attended the local Twin City Rotary meetings on Tuesdays with Mr. Johnston at the Festus/Crystal City Elks. These students introduce themselves to the club and share information about future plans and personal challenges over their month-long tenure with Rotary.  It is great for students to be exposed to service organizations within our community.  The following 2023 graduates were recognized as Rotary students of the month: 

September   Maison Leon

October       Ava Roth

November    Maseo Mercer

December    Paige Wagner

January        Kristen Hopkins

February      Ava Wright

March          Avery Richardson

April            Allison Campbell

May                 Katie Wondell

The Festus/Crystal City Rotary also sponsors students from our area to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy.  The Academy is designed to identify and enhance the qualities of Servant Leadership for each participant.  Ava Roth was selected by the staff at Jefferson High School to apply and she was selected by the Rotary club to attend RYLA. She was able to attend in the summer of 2021. 

It is our pleasure to present certificates to the winners of the Shelter Insurance Foundation Scholarships awarded this year.  The winners were selected by an impartial committee who considered academic achievement, leadership, citizenship, moral character, and education goals.  These $1,500 Scholarships are made possible by the Shelter Insurance Foundation, a non-profit corporation created for charitable and educational purposes, and Kevin Epperson, an agent for Shelter Insurance Companies.  And the scholarship winners are: Maseo Mercer, Caycee Schwartz, and Ava Wright.

This year in addition to the Shelter Insurance Foundation Scholarship, Kevin Epperson Shelter Insurance Office will award two scholarships.  These scholarships are being awarded to  Riley Duvall and Sean Usery.

Each year the Twin City Area Optimist Club of Festus/Crystal City celebrates Youth Appreciation Week during the month of April.  School districts nominate one senior to represent their graduating class to attend.  This student was selected based on personal character and dedication to excellence.  Congratulations to Kristen Hopkins on this recognition. 

On behalf of the Nagel family we would like to present the Nagel Go Red Healthcare Scholarship. Ashleigh Nagel, a Jefferson High School PE and Health teacher and varsity volleyball coach, suffered sudden cardiac arrest in July 2018. Throughout her recovery there were many levels of healthcare that made a difference everyday to get her to full recovery.  With help from the community and donations, the family has established a scholarship that will go to graduating Jefferson High School seniors pursuing the healthcare field. This year the recipients are Kirstyn Loyd and Avery Richardson. 

Nurse Wanager was a school nurse at Jefferson High School for a couple of years and prior to that she had been a substitute nurse for the Jefferson R7 School District.  Her love of nursing and her love of the students prompted her to develop a scholarship for students who have a passion and a goal to become a nurse.  Nurse Wanager was a nurse for 50 years before retiring.  She had always had a desire and a passion to be a nurse from the time she was a young child.  She did not want to be just any nurse, she wanted to be the best nurse she could be.  Nurse Wanager wants to help a student that is motivated and will complete the nursing program.  She is hoping that this $5,000 scholarship will help a student achieve their goal to be a nurse, but not just any nurse, a nurse who is caring and passionate about helping others. The Nurse Wanager Scholarship is being awarded to Ava Wright. 


The United States Marine Corps would like to recognize students who have stood out amongst their peers and present them with an award to recognize their dedication.  The first award is the Scholastic Excellence Award.  This award is meant to recognize superior students who have set themselves apart in both leadership and academics. I would like to recognize Saylor Bennett.

The second award is the Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful) Award for Musical Excellence.  It takes an extraordinary amount of dedication and skill to play a musical instrument well enough to be a member of a high school band or orchestra.  Oftentimes, student musicians receive less recognition, as more of the spotlight is on areas of academia or athletics.   Music is an integral part of the Marine Corps' rich history and traditions, and we greatly value the contributions musicians make to our service.  The Semper Fidelis Award is our way of celebrating the diligence and talent demonstrated by such exceptional young musicians. I would like to recognize Cole Van. 

Lastly, the Distinguished Athlete Award.  As Marines, physical fitness is essential to our way of life.  We understand and appreciate the devotion required to develop superior strength and endurance.   We also realize that there is a direct correlation between physical fitness and leadership ability.   The Distinguished Athlete Award provides an opportunity for the Marine Corps to recognize those students in our school who have displayed courage, poise, self-confidence, and leadership as members of your school's athletic programs. I would like to recognize Maclayne McPeters and CJ Johnson. 

The 2022 Wendy’s High School Heisman school winner for outstanding achievements in academics and athletics is awarded to Paige Siebert.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association actively promotes Good Sportsmanship throughout all High School Activity Contests.  MSHSAA recognizes one female and one male Athlete each from each MSHSAA school for their exemplary display of sportsmanship, ethics and integrity with the MSHSAA Award of Excellence. The 2023 JHS MSHSAA Award of Excellence winners are Avery Richardson and Kayden Rundel  

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar Athlete Award is given to one senior who excels both in the classroom and in athletics.  The student must be in the top 25% of the senior class academically and also play at least one Varsity sport.  This year's St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar Athlete Award winner is Ava Roth.  

Jefferson High School experienced a very successful year in all of its athletic programs this school year and those successes are not over yet as we are still participating.  The class of 2023 played a huge role in many of our accomplishments this year. The Jefferson High School Senior Athlete Award is voted on by all the Varsity Coaches at Jefferson High School.  This award is given to one male and one  female of the senior class.   The Athletic Department is awarding a $500 scholarship to each winner.  The female senior Athlete Award goes to Kirstyn Loyd and the male senior Athlete Award goes to Sam Stokes.


Tonight we would like to recognize our seniors who achieved great heights in team sports during their senior year. Our Air Rifle team earned a state championship in Student Air Rifle this past fall. Our volleyball team, after a third-place finish in the Missouri State High School Activities Association State Championships in 2021, were able to capture the first team MSHSAA State Championship in our school's brief history, this past fall. Due to delays in the delivery of their championship rings, the district has not been able to have formal celebrations with family and friends. The team celebrations will be on Monday, May 15th. The Air Rifle will be held at 11 AM. The Volleyball will be held at 7:30 PM in the PAC.

Our Administration felt it was important for our seniors to have their rings as they cross the stage tomorrow evening. The teams will be formally recognized monday. All community members are welcome to attend. 

State Championship Air Rifle Team: 

Hailee Buehler, Maison Leon, Kaelyn Nilson, Kayden Rundel, and Katie Wondell

State Championship Volleyball Team:

Emma Breier, Grace Lowery, Kirstyn Loyd, Maclayne McPeters, Avery Richardson, Ava Roth, and Paige Siebert


Jefferson High School department awards are given out to the most outstanding student in that department.  Students will be recognized for their efforts in that particular subject over the course of their high school career.  

Art - Greta Plyler 

Greta is a naturally talented artist with a strong work ethic. She is a creative thinker with an eye for details. Greta has a methodical creative process and she always develops her concepts thoughtfully. Greta has become a leader in the visual arts because of her drive and the development of her advanced skills in art.

Band - Cole Van

Cole Van is a member of the Missouri All-State Band for baritone and All-State Jazz Band for bass trombone. In addition to his all-state accomplishments, he has accumulated the most number of letter points and was awarded the Louis Armstrong Award

Business - Danny Lamkin

Danny has a thorough understanding of the business world and continually thrived to gain more information that would benefit him and his future both personally and professionally.

Choir - Maseo Mercer  

Maseo has found a passion in choral music.  Maseo has been a dedicated member in the high school choir during his tenure here at JHS.  He  auditioned and was selected for All-District High School Choir 2022 in which he scored in the top 20 for the East Central District.  He then qualified to audition for All-State Choir 2023.  Maseo was named to the 2023 Missouri All-State Choir as 2nd alternate in the Bass section making R7 history as the first to earn All-State honors in Choir.  Maseo also participated in Solo & Ensemble Contest and earned an Exemplary Honor.  He then qualified to participate in the State Solo & Ensemble Contest where he received a Gold Medal for his outstanding efforts.

English -  Greta Plyler

The English department is proud to nominate Greta Plyler for the 2023 English department award. Greta is an avid writer, a prolific reader and an overall lover of books. She has a passion for writing and has completed a 300-page novel on her own--and has two more projects in the works! She is also a member of the newspaper staff where she writes various opinion pieces, news stories and profiles. We wish Greta the best of luck at Jefferson College next year where she plans to pursue a degree in elementary education.

Family Consumer Sciences - Tatum Govreau

Tatum has taken all of the FACS classes offered through Jefferson High School.  She received an  A in all of them and excelled as a leader and a hard worker in these courses.   

Industrial Technology - Alex Straussberg

Alex worked hard every class period. He worked safely and efficiently every day. He often asked if I needed help with anything and would help others in the class as well.  

Math - Maison Leon  

Maison has committed himself to the highest level of education of mathematics in his time at Jefferson High school, successfully completing all classes through Calculus I and Statistics. He has been motivated to obtain a deep knowledge of the material and possesses a great mind for problem-solving and thought-provoking questions. Maison is an asset to the classroom as well as to individual classmates.

PE - Konner Armstrong

This year's physical education department award goes to Konner Armstrong. Konner has taken a physical education/health class every semester of his high school career. In his strength & conditioning classes, he has increased his max every quarter, including this one where Konner hit new personal records in the Bench Press & Power Clean. Konner also had above 95% attendance for summer weights. He is a determined hard working individual who is so much fun to be around. Congratulations Konner!!!

Science - Maseo Mercer

Maseo challenged himself while at Jefferson High school by taking honors and elective science classes including AP physics. Maseo excelled in each of his science classes, continually showing his mastery of the content. Maseo would often ask pertinent and interesting questions during class to further his own knowledge and that of his classmates.  Maseo is planning on containing his education in the sciences post high school. 

Social Studies - Caycee Schwartz

Caycee is receiving the Social Studies Department Award because she is willing to try even when being pushed out of her comfort zone, she will keep working until she achieves success.

Theater - Elisha Clayton 

Elisha is a dedicated theater student. She has participated in all of our productions since freshman year and she earns top academic honors in her other classes as well. 

World Language - Latecia Recendiz 

Laticia demonstrated great appreciation and knowledge of the Spanish culture and language. She was positive in class and studious with her work.


Missouri Bright Flight is a scholarship and recognition program designed by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development to reward students with high ACT scores. Qualifying scores must be in the top 95th percentile of all ACT/SAT scores for the previous year. For the Class of 2023 this score moved to a 31 for Tier 1 - up to a $1,000 scholarship and 32 or higher for Tier 2 - up to a $3,000 scholarship.  Our district still recognizes students with a 30 or higher on the Academic Wall.   This year, the following students earned a 30 or higher on the ACT. 

Students with a score of 30 or higher:

Saylor Bennett, Maison Leon, Maseo Mercer, Cole Van, and Ava Wright

Missouri American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and Missouri American Legion Boys State are summer leadership opportunities for young men and women who are entering their senior year.   Candidates are evaluated on their leadership abilities, interest in government, service to others, and academics. The purpose of this program is to promote pride in America.  Elisha Clayton served as the representative at Girls State and Maison Leon and Maseo Mercer served as the representative for Boys State. Congratulations! Maseo stay up. 

The College Board and the National Recognition Programs award academic honors to sophomores and juniors who take eligible administrations of AP®, PSAT/NMSQT®, or PSAT™ 10 exams and who identify as African American, Black, Hispanic, Latino, or Indigenous, or attend high school in a rural area or small town. Maseo Mercer was recognized as one of 7,000 students out of the 250,000 students who take the PSAT.  Congratulations!

The Missouri Scholars Academy is a three-week academic program for 330 of Missouri's gifted students who are ready to begin their junior year in high school.  The academy is a residential program at the University of Missouri.The academy reflects Missouri's desire to strive for excellence in education at all levels.  Elisha Clayton and Maison Leon were nominated and selected to attend MSA during the summer of 2022. 

Maison Leon has been selected as a 2023 Missouri Scholars 100 honorable mention. Missouri Scholars 100 is a program sponsored by the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals.  Schools across Missouri were invited to nominate candidates for this statewide recognition.  The selection is based primarily on a formula using the student’s grade point average and ACT or SAT score.  Each student nominated had to first meet criteria of an “Academic Decathlon,” which included ten “events” designed to assure the academic strength of the student.  To meet the decathlon requirements, the student must have a minimum GPA of 3.750, a minimum ACT score of 29, be ranked in the upper ten percent of the class, and have taken upper level courses in mathematics, science, English, and foreign language.  The student must also have excellent attendance, be an exemplary school citizen, and be involved in the school activity program. 

The purpose of the Sophomore Pilgrimage is to give recognition to students in the Sophomore class of high school who exemplify high standards of Honor, Courage, Citizenship, Scholarship, Leadership, and Service.  This project helps to promote good citizenship and enables the students to see our state government in action. Elisha Clayton, Caycee Schwartz, Malayne Lednick represented this senior class on the Sophomore Pilgrimage in the spring of 2021. 


We now begin the Academic awards given by Jefferson High School.  

Earning the A+ scholarship is a 4 year experience for students.  95% attendance, 2.5 GPA, good citizenship capped off by a valuable tutoring experience here in our district.  These students have done everything from help kindergarteners read to helping freshmen with Algebra.  This program helps thousands of students get their Associate's Degree.  The 2023 JHS graduates meeting the A+ requirements are:  

Konner Armstrong, Saylor Bennett, Nathan Bernatow, Jess Blankenship, Emma Breier, Hailee Buehler, Allison Campbell, Mason Campbell, Elisha Clayton, Joe Darmody, Riley Duvall, Morgan Figliolo, Mark Gilmore, Mason Govreau, Tatum Govreau, Katelyn Gowen, Addison Heine, Kristen Hopkins, CJ Johnson, Danny Lamkin, Malayne Lednick, Grace Lowery, Kirstyn Loyd, Maclayne McPeters, Maseo Mercer, Kaelyn Nilson, Ava O'Neal, Greta Plyler, Logan Ray, Latecia Recendiz, Avery Richardson, Madison Robbins, Kayden Rundel, Brady Sadler, Caycee Schwartz, Bryce Shepard, Sam Stokes, Tessa Tsoka, Sean Usery, Cole Van, Chloe Vaughn, Paige Wagner, Brynn Wilson, and Katie Wondell.

JHS Students are recognized for their academic performance by earning an academic letter.  This award is issued after 4 consecutive semesters of high school coursework earning a 3.0 cumulative GPA while earning no grade lower than a C.  These students must also maintain good citizenship and show good character.  Congratulations to the following students for earning an Academic letter for 4 or more semesters at JHS.

Saylor Bennett, Nathan Bernatow, Jess Blankenship, Emma Breier, Hailee Buehler, Allison Campbell, Elisha Clayton, Riley Duvall, Tatum Govreau, Addison Heine, Kristen Hopkins, Malayne Lednick, Maison Leon, Kirstyn Loyd, Maclayne McPeters, Maseo Mercer, Kaelyn Nilson, Ava O'Neal, Haley Parris, Greta Plyler, Madison Robbins, Ava Roth, Caycee Schwartz, Paige Siebert, Chloe Vaughn, Paige Wagner, Brynn Wilson, Katie Wondell, and Ava Wright.

 Jefferson High School recognizes students who complete college preparatory coursework, maintain good citizenship, have 95% attendance over 4 years of high school and score at or above the state average of a 21 composite on the ACT. College Preparatory work includes 2 years of foreign language and 2 or more core subject electives along with 4 units of math credit.  These students must also maintain a 3.0 GPA in English, Math, Science and Social Studies core classes. The following students have met all of the requirements to earn the JHS College Prep Certificate.  

Nathan Bernatow, Addison Heine, Maison Leon, Maclayne McPeters, Maseo Mercer, Kaelyn Nilson, Caycee Schwartz, Paige Siebert, Cole Van, Katie Wondell, and Ava Wright

In the Fall of 2017 we had our first cohort take part in a College Accelerated Program.  Two programs were offered. This is the 6th graduating class with students who will complete the Associates of Arts Degree Program on the Jefferson College campus and the Core 42 hour Program that was offered through online and in person classes here at Jefferson. This is our largest cohort to date with eight students participating in this program.  These students took classes over the summer after their sophomore year and junior year, they had to be self-motivated, adaptable and independent to be able to juggle these programs while being active in extracurricular activities as well as maintaining part time jobs. At this time we would like to recognize two students who have completed the Early College 42 hour Program with a minimum of 42 core college credit hours.  Congratulations to Kaelyn Nilson and Caycee Schwartz for this accomplishment. Please come up to receive your medal. The following six students will be receiving their Associate of Arts Degrees as well as their high school diplomas this spring.

Graduating with Cum Laude Honors, having a college gpa between 3.5 and 3.79 is 

Hailee Buehler, Malayne Lednick, Maseo Mercer, who was also inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at Jefferson College, and Tessa Tsoka.

Graduating with Magna Cum Laude having a college gpa between  3.8 to 3.99 is Katie Wondell.

Graduating with Summa Cum Laude having a college gpa of 4.0 is Ava Wright. 

National Honor Society is an elite recognition program open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  The first requirement is to maintain high academic excellence earning a 3.4 or higher Cumulative Grade Point Average.  Once students have sustained adequate academic achievements they are asked to apply for consideration into the program.  This application process heavily scrutinizes the student’s character, leadership, and service.  Once inducted students must maintain high academic, leadership, character, and service standards.  The following students have met these requirements. 

National Honor Society Officers

President - Malayne Lednick

Vice President - Caycee Schwartz

Secretary - Avery Richardson

Treasurer - Ava Wright

Members: 18

Emma Breier, Hailee Buehler, Allison Campbell, Riley Duvall, Morgan Figliolo, Addison Heine, Kristen Hopkins, Maison Leon, Grace Lowery, Kirstyn Loyd, Maclayne McPeters, Greta Plyler, Ava Roth, Paige Siebert, Cole Van, Chloe Vaughn, Paige Wagner, and Katie Wondell

Tri-M Music Honor Society is a high school music honor society and is a program of the National Association for Music Education. It is designed to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements and to provide leadership and service opportunities to young musicians.To be eligible for membership, a student must maintain an A average in their music classes, a B average in all of their academic courses, be presently enrolled in a music course at their school, and be recommended for membership by their school's music faculty. Would the Tri-M Seniors please come forward as I call your name to receive your pink cord:

Mason Campbell, Kristen Hopkins, Maseo Mercer, Greta Plyler, Latecia Recendiz, and Cole Van.

The Area Technical School is recognizing students who have completed an ATS program with a dark green cord to be worn at graduation. Congratulations to the following 2023 ATS Program Completers: (green cord from us) 8

Riley Duvall - Health Services

Mark Gilmore - Automotive

Danny Lamkin - HVAC

Kirstyn Loyd - Health Services

Cassandra Nash - Health Services

Logan Ray - HVAC

Avery Richardson - Health Services

Brady Sadler - HVAC

Students who attend the Area Technical School and meet certain criteria may be eligible to apply for membership into the National Technical Honor Society.  Students who have a minimum of a 3.5 gpa at the ATS and a 3.0 gpa from their high school with a recommendation are considered.  This year we have two seniors who applied and have earned this honor.  Congratulations to Riley Duvall and Kirstyn Loyd on their inductions into the National Technical Honor Society. (NTHS (purple/silver cord)

The 98th Missouri General Assembly passed legislation in 2016 which required the State

Board of Education, in consultation with the CTE Advisory Council, to establish minimum requirements for a career and technical education (CTE) certificate that a student can earn in addition to his or her high school graduation diploma. The requirements set forth by the State Board of Education are intended to provide students with the necessary technical and employability skills to be prepared for an entry-level career or additional training in a technical field. Students must meet all requirements in order to receive the CTE certificate. The following students have met all of the requirements to earn a CTE Certificate.

Riley Duvall, Danny Lamkin, Kirstyn Loyd, Cassie Nash, Logan Ray, and Avery Richardson

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education invites public school officials to honor Missouri’s outstanding high school seniors by presenting them with the George Washington Carver Award. This recognition is given to the top 10 percent of each high school’s graduating class. We are proud to recognize the JHS 2023 top 10% in alphabetical order.

Nathan Bernatow, Elisha Clayton, Ava Haugh, Addison Heine, Maison Leon, Maclayne McPeters, Caycee Schwartz, Paige Siebert, Katie Wondell, and Ava Wright

Jefferson High School does not honor a valedictorian or salutatorian.  It was a collective decision by our school community to honor as many graduates as possible as well as allowing students to excel in multiple subject areas.  JHS uses the cum laude system and we take great pride in honoring the following students.  Each category is in alphabetical order.  

Cum Laude meaning with Honors, earning a 3.0-3.59 GPA is represented by a  PLATINUM CORD

Konner Armstrong, Jess Blankenship, Mason Campbell, Joe Darmody, Morgan Figliolo, Mason Govreau, Tatum Govreau, Katelyn Gowen, CJ Johnson, Danny Lamkin, Haley Parris, Logan Ray, Latecia Recendiz, Avery Richardson, Madison Robbins, Brady Sadler, Bryce Shepard, Sam Stokes, Tessa Tsoka, Sean Usery, Chloe Vaughn, Paige Wagner, and Brynn Wilson.

Magna Cum Laude meaning with Great Honor, earning a 3.6-3.99 GPA is represented by a BLACK CORD

Saylor Bennett, Emma Breier, Hailee Buehler, Allison Campbell, Riley Duvall, Ava Haugh, Kristen Hopkins, Malayne Lednick, Maison Leon, Grace Lowery, Kirstyn Loyd, Maseo Mercer, Kaelyn Nilson, Ava O'Neal, Greta Plyler, Ava Roth, Cole Van, Christina Walsh, and Katie Wondell.

Summa Cum Laude is Latin meaning with highest praise.  The following students graduate from JHS with the highest GPA possible, a 4.0 GPA represented by a  LIGHT BLUE CORD

Nathan Bernatow, Elisha Clayton, Addison Heine, Maclayne McPeters, Caycee Schwartz, Paige Siebert, and Ava Wright.

The Jefferson High School Class of 2023 has earned $507,000 in scholarships awarded for their first year of college and if the students are qualified to renew their scholarships they could earn an additional $1,167,000 throughout the next three years.  That is worth a round of applause! In addition, these graduating seniors also take with them 1,023 college credit hours!! The highest amount so far!  Without a doubt these students have laid the foundation for the Blue Jays who follow.  As these young men and women leave this high school they take with them an outstanding foundation built on strong community values and expectations.  The Jefferson R-7 Community is vested in our children and we take pride in guiding them from kindergarten through high school graduation.  The graduates who came before the class of 2023 made a path for these students.