Plainfield High's senior awards recipients

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Plainfield - posted Mon., Jun. 27, 2011
Plainfield High School valedictorian Keith Lundgren. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Plainfield High School valedictorian Keith Lundgren. Photos by Denise Coffey.

Valedictorian Keith Lundgren grasped the honor cords that hung around his neck while waiting for graduation ceremonies to begin at Plainfield High School on June 24. The talented and hardworking senior gave this advice to students coming up behind him: Don't give in to “senioritis” in your last year at high school. Continue to work hard.

That work ethic has brought him recognition in the forms of awards from the Alumni Association, the Wakely Foundation, and the Rotary Club (Harry Denison), along with the Board of Education Award, and the Re Energy Scholastic Achievement Award.

The National Honor Society graduate will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall for mechanical engineering. He hopes one day to work in the energy field, perhaps on wind turbines, helping to solve the world's energy crisis.

Salutatorian Stacey Plantier, a recipient of the Alumni Association Salutatorian Award, the Board of Education Award and the Friends of Plainfield Scholarship Award, is heading to the University of Connecticut to study. She will take advantage of UConn's Academic Center for Exploratory Students Program (ACES). The program provides expert academic advising to students still exploring their study options in undergraduate work.

Altogether, 54 students received 87 awards at Plainfield High School. The dollar amounts of the awards add up to about $50,000, according to guidance secretary Darlene Hoffman. Some of the awards last four years.

The community is very generous, Hoffman said. Year after year, fundraisers are held to shore up the coffers of the awards. Some of them are from private businesses. Awards have been established in memory of students and teachers who have passed away. There are music, attendance, science and mathematics awards. The list of them took up four pages in the graduation program.

“We wanted to recognize the efforts of the students,” Hoffman said.

Each year, the guidance office puts together packets of scholarship information for seniors to review. Application information and requirements are spelled out. Hoffman said that more students should take advantage of the information, especially with the escalating costs of college tuition. Reviewing the various awards takes time, but could prove to pay off financially in the end.

Many graduates will be using the state university system to their advantage, taking courses at community colleges before transferring general education requirement credits.

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