SPOTLIGHT on students

Sydney WalkerZachary Morris

    Alaina Smith of Mattawan, received a Bachelor of Science in Biology during commencement exercises May 5 for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.


    Brianna Martinez of Gobles, graduated earlier this month from Cedarville (OH) University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language Arts Education-Integrated.


    Sydney Walker, of Paw Paw, was named an Outstanding Prospective Teacher at Grace College, Winona Lake, IN. Each year there, the School of Education selects one or more students who demonstrate excellence in their role as student teachers. Walker was awarded a plaque and recognition for her achievements in the classroom at Leesburg Elementary School, where she taught kindergarten and special education.


    Two local high school seniors are the recipients of $1000 scholarships from Midwest Energy & Communications. MEC recently awarded scholarships to four area students for their leadership and academic achievement, including:
     Seth Bunce, son of Scott and Rachel Bunce of Mattawan, is a member of the National Technical Honor Society at Mattawan High School. He earned varsity letters for track and wrestling, and was a state champion for rugby. An accomplished Eagle Scout, he plans to attend the Southeast Lineman Training Center in Georgia.
     Megan Dopheide, the daughter of Chris and Terri Dopheide of Lawton, is an accomplished athlete at Lawton High School. She participated in cross country, basketball, and track and field. She has also been involved with the Student Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions, National Honor Society, and served as the Youth Vote Coordinator for Van Buren County. She will attend Ferris State University.


    Zachary Morris, Executive Director of Market Van Buren, center, graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (OU EDI) on May 2, 2019 at the OU EDI Spring session held in Indianapolis, IN. OU EDI is an intensive 117-hour certificate program which provides a broad spectrum of advanced education for economic development professionals. He accepts his certificate from Dean Mary Ann Moon, and  Kirk Garton, Program Director.  Morris also competed for a nationwide scholarship and was one of two students to earn the National Scholarship for Advanced Economic Development Professional Education. OU EDI classes focus on three major core areas including: Business Retention and Expansion, Real Estate, and Credit Analysis, as well as areas of concentration in Marketing, Strategic Planning, Entrepreneurship, and Managing Economic Development Organizations. Students typically take 1-2 years to complete the program through a series of in-person seminars, workshops and discussion groups. “We are very excited to have Zach complete this prestigious program.  The education and network he is building will pay dividends for Van Buren County,” said Market Van Buren Chairman of the Board, Tom Stanek. Market Van Buren has principal responsibilities for economic and community development throughout Van Buren County,  connecting people, investments, and organizations with strategies and services that improve the quality of life and economic conditions in the region, specifically Van Buren County. For more information, visit, or Facebook @MarketVanBuren.    

Photo courtesy of Kinexus

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes

The Courier-Leader & Paw Paw Flashes
32280 E. Red Arrow Hwy. • P.O. Box 129
Paw Paw, MI 49079
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