The 25 members of the Class of 2016-17 graduated during a fun-filled celebration on May 3.
The ceremony and dinner capped eight months of study for the class, which began its studies last September and finished with its community project presentations before 125 friends, family members and other supporters.
Laurene Lonnemann, a marketing professional at Elanco Animal Health, won the Stacia Alyea Excellence in Leadership Award. The honor is determined by a vote of the class and goes to the class member who best exemplifies leadership qualities. It is named after a late member of the original class of 1996.
The class had been divided into six project teams. Here are the teams and a summary of their projects:
Team Alternatives: Rachel Cremeans, Aaron O’Connor, Summer Grinstead, Robert Harris and Rachel Dennis. The group organized and put on a 5K walk/run to raise awareness about sexual assault. The event raised more than $3,000 for Alternatives Inc., a nonprofit that advocates for victims of domestic violence.
Team Backpack: Jennifer McMillan, Debbie Grass, Jennifer Frye and Jennifer Stanley. The group developed an inventory control system for Backpacks for Hope, a nonprofit that provides backpacks filled with supplies for homeless people.
Team Landing: Mike Graf, Nicole Mann, Mike Schull and Monica Sexton. The group developed a website for The Landing Place, an organization that works to help young people battling addiction. The web site launched the week after graduation.
Team Library: Lisa Thompson, Rob Caird, Marie Felver and Susie Coleman. The group created a sustainability plan for Little Free Libraries around Hancock County. The book kiosks are being placed in prominent spots such as parks and places where people congregate. One of them even has a geo cache for those who like to hunt down tagged locations.
Team Mural: Laurene Lonnemann, Cindi Holloway, Regina Jackson and Dede Allender. The group assembled a list of artists and researched the history of buildings that have been identified as potential sites for building murals in the Greenfield historic district. The histories will be used to inform the theme of the artwork on the buildings.
Team Garden: Kate Brown, Matt Davis, Teresa Smith and Kimberly Sombke: Working with a $1,300 grant from Home Depot, the group built a “sensory garden” in the courtyard at J.B. Stephens Elementary School in Greenfield.