Richard Roberts, son of Mike and Lisa Roberts of Alton and a 2014 graduate of Alton High School, was selected as Student of the Year for the 2013-2014 school year by the Alton/Godfrey Rotary Club.
He was selected from among 18 Students of the Month from Alton, Marquette Catholic and Mississippi Valley Christian high schools who were honored during the past year.
His selection earns him a $5,000 scholarship applicable to tuition and fees at the college of his choice. He will be honored at the June 9 meeting of the Alton/Godfrey Rotary Club at the Banquet Center at the Alton Sports Tap in Alton.
Roberts becomes the seventeenth individual selected as a Student of the Year. He was selected as Student of the Month from Alton High School for the month of September and was class salutatorian in his graduating class of 444 at Alton High. He will be attending Saint Louis University and majoring in engineering.
He has received numerous awards including selection as an Illinois State Scholar, a Silver Medallion Academic Excellence Award, the Alton Principals’ Excellence in Education Award and selection as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar Athlete for Swimming for the past two years. He also was selected to the 2014 USA Swimming Scholastic All-American team. He was a member of the National Honor Society, received the Cornell University Outstanding English Student Book Award and earned first place for his essay in the SIUE Martin Luther King Essay contest.
Roberts was active in school activities serving on the Student Council for four years and participating in the Physics, German, Interact, and Mu Alpha Tau student organizations. He was a member of the math team and candidate for prom king. His skill and accomplishments as a member of the Redbird swimming team earned him selection as MVP of the team and recognition of his skills by qualifying in several events in state competition. He qualified for the USA swimming junior national championships this year. His swimming skills resulted in his being recruited by Saint Louis University as a member of the swimming team.
Richard has also been a volunteer in a number of community activities that included Relay for Life, Salvation Army bell-ringing, breast cancer research, Miles for Mesothelioma and Toys for Tots fund-raising campaigns. One Alton High faculty member noted “his ability to empathize, to ‘walk in others’ footsteps’ and listen position him quite naturally as a leader in his class. He leads gently and by example, earning the respect of peers and teachers alike.”
Russ Teppen, principal at Alton High School; Joan Conrad of Mississippi Valley Christian School; and Mike Slaughter, principal at Marquette High School; were presented with plaques listing students’ names who were honored from their schools during the 2013-2014 school year.
In addition to Roberts, other Alton High students honored during the past year included Chrysa Cousley, Andrew Henry, Ellen Higdon, Grace Hopkins, Amber Ingram, Bitta Moyer, Lyssa McClennan, William Morris, Hannah Paul, Tori Qualls and Joseph Schwartz.
Marquette Catholic students honored during the year were Autumn Eberlin, Chris Hornsey, Abby Sanders, Kelsey Walsh and Eric Ziino.
Emily Bernhard was honored from Mississippi Valley Christian School.
Emily Thompson was honored as the recipient of the Interact Student Service Award as a member of the Alton High Interact Club who demonstrated Rotary’s principles through her active participation in the club’s activities. She will receive a $300 scholarship.
Gail Weinrich, president of the Alton/Godfrey Rotary Club, praised the students recognized during the past year.
“They represent our best hope for the future,” Weinrich said. “We are proud of the work at our local schools in educating our youth and we hope to continue working closely with our schools in recognizing the accomplishments of their students.”
He said since the Alton/Godfrey Rotary Club initiated the program 17 years ago, the club has awarded $54,500 in scholarships to the Students of the Year.