Matthew Hopkins, son of David and Traci Hopkins of Godfrey and a 2015 graduate of Alton High School, was selected as Student of the Year for the 2014-2015 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 $6,000 scholarship applicable to tuition and fees at the college of his choice. He was honored at the club’s June 8 meeting at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center in East Alton.
Hopkins becomes the 18th individual selected as a Student of the Year. He was selected as Student of the Month from Alton High School for September and was class valedictorian in his graduating class of 552. He received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he will major in aerospace engineering.
He has received numerous awards, including selection as an Illinois State Scholar, a Silver Medallion Academic Excellence award, a finalist for the Alton Principal’s Excellence in Education Award and selection as a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar Athlete.
Hopkins has been extremely active in school organizations, including the Student Council, the biology, chemistry, Spanish clubs and Mu Alpha Theta, a national mathematics society. He served as a representative to the Principal’s Advisory Committee, was selected as a junior marshal at last year’s graduation ceremonies and served as a student representative to the RiverBend Growth Association’s Young Adults Committee for the past three years.
He has been extremely active in the school’s athletic program, lettering on golf, swimming and baseball. He qualified for state competition in swimming, but his interest and skills in baseball have earned him recognition on a number of all-star teams on the state and local levels that include selection to Southwestern Conference All-Conference teams for performance on the field as well as in the classroom. He says he hopes his skills in baseball will earn him an opportunity to play baseball at the Air Force Academy.
As a student leader at Alton High, Hopkins was involved in service and volunteer activities. He served as a peer student tutor and was involved in projects designed to help others. His ultimate goal is to obtain advanced degrees in aeronautical engineering and serve the nation by helping to design, build and possibly fly the next generation of unmanned and manned avionic platforms for the nation’s defense.
Alton High School Principal Dr. Russ Teppen, Mississippi Valley Christian School Principal Joan Conrad and Marquette Catholic High School Principal Mike Slaughter were presented with plaques listing the names of the students honored from their schools during the 2014-2015 school year.
In addition to Hopkins, other AHS students honored during the past year included Madison Bemis, Olivia Farmer, Sara Fischer, Emily Formea, Natalie Long, Matthew Maag, Sofia Macias, Alex Piazza, Christian Porter, Joseph Twichell and Jordann Wilson.
Marquette Catholic students honored during the year were Elizabeth Dixon, Katherine Holtz, Peyton Orban, Taylor Rook and Brandon Root.
Allen Thompson was honored from Mississippi Valley Christian School.
Hope Cash was honored as the recipient of the Interact Student Service Award as a member of the Alton High Interact Club who demonstrated through her active participation in the club’s activities the principles of Rotary. She will receive a $300 scholarship.
Alton/Godfrey Rotary Club President John Hopkins praised the students recognized during the past year.
“They represent our best hope for the future,” he said. “We are proud of the work of 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 noted since the club initiated the program 18 years ago, the club has awarded $60,500 in scholarships to the Students of the Year.