Meet the Class of 2020 - Four fantastic SJO seniors

Ashley Abbott

Clubs & Activities
Art Club
Landscape Design
Ashley Abbott lives in St. Joseph with her dad and stepmother. She has three brothers and one sister.

Her hobbies include playing video games, attending Art Club, and gardening.

Abbott currently misses her daily high school schedule, but she is making the most of her time at home.

After high school, she plans to attend Parkland College. She plans to transfer to a four-year university to major in landscape design after finishing her program at Parkland.

Her favorite classes at St. Joseph-Ogden High School include Horticulture, Biology, and Art. This school year, Abbott really enjoyed all aspects of FFA and enjoys learning about all aspects of agriculture.

Her favorite teachers at SJO are Mrs. Jennifer Brooks, Mrs. Darcy Nekolny, Mrs. Jeanna Kerner, Mrs. Ashley Krisman, and Mr. Don Beckett.

Kendall Ayers

Clubs & Activities
Scholastic Bowl
Drama Club
Kendall Ayers lives in Royal with his mom and has two older brothers.

His hobbies include playing video games, singing, and working on computers, and he has a passion for geology.

His greatest memories at SJO are simply the great day-to-day interactions he has had over the years in high school. Ayers said he will always remember going to All State Chorus at Olivet Nazarene University, which was a huge accomplishment for him that he certainly should be proud of.

After high school, he plans to take a vacation out west and will attend Parkland College as a member the Parkland Pathways program. His goal is to eventually transfer to the University of Illinois where he will major in computer engineering.

His advice for future SJO students is "to get their foot in the door and to make an impression."

Ayers said his two favorite classes at St. Joseph-Ogden High School are Physical Education and Chorus.

His favorite all-time teachers are Mrs. Max, who was his 5th/6th grade teacher at Prairieview-Ogden, as well as Mrs. Steffen, Mr. Kieffer, Mr. Don Beckett, and Mr. Hess at SJO.

Kaylee Blackburn
Kaylee Blackburn lives in St. Joseph with her family, and has six siblings: three brothers and three sisters.

Her hobbies include writing poetry and short stories and hanging out with friends and family.

Blackburn has many great memories from her time at St. Joseph-Ogden High School. Over the years, she enjoyed the overall atmosphere at all home football games with the Maroon Platoon. She is a big fan of Homecoming week and has really enjoyed participating in the Spartan Olympics.

She really enjoyed post prom and will miss the opening show night for the spring musicals.

After high school, Blackburn will attend Eastern Illinois University in Charleston to study early childhood education.

Her advice for future SJO students is to "simply enjoy everything and to appreciate all of your teachers and friends."

At SJO, her favorite classes over the years are American History, Advanced Civics, and Economics with Mr. Schacht; English with Mrs. Lindenmeyer; and Geometry with Mr. Duval.

Blackburn, like other seniors, has several favorite teachers at the high school. Mr. Marshall Schacht, Mr. Jeff Kieffer, and Mrs. Heather Lindenmeyer as well as Mr. Steele from St. Joseph Middle School top her list.

Clubs & Activities
Cheer (4 years)
Drama Club (4 years)
SADA, Student Council
We The People

Joe Yeager
Joe Yeager's greatest memory at St. Joseph-Ogden High School was when he missed two of his toughest classes his sophomore year because of a gas leak. The whole school had to evacuate the building and he will never forget this moment.

His favorite classes at SJO included art with Mr. Jake Beccue his sophomore year and construction with Mr. Bill Billman this year. Over the years, Yeager's favorite teachers have been Mrs. Maxwell at Prairieview-Ogden in 5th/6th grade and Mr. Don Beckett at SJO.

His dream job is owning his own shop where he can do custom automotive work or work on performance race cars. After graduation from SJO he willl start working toward that goal by attending Parkland College studying in one of their automotive programs.

One Yeager's many hobbies is tearing down and rebuilding car engines. He is a member of one of two teams that trains at Parkland College and competes in Hot Rodders for Tomorrow competitions held around the country. In February, his team qualified for the national competition at the Race and Performance Expo in Schaumburg.

Clubs & Activities
Art Club

Teams are made up of high school students who practice teamwork, critical thinking and initiative as well as team communication as they tear down and reassemble Chevy 350 engines without the use of power tools.

Hot Rodders for Tomorrow's mission is to teach high school and junior high students around the country about mechanical engineering and to encourage teamwork. The organization also offers scholarships to college students and has awarded more than $15 million since 2008 to future technicians. Not only are the competitions a great learning experience, but participants also have the opportunity rub meet with possible future employers as well as with industry experts to learn the latest technological advances.

To future SJO students, Yeager offers this advice: "Finish all homework and to get involved."

He lives in Royal with his mother, father and sister, Mariel.

Photos and text provided by St. Joseph-Ogden High School

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