PORTAGE | The Portage Exchange Club welcomed four outstanding Portage High School seniors as Students of the Month at a breakfast meeting at Miller’s Assisted Living Meeting Room.
The students were accompanied by PHS Assistant Principal and Exchangite John Zack, Athletic Director Kelly Bermes and several parents. The students represented the athlete/scholars of Winter Sports.
“The best part of my job starts when everyone else is going home at 3 p.m.,” Bermes said. “I get to work with all of these awesome kids. They all have high GPAs and are involved in all sorts of school and community activities.”
Mackenzie Barcelli is captain of the girls’ gymnastics team, which is presently ranked No. 1 in the state. She has accumulated 13 varsity letters in her high school career, including those in gymnastics, track and diving. She has been involved as both a member and coach in All-Star cheerleading and Northwest Indiana Gymnastics, which her parents own and run.
Barcelli also plays bass and violin and sings at many events. She was selected by her peers to be a Natural Helper.
She carries a 3.8 GPA and plans to attend Indiana University, Bloomington where she will double major in music performance and pre-law. She hopes to become a talent agent in the future.
Alex Schreier represented boys’ swimming. His main event is the butterfly. He is president of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), which purchased Automated external defibrillators for the high school and middle schools and collected over 2000 pounds of food for the food pantry under his leadership. He is vice-president of the Diversity Club, which brings its anti-bullying message to the elementary schools.
Schreier was one of 10 students selected for the Indiana Career and Technical Award of Excellence.
He was also third Runner Up in Portage’s 2013 Outstanding Young Man Scholarship Program. He maintains a 4.8 GPA.
Schreier plans to attend South Dakota State University where he will continue his swimming career and study to become a nurse anesthesiologist.
Nicki Monahan is a four-year letterman in girls’ basketball. She broke Portage’s all-time leading scorer record with 1158 points. She is captain of the basketball team and also captain of the soccer team. She has played soccer for four years also. She was selected to try out March 10 for the Indiana All-Star Basketball Team. This honor is given to the top 60 players in the state. Last year she played on the Indiana Junior All-Stars.
Monahan has a 3.9 GPA and works in the PHS Athletic Office as a peer tutor and mentor for other students. She also was selected to be a Natural Helper.
Stephon Wilkins represented the wrestling program.
Wilkins has wrestled for three years at PHS and presently wrestles at 145 pounds. He has been a member of both the Junior and Senior Academic All-Star Teams and has been a sectional and regional champion. He maintains a 3.8 GPA.
He credits coach Leroy Vega, who is soon to be inducted into the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame, with bringing new life to the wrestling program.
Wilkins plans to attend Ball State or Manchester and continue wrestling while he studies to become a petroleum engineer.
“Petroleum engineers find different ways to extract oil from the ground. I’ve always been interested in math and science, and my brother is in this field. I’d like to follow in his footsteps,” Wilkins said.