Senior Awards Night brings community, CNE Class of 2021 together

By Dick Maloney

Clermont Northeastern High School’s Class of 2021 had more than 1 million reasons to celebrate during its final days in school.

That’s how much scholarship money the 120 now-graduates earned, and the school celebrated a small portion of that amount during its Senior Awards Nights May 14. The program was another small step away from the challenging 2020-2021 school year, as students, family, friends, school staff and representatives of local organizations gathered in the high school gymnasium, and while the number of awards was down from past years, because of the pandemic, the achievements noted were no less impressive.

High School Principal T.J. Glassmeyer welcomed the crowd and praised the community involvement signified by the scholarships.

“It is great to be able to have in-person events to recognize our amazing seniors once again,” Glassmeyer said. “We are incredibly humbled to have to work in a community that comes together to support and lift up our students.” he related an experience from earlier that day that reinforced the quality of a CNE education.

“This morning Mr. (Scott) Houp, our assistant principal, and I were interviewing teachers for an opening we have next school year,” Glassmeyer said. “Several of them asked why we chose to work here. I shared what our families and the scholarship organizations who are here tonight already know: we have a phenomenal, phenomenal group of seniors, and students in general, who work incredibly hard each and every day, who care about each other, the school and their community, and who live by the Rocket Way. They are responsible, respectful, dedicated, and display pride each and every single day.”

Glassmeyer then introduced each of the scholarship presenters, several of whom had CNE ties. Steve Vastine, of the Clermont Northeastern Alumni Association and a 1971 CNE graduate, noted that he had been sitting in the same stands 50 years earlier, and then promoted his group.

“We have our dinner every year and we bring in all of the classes, so for you seniors out there, come this year. You’re alumni. You’re welcome (to attend),” Vastine said.

The Alumni Association presented four $1,000 scholarships, an increase over past years, and was able to do so despite having to revise its fundraising efforts. The group uses a raffle to fund much of the scholarship money. “I would like to see that doubled next year, so you’re going to see us out and about,” Vastine said.

Mike Means, master of the Hamer Masonic Lodge No. 228, is a 2001 CNE graduate and Newtonsville native. That made his presentation all the more personal.

“Our lodge in particular there in Owensville has given $500 every year for a scholarship for Clermont Northeastern itself,” Means said. “That is because we are located right there in Owensville. We are in the school district. That is part of our commitment to the community that we operate in.”

A committee of three members judges the applications and chooses the winners for the lodge, which also adjusted its fundraising activities. Alyssa Ferguson won the $500 scholarship.

“We raised $12,000 in two weekends just for Salvation Army. It’s just part of what we do, give back to the community, help community members improve themselves, and just to be involved and give back as much as we can to make things better than everybody,” Means said.

The lodge also hosts a “trunk or treat event each year, and has several members who are coaches, both at the high school and in the community.

Vivan Poe of the Clermont County Bar Association also noted the joy of being at the event. “I’m glad to be to be presenting it in person this year because last year we had no opportunity to do that at any of our schools,” she said. The Bar Association presented the largest award of the night, a $3,000 scholarship to Emma Stephan.

These Clermont Northeastern seniors were recognized at Senior Awards Night May 14:

Jakob Ansteatt

Guy. B. and Mabel Lykins Scholarship, $500

Lauren Best

CNE Alumni Association, $1,000; CNE Athletic Boosters, $500; CNEA Peg Rice Scholarship, $250.

Kendra Brooks

CNE Alumni Association, $1,000; Northeastern Lions Club, $1,000.

Hollie Daniel

CNE Alumni Association, $1,000; Northeastern Lions Club, $1,000; CNE Athletic Boosters, $500; Mercy Health Clermont Physicians, $2,000; Batavia Rotary Club, $1,000; CNE Elementary Charlene Spahr Memorial Scholarship, $550; CNE Board of Education Scholarship, $500; CNE High School Staff Scholarship, $350.

Alyssa Ferguson

Northeastern Lions Club, $1,000; CNE Athletic Boosters, $500; Hamer Masonic Lodge, $500.

Tyler McDonald

John McCollum Scholarship, $1,000; CNE High School Staff Scholarship, $350.

Emma Stephan

Clermont County Bar Association Scholarship, $3,000; Mercy Health Clermont Physicians Scholarship, $2,000.

Hailey Stegemann

Nick Erdy Foundation Scholarship, $2,000; CNE Alumni Association Scholarship, $1,000; CNE Athletic Boosters Scholarship, $500; CNEA Peg Rice Scholarship, $250; Batavia Rotary Club Scholarship, $1,000; CNE Elementary Charlene Spahr Memorial Scholarship, $550; CNE High School Staff Scholarship, $350; Student Senate Scholarship, $1,000.