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Uptmor, Kennedy named IHSAA ‘Stars’

— Five Idaho high school juniors earned Interscholastic Star Awards, which were announced last Thursday, May 5, by the Idaho High School Activities Association.

Chaye Uptmor of Prairie High School and McKenzie Kennedy of Grangeville High School were selected from the field of students nominated by their schools.

Uptmor, daughter of Roger and Chris Uptmor, a competitor in volleyball, basketball, track and cross-country also drew IHSAA attention for her involvement in student government, 4-H and the “Idaho County Shootout” which boosts local food banks.

In announcing the award, the IHSAA also flagged Uptmor’s senior project, noting she has raised $4,200 for an all-weather track. The facility improvement stands to benefit her school, the local hospital’s physical therapy department, the BLM conditioning program and the Cottonwood community more broadly.

“Chaye Uptmor is exemplary in all walks of life,” PHS principal Carrie Nygaard told the IHSAA. “Her personality is welcoming, her smile infectious and her work ethic unmatched. She epitomizes what the Interscholastic Star Program is about.”

Kennedy, daughter of Mike and Tonya Kennedy, a competitor in volleyball, basketball and tennis, drew IHSAA attention for her involvement in student government, FCCLA and BPA.

IHSAA flagged Kennedy’s senior project, noting that as a certified Water Safety Instructor, she’ll spend next year teaching off-season swim and water safety courses with the hope to help children who are afraid of water, and with proceeds to be donated to the Grangeville City Pool.

“Throughout the halls of Grangeville High School, McKenzie Kennedy is known by all the students,” GHS principal Steve Higgins told the IHSAA. “Her popularity is not based on her label of being a successful three-sport athlete or because of her demonstration of excellence in the classroom. She is known by her peers because of her positive attitude, caring demeanor and ability to accept everyone for who they are rather than for the group they are associated with.”

Nominees for the awards are exemplary students participating in IHSAA-sponsored sports and activities. Applications include an essay, administrator recommendation, description of athletic and activity participation and an explanation of their service to their school and community. Interscholastic Stars receive a $2,000 scholarship to the college of his/her choice. The IHSAA, with the support of the United Dairymen of Idaho, also contribute $1,000 to the recipients’ schools and $500 to the finalists’ schools.


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