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Top 2021 seniors named at West Iron County | News, Sports, Jobs


IRON RIVER — The West Iron County School District has announced its top students in the graduating Class of 2021.

They are:

— Mitchell Ballinger, valedictorian, is the son of Timmothy and Michelle Ballinger of Iron River. Throughout all eight semesters of high school, he has been on the A Honor Roll and maintained a 3.97 grade-point average. Ballinger was senior class president and participated in both tennis and basketball all four years. Within the community, he has been part of Key Club for the past two years volunteering in various activities and also worked at his family’s restaurant, Mr. T’s, for the past three years. He plan to major in neuroscience at Michigan State University.

— Thomas “Bink” Cline is the son of Dr. Steven and Mary Anne Cline of Iron River. He has lived in Iron River for the past 12 years and attended West Iron County schools the entire time. Cline was on the football, tennis and track teams. As a junior, he was elected to the National Honor Society and joined the Key Club to be part of community service organizations. This year he was Forestry Club president and hosted the fishing derby on Iron Lake. He also worked at Angeli’s Foods in Iron River for nearly two years. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and biotechnology at Michigan State University.

— Ella Maloney is the daughter of Pete and Denise Maloney of Iron River. She has been on the A honor roll throughout high school and was a Student of the Week in her senior year. Maloney was secretary of the local National Honor Society and was on Key Club, Spanish Club and student council, plus was class vice president for the past two years. She played volleyball and golf and was on the dance team. Maloney volunteered at the Iron County Youth Camp, Vacation Bible School, the WIC annual 5K Color Run, and the WIC preschool classroom. She also did all the stats for junior varsity and varsity girls basketball teams for the past four years. Maloney plans to study at Michigan State University this fall toward becoming a speech and language pathologist along with getting a minor in Spanish.


— Zoe Kolenda is the daughter of Brian Cascioli and Grace Kolenda of Iron River. She was on the student council, Forest Club vice president, a National Honor Society member and was awarded the Bausch and Lomb Science award. Kolenda participated in cross country, basketball and track and field. Outside of school, she was part of the youth group at the UP River Church. She plans to major in nursing at the University of Michigan toward becoming a nurse practitioner.

— Justin Nelson is the son of Larry and Teresa Nelson of Iron River. He carried a 3.86 GPA, made the A honor roll through seven semesters and received academic awards through high school. Nelson was on the basketball team and the Forestry Club. Community involvement included roadside clean-up in Bates Township and Vacation Bible School at the Iron River Bible Church. Nelson plans to earn an associate degree in water resource management at Bay de Noc Community College, where he also will play basketball.

— Avery Bociek is the daughter of Scott and Heidi Bociek of Iron River. She was in cross country, track, basketball and Spanish Club through her high school years. Bociek was selected for the National Honor Society as a junior. Community involvement has included helping with Vacation Bible School at Grace Covenant Church and making door tags for Iron County Medicare Facility residents. She plan to study speech and language pathology this fall at Grand Valley State University.

— Danielle Polzin of Iron River is the daughter of Dale Polzin and Debra Cieslinski. Academic achievements throughout high school include making the A honor roll and being chosen as Student of the Week as a senior. She played volleyball all four years of high school, was a member of the Forestry Club and editor of the yearbook. Polzin belongs to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. She plans to attend Northern Michigan University this fall.

— Marly Mattson is the daughter of Jason and Sharon Mattson of Iron River. She has belonged to the History Club since 2017 and was selected as a junior for the National Honor Society. Mattson plans to study computer networking this fall at Bay College.


— Lucas Stuart Isaacson is the son of Kevin and Tina Isaacson of Iron River. He has been a member of the basketball team, tennis team, Forest Club, Business Club and the Hiawatha Trap Club. Isaacson has received the Student of the Week Award, WIC High School Academic Award and the Multimedia Student of the Semester Award. He plans to seek a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Michigan Technological University.

— Stephanie Wiegand is the daughter of Steven and Kathy Wiegand of Iron River. In high school, she was on the honor roll and in the top 10. Wiegand was involved in Symphony (piano); selected to the National Honor Society, where she was president; and belonged to the Forest Club, Communities That Care and Key Club. She also participated in track and golf. Outside of school, Wiegand volunteered at the American Legion and at her church, St. Cecilia. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering at Michigan Tech University.








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