As we close the curtains on a fantastic homecoming week at Ottawa High School, I would like to thank all of those who participated in making our special week possible. We have some fantastic teacher sponsors who help make OHS a better place for our students. We also have some incredible students who worked tirelessly to make the events of the week a success and enjoyable for our student body. I also would like to thank all of you who participated in Red and White Friday. I cannot express my excitement in watching the Ottawa community pull together and support our students and Ottawa High School.

Although homecoming week itself was very exciting, OHS increased that level of excitement as we received word this week that a number of our students will be honored at a dinner and awards ceremony Oct. 17 in Garnett. The University of Kansas has honored more than 100,000 of the top Kansas students in their respective schools during the past 42 years. The award is provided by the KU Endowment and represents the top 10 percent of seniors in each of their respective high schools. This year, Ottawa High School and the University of Kansas would like to congratulate Kim Beauchamp, Austin Blaue, Jennifer Boyce, Glen Coffman, Eric Crook, Erika Doty, Jeffrey Doolittle, Alex Hasty, Samantha Heppler, Josh Mills, Jillian Prather, Semi Ojeleye, Amanda Stinebaugh, Sara Soph and Hannah Thomas on their hard work and efforts, resulting in being named Kansas Honor Scholars.

The high school also received word this week that Jeffrey Doolittle has been named a Commended Student in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. Only about 24,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of the more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2012 competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“Recognizing academically talented students plays a fundamental role in the advancement of educational excellence within our nation,” an NMSC spokesperson commented. “The young people recognized as Commended Students represent some of the best and brightest minds in the country as demonstrated by their outstanding performance in our highly competitive program. We sincerely hope this recognition will provide them with additional educational outlets and motivate them in their pursuit of academic achievement.”

OHS is extremely proud of these students. Their efforts and the hours of work they put in now are being recognized. These students are models for high expectations and reaching your goals. Their abilities and promise certainly are recognized by those who teach them and those who have the incredible opportunity to be around them every day. On behalf of Ottawa High School, I would like to personally congratulate these students and their parents. We are honored to have you be an integral part of our school.

Dr. Ryan Cobbs is principal at Ottawa High School. Email him at or call (785) 229-8020.