The Great Wall of Honor

Showcase in newly redesigned hallway displays student achievements

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The Great Wall of Honor

Kim Presko and Adam Taylor cut the banner in front of the wall.

Kim Presko and Adam Taylor cut the banner in front of the wall.

Kim Presko and Adam Taylor cut the banner in front of the wall.

Kim Presko and Adam Taylor cut the banner in front of the wall.

Connor Parrish, Sports Editor

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On the first day of school, students walking down the hallway saw a noticeable change in the hallway: the wall of honor that is located right outside the gymnasium. On Oct. 4, a formal presentation was held with Adam Taylor, Dr. Kim Presko, Dr. Peter Stiepleman, and Lisa Bailey all giving speeches to dedicate the wall.

Instead of doing a normal plaque, Battle decided to make a full wall that honors students from the past and present on their accomplishments. Battle brought in a design team from St. Louis to come in during the summer to design the new wall.

“We wanted to be something that stands out in our school, something that people want to be a part of. We have a lot of blank walls at Battle High School, so how could we make it a piece of art,” Presko, principal, said. 

The wall of honor is not a sports hall of fame, it is “a way to showcase the outstanding students that have gone through our buildings and their accomplishments,” Presko said. “So we came up with the same purpose, then Spartan Alliance came in and took it over and paid for the design work, installation,” Presko said. 

Spartan Alliance is a parent organization that fundraises for the school. Lisa Bailey, president of Spartan Alliance, was in charge of overseeing the project. “It has been the vision ever since we (Battle) has opened in 2013,” Bailey said.

The funds for the wall took several years to accumulate. “We spent several years preparing to pay for the wall. We accumulated funds through selling athletic passes, concession stands, spirit store, and the Battle for the Ages fundraiser,” Bailey said.

To be on the wall of honor, an individual or team has to meet one of the following criteria: “State champion team or individual, all state athletic honors for individuals, the senior class hall of fame recipients in the area of academic service, fine arts, and athletics, the Muriel William Battle award winner, a perfect score on the ACT, SAT, valedictorian, and presidential scholars,” Bailey said.

The Muriel William Battle award is annually given to a student who has overcome obstacles.  “Someone who has succeeded against all obstacles in their way academically, medical issues, home life issues that made it hard for them to succeed. Teachers nominate them and vote,” Presko said.

On the wall on honor, there are 840 total spots. Currently, there are 149 spots taken. 

Jaren Lewis, former football player who was honored for leading the team to a final four his senior year, said, “It feels great. When I was coming into high school I never thought I would be awarded for football because in my freshman and sophomore years I was more focused on baseball. This accomplishment feels amazing,” Lewis said.   

Lauren Naeger, a former Battle student, is on the wall for athletics in swim and dive and for being valedictorian in 2019. “It feels really special and it’s a huge honor to be recognized for achievements in both athletics and the classroom. I like that it shows that you can be successful in both athletics and academics,” Naeger said.

Some current students are on the wall of honor. Keyleigh Reichert broke the girl’s pole vault record in 2019 at 11’6. “I feel accomplished because I worked hard for track and I’m glad my hard work paid off and being recognized for it is great,” Reichert said. Reichert sophomore with three more track seasons left in her high school career.

There are 691 spots left to be filled on the wall.

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