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The Portage County Teen Board has selected the Teens of the Month.
For February, they are James Kristell of Aurora and Mikhala West of Freedom.
James is a senior at Aurora High School with a 4.373 grade point average. He has been the chief software requirements engineer and developer with the First Robotics Italian Team since the sixth grade.
He is a two-year member of the Science/Pre-Med Club, co-captain of the Quiz Bowl and a member of the Mathematics Club all four years of high school.
He takes part in Peer Tutoring and participated in "Tech Tuesday," a program to assist the elderly with their technology issues.
In Student Council, he served as class of 2017 president during grades nine through 11 and serves on Student Senate as school-wide treasurer.
He is a member of the Ohio Attorney General Teen Ambassador Board, is in the Freshman Mentorship Program and is a National Merit Commended Scholar.
James earned six academic awards over the past three school years, is a National AP Scholar, earned High Honor Roll for each of the past seven semesters and was given the Western Reserve Society Sons of the American Revolution Citizenship Award.
His hobbies include learning to program in Java through Robotics, watching TED Talks and Open Yale Courses, studying languages on Duolingo, focusing on Spanish and Esparanto, and reading non-fiction works and publications.
During the summer, he worked for nine weeks in the moleculor pathology department at the Cleveland Clinic. Since the summer of 2015, he has served as a technology support agent for the Aurora School District, working to maintain existing technology, installing new technology, servicing necessary tasks and repairs across the district and responding to Helpdesk tickets.
After high school, James will pursue an undergraduate degree at a university where he can continue researching as he studies. After that, he will possibly pursue graduate work. "In general, I strive to undertake the humbling but gratifying task of improving humanity's quality of life," James said.
Mikhala is a senior at James A. Garfield High School with a 4.516 grade point average. She is a two-year member of the National Honor Society, the Model United Nations (team leader) and Pen Ohio. She is a three-year member of Interact (president), and Camp Intervention (counselor), and a four-year member of the volleyball team, Math 24 (proctor) and theater (leads). This year, she is a member of the Math Team.
In her community, Mikhala was a member of the church choir in ninth and 10th grade, a member of the church youth group in ninth through 12th grade and a member of Music Ministry Alive! in 10th through 12th grade.
She took part in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, earned a varsity letter, is a scholar athlete, and was given a full-tuition academic scholarship. Mikhala was named Student of the Year in classes, earned leadership awards and was named second place writer at the Pen Ohio Tournament.
She received a community service letter for 40+ hours, an academic letter, three-year honor roll for academics, theater awards and music awards.
Her hobbies include singing, reading, volunteering, spending time with friends, helping others, working, volleyball, traveling and playing with her dog and cat.
Mikhala's work experience includes Camp Invention and Little Caesar's. In the future, she plans to go to Muskingum University in New Concord and major in international relations and minor in communications and English and eventually get a job for a non-profit organization so "I can help others in need who have less than I do."
For the month of March, the Teens of the Month are Leland Mackle of Ravenna and Kayla Flick of Streetsboro.
Leland is a senior at Ravenna High School and has a 3.918 grade point average. He represented Ravenna at Buckeye Boys State at Bowling Green State University, served as class president in 10th and 11th grade, was Student Council president in 12th grade and was Key Club vice president in 11th grade.
He earned a varsity letter for track and a varsity letter for soccer (two years), was the Greater Akron Soccer Officials Association Scholarship winner, was on the Honor Roll for three years, earned the Scholar Athlete Award and was a Presidential Scholars Award nominee.
Leland is a member of the Youth Ministry at Immaculate Conception Parish in Ravenna, volunteers with the Center of Hope and Catholic Charities in Ravenna and is a member of the Ravenna High School Key Club.
His hobbies include soccer, reading books, watching the news and historical documentaries, hanging out with friends and occasionally playing video games. Leland is an employee at McDonald's in Ravenna and does lawn care service with his father.
In the future, Leland plans to attend a high-ranking college and major in something business-related.
Kayla is a senior at Streetsboro High School with a 4.6 grade point average (4.0 unweighted). In ninth grade, she was a student consultant with the Streetsboro Visionary Council, was a member of the Actively Caring for People Club in 10th grade and was a Yearbook staff member in 11th grade.
Kayla was a member of the varsity track team in 10th and 11th grade and in 11th and 12th grade, served as class secretary, was a mentor with the Freshmen Mentoring Program and was a member of the National Honor Society.
In all four years of high school, Kayla was a member and captain of both the varsity basketball and varsity volleyball teams, was a member of the Rocket Rowdies Club (leader - 12), took part in class hallway and fence decorating for Spirit Week, was on the homecoming decorating committee (head of homecoming entrance 11th grade), and was a member of Student Council (president - 12 and officer - 11).
In her senior year, she also is a member of the Student Leadership Team and the Captain's Council. Her awards and recognitions include Excellence in Calculus, Social Studies, Mathematics, Sciences and Business, the West Point Leadership Award, the Volleyball Coach's Award, the Basketball Coach's Award and the Track Coach's Award and the Graphic Design Artist Award.
She was named a Scholar Athlete in the fall season for three years, and Scholar Athlete in winter season and spring season for two years. Kayla earned Honorable Mention All-PTC track team and Honorable Mention All-District volleyball team.
Kayla's community involvement includes being student chairman of the blood drive and Community Christmas, as well as a staff member of the Youth Volleyball Camps and Youth Basketball all four years of high school.
She volunteered with the Western Reserve Triathlon, the Quiz Bowl Tournament and the Best Medicine Science Fair. In 11th grade, she was selected to attend Buckeye Girls State, where she was elected to be a judge, and selected to attend the HOBY Leadership Seminar.
Kayla's work experience includes working for her grandpa's paint company and baby-sitting in the summer.
For April, the Teens of the Month are Dayne Bates of Mantua and Madeline Turner of Garrettsville.
Dayne is enrolled in the electrical program at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna. He is a senior at Crestwood High School with a 3.513 grade point average.
He has been a SkillsUSA member in 11th and 12th grade and a member of the National Honor Society for the past two years.
Dayne took third place in the SkillsUSA in residential wiring local last year, first this year in motor controls -- industrial and competed in the state SkillsUSA in March.
His work experience includes seven years at Wolff's Blueberry Patch in Hiram, and side jobs with his dad doing residential and commercial electrical work. He volunteered at Maplewood's Christmas in the Woods, handing out candy canes and assisting Santa as an elf.
In his spare time, Dayne enjoys driving, hiking, biking, climbing, hanging out with friends, airsoft and playing paintball. His favorite place to camp is Hocking Hills State Park.
His future plans are to get a job in his field (lineman for an electric company), save up to buy a house, then travel the world and see different places. "Also, I would like to get married and have one boy," Dayne said.
Madeline is a senior at Crestwood High School and ranks fourth in her class with a 4.283 grade point average.
Madeline is a national competitor and soloist with the Crestwood High School Scarlet Guard, has served as class treasurer for two years and is the Student Council historian. She has attended Kent State University and will graduate high school with more than 50 college credit hours.
Her awards include Outstanding Performance in English, Outstanding Student Council Member and Best Dressed -- Crestwood Bands. She was the highest scoring girl on the Americanism and Government Test in all of Portage County last year.
Madeline assisted in the founding and is currently helping to run Recycle Pots & Pans, an organization dedicated to addressing recycling, domestic violence and healthy eating.
She became a vegetarian as a challenge this year and cooking has become a hobby for her. Madeline loves to read and write, specifically poetry and editorials. She is an amateur photographer and even did some of her friend's senior pictures this year.
Her work experience includes Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Chagrin Falls, and Lucky Penny Farm and Lucky Penny Creamery in Kent.
Madeline served as a student ambassador to England and France through People to People in the summer of 2011 and has volunteered with Coleman Adult Day Services in Ravenna, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and Lake Erie Ink.
This summer, she hopes to intern for either a non-profit or in a congressional office. In the future, she plans to attend either Boston University or Smith College, majoring in economics and eventually obtaining a law degree. "Above all else, I want to make a difference in the world, and maybe own a cool dog," she said.
For May, the Teens of the Month are Haley Noll of Rootstown and Colin Heath of Aurora.
Haley is valedictorian of her senior class at Southeast High School with a 4.0 grade point average.
She has been a cheerleader all four years of high school, took part in track in ninth through 11th grade, was a member of the National Honor Society in 11th and 12th grade and was a member of the Pre-Professional Medical Academy in 10th and 11th grade.
Haley was named Student of the Month at Southeast for Leadership, earned Scholar Athlete Awards and was a track letter winner in 10th and 11th grade.
In her community, Haley participated in the Love is Red church conference, volunteered at University Hospitals Portage Medical Center in Ravenna and the Center of Hope in Ravenna and was a student teacher at her dance studio, where she has been dancing for 14 years.
Her work experience includes working at the Dairy Queen in Ravenna over the summer and through the fall. She enjoys crocheting and stunting for cheerleading in her spare time.
In the future, Haley plans to attend Kent State University and major in biology to pursue a career in medicine.
Colin has a 4.0 grade point average and is a senior at Aurora High School. He is the co-founder, co-captain and head of software for FTC Robotics (TEAM GO54), with which he has been involved since the eighth grade.
He serves as secretary and graduation committee head with the National Honor Society, which he has been a member of in 11th and 12th grade. He is a five-year member of the Math Club, a two-year member and administrative council member of the Science Club and a three-year member of the Philharmonic Orchestra.
Colin served as class vice president in ninth through 11th grade and has been a member of Student Council all four years of high school. A member of Quiz Bowl since the ninth grade, Colin has served as varsity co-captain and was Portage County League MVP in 2015-16.
His community participation includes Orchestra Hay Ride and Concert Taping, political campaign volunteering, Greenman Stampede volunteering (community fun-run) and various projects sponsored through NHS and Student Council, along with youth robotics mentoring.
Colin is a three-time academic letter recipient, a National Merit semi-finalist, was chosen as Aurora's representative to the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Seminar in 2014-15, named Outstanding Science Student, received the AP Scholar Award from the College Board and earned Perfect ACT Distinction.
His hobbies include programming, reading fiction, running, snowboarding and playing the violin.
His work experience includes a software development internship at MacroPoint LLC full-time during the summer of 2016.
In the future, Colin plans on studying computer science in college and pursuing a career in software development or computational biology, eventually earning a doctorate in computer science.