Milan High School top students honored

Beth Rumsey
Staff Writer

Family members were the source of inspiration for the 2009 Milan High School Co-Valedictorians Rachel Hand and Heather Mire and Salutatorian Brittney Knowlton. “Although my parents support me, my Grandma and Grandpa White always told me to do my best and no star was out of reach,” said Hand, daughter of Eric and Becky Hand of Milan.

The busy senior participated in a number of activities including drum major for the high school band; a member of the National Honor Society; a representative in the Aurora Farmers Fair Queen Contest; and instrumental contests at the State where she won the silver medal and district level where she brought home a gold medal.

Hand’s hard work and perseverance provided the opportunity to win such scholarships as the Indiana State University Presidential Scholarship; Scholarship.

She will attend Indiana State University in the fall to study speech language pathology which she hopes will provide the opportunity to work with preschoolers as a speech therapist.

“My mother encouraged me to reach for more,” said Heather Mire, daughter of Colleen and William Mire of Milan. The proof is in her accomplishments this year. As well as being on the honor roll for each grading period and having perfect attendance, Mire is also a member of the National Honor Society, Academic Team, and a Senior Mentor.

She also was the recipient of the Valedictorian/Salutatorian Scholarship from IUPUI; Hoosier Scholar; and the Elsie Baylor Scholarship. This fall, Mire will attend IUPUI and plans to have a double major in chemistry and forensic science. She hopes her studies will prepare her for a career in lab research in a hospital or a police department.

Salutatorian Brittney Knowlton, daughter of Gail and Ken Knowlton of Milan, is proud of her ability to maintain her high grade point average of 3.979 while holding down a part time job at the JayC Store and playing on the varsity tennis team. “It was very hard,” she said.

According to Knowlton, her father was a big influence in her life. “I have seen him deal with a lot of heartaches in his life and he still keeps a smile on his face,” she said.

Knowlton is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Milan VFW Auxiliary. She is the recipient of several scholarships including the Valedictorian/Salutatorian Scholarship from IUPUI; AEP Educational Award; JayC Scholarship; Milan Scholarship Foundation; the Rising Sun Regional Foundation Scholarship; as well as a scholarship from the Milan American Legion.

Her goal is to become a crime scene investigator and solve a high profile crime. This fall she will attend IUPUI to study chemistry and forensic science.

What words of wisdom do these high achievers have for next year’s seniors?

“Enjoy it while you still can, it goes faster than you think,” said Mire.

“It’s important to put forth the greatest effort in high school,” said Hand. “It definitely pays off in the end.”

“Never take anyone you love for granted,” advises Knowlton. “And don’t lose yourself during the chaos.”

Rachel Hand


Heather Mire

Brittney Knowlton