During an Honors and Awards Program May 16 at Hannibal High School, more than 200 scholarships and awards were received by members of the Class of 2017, who are graduating today.

During an Honors and Awards Program May 16 at Hannibal High School, more than 200 scholarships and awards were received by members of the Class of 2017, who are graduating today.

Many of the people presenting scholarships in memory of a family member first outlined why this person was special. One was the Jeana Sue Herl Babyak Memorial Scholarship, which Brent Babyak presented to Kearsten Creason.

Babyak listed some of Jeana Sue's accomplishments, such as becoming governor of Girls State, a Mahan oral contest winner, and valedictorian of her HHS Class of 1958, despite major illnesses.

Numerous scholarships were awarded by local organizations, including six by the Hannibal Evening Kiwanis Club, each honoring different men.

Some scholarships have been awarded for many years, while others were new this year. Among the new awards outlined by presenters was the Hannibal Booster Club Scholarship, received by HHS graduates Emily Albright, Jordan Held, Abigail Laws and Trevor Watson. Terry Sampson explained the requirements for this honor included 95 percent attendance, a 3.5 grade point average and other rules.

Trevor Watson, who received this scholarship and several more, was not there to be honored. The presenters explained he was competing in the state golf tournament. One of his awards was the Brent Esicar Memorial Golf Scholarship.

HHS Principal Ted Sampson honored Pranati Parikh as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and for Missouri Scholars 100. She also won first place for oral and prose contests in the Mahan Literary Awards and the Donna Doty Memorial Award.

The largest group receiving the same award won Butch Wilson Memorial Scholarships. They were Emily Albright, Megan Beilsmith, Brooke Burton, Kearsten Creason, Grace Deien, Jordan Held, Eric Jones, Adam Ledbetter, Kaylee Murphy and Brandon Zeiger.

Honored for four years of perfect attendance at HHS were Samantha Zielinski, Joseph Sheffer and Heath Ehret.

Some scholarships were the result of the grads' earlier accomplishments. One went to Dezerae Eaves, a former Kids In Motion member. She received the Joyce Ross Memorial KIM Scholarship.

Also reminding them of the past were awards presented to former Tom and Becky, Chandler Waelder and Brooke Burton. They received the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce Tom and Becky Ambassador Scholarships.

Burton was perhaps on stage more than any of her classmates, receiving numerous awards and honors.

She was among the last group honored, when HHS Principal Ted Sampson announced the 2016-2017 Students of the Year. They were Freshman Spencer Locke, Sophomore Makenzie Prenger, Junior Grace McIntosh and Senior Brooke Burton.

Some seniors are continuing to pursue their current passions, such as Megan Beilsmith, who has been performing in vocal music and dance programs for several years. She also was the morning announcer on the HHS intercom.

Megan received four scholarships and will attend Stephens College in Columbia, majoring in theater art and minoring in music. Before beginning her college career, she will spend a month visiting relatives in England with her mother, Nita Beilsmith, as a graduation gift.

Megan's sister, Katie Beilsmith, is among the HHS juniors also graduating. Katie, who was an artist in high school, has a different career goal. She will attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a criminal justice major. She plans to go to law school and eventually become a prosecutor.

Another graduate sharing a career goal was Scot Roberts. He received a Mary Ann St. Clair Memorial HHS Booster Club Scholarship (along with Grace Deien) and the Ragland Family Baseball Award.

Roberts will attend Missouri Western State University for a career in marketing. Asked to share his favorite HHS memory, he said it was, “tailgating and cheering on the football team each Friday night in the fall.”

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.