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KRESA Honors Outstanding Achievements at 38th Annual Awards Ceremony

Kalamazoo RESA (KRESA) honored more than 100 outstanding students at the 38th annual Outstanding Achievement Awards on Thursday, April 25, 2024, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel.   

Honorees selected by the Kalamazoo RESA Foundation and Career Connect were chosen from among more than 3,000 individuals participating in over 30 high school programs, including Career & Technical Education (CTE), Education for the Arts (EFA), Early/Middle College (EMC), and Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) career development programs. KRESA also recognized children of KRESA employees who have prioritized educational excellence.   

“To be honored at today’s ceremony is an incredible accomplishment,” said KRESA Superintendent Dr. Dedrick Martin during his opening remarks, “and each honoree, their families, educators, and coaches should be proud of this esteemed recognition.” 

Dr. Martin also acknowledged the collaborative efforts between many partners, including public and non-public school districts, Kalamazoo RESA, the Kalamazoo RESA Foundation, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Western Michigan University, and more than 350 local industry partners engaging in KRESA’s work.  

The 2024 Career Connect Community Partner of the Year Award was presented to Newell Brands for their exceptional partnership in support of KRESA’s programming and specifically their collaboration with Career Connect’s newly launched Discovery Lab. The award was presented by Sarah Mansberger, executive director of Career Connect Secondary Programs, and accepted by Savannah Walters, senior industrial designer, and Lea Stewart, senior manager of Industrial Design.  

Alumni speakers included: 

  • Steven Anderson, Disney/Marvel Studios, EFA Alumni (video presentation) 
  • Chef Kalea Barnes, CEO and owner of Parisian Dream Desserts, CTE Alumni Culinary Arts
  • Kyle Mleczewski, KRESA Technology Support Specialist, EMC Alumni  


Congratulations to the following 2024 KRESA Outstanding Achievement Awards recipients:  


Climax-Scotts High School

Hailey Talbert, CTE Work-Based Learning  


Comstock High School  

Melissa Interiano Ramirez, CTE Dental Assisting 

Paisley Meyle, CTE Professional Health Science 


Galesburg-Augusta High School

Natalie Earles, CTE Marketing 

Devin Gates, CTE Automotive Technology 

John Klimp, CTE Banking 


Gull Lake High School

Elisabeth Maes, CTE Marketing & Cosmetology/Barbering 

Ethan Peterson, CTE Computer Science 

Whitten Smith, CTE Computer Science 

Lilah Warren, CTE Accounting 

Leah Perkins, KRESA Foundation Scholarship  

Kyle VanLandegent,  KRESA Foundation Scholarship 


Gull Lake Virtual 

Gloria Geer 


Heritage Christian Academy  

Eli Luke, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 



Kalamazoo Central High School   

Isaiah Hawkes, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Asher Barrett, CTE Marketing  

Liberty Cottick, CTE Health Science  

Drake DeLeeuw, CTE Accounting  

Elleghia Fraaza, CTE Health Science  

Jade Howard, CTE Art & Design Career Skills  

Olivia Scheinker, CTE Conservation Biology  

Isaac Sullivan, Early/Middle College (EMC)  

Wallace Tatara, CTE Electronics & Robotics  

Ritika Verma, CTE Electronics & Robotics  


Loy Norrix High School   

McKenna Bradley, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Mallory Loken, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Ezra Balden, CTE Information Technology  

Braeden Davis, EFA Advanced Musical Theatre  

Amelia Isacksen, CTE Conservation Biology  

Bruna Machado dos Santos, CTE Business, Management & Administration  

Clarence McCants, CTE Automotive Technology  

Eduardo Ricardo, CTE Welding  

Isabella Santos-Pye, CTE Art & Design Career Skills  

Shiloh Schrader, CTE Teacher Academy  

Alexandra Sedore, CTE Health Science  

Ellen Terzino, EFA Advanced Musical Theatre  

Nateya Thomas, CTE Business, Management & Administration  

Aliah Ward, CTE Business, Management & Administration 


Kalamazoo Christian High School 

Jada Collins, EFA Beginning Dance Studio 


Mattawan High School 

Elizabeth Buckley, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 


Parchment High School 

Kenadie Peebles, CTE Marketing  

Asusena Perez, CTE Automotive Technology 


Paw Paw High School 

Kylee Brown, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Addison Hart, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Kolleana Kirkpatrick, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 



Portage Central High School  

Gabrielle Bastian, CTE Aviation Technology 

Alex Beachnau, CTE Entrepreneurship 

Wieland Curtis KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Lindsey Dowdy, CTE Marketing 

Sara Havenhill, KRESA Foundation Scholarship  

Kaitlyn Hoke, CTE Teacher Academy 

Isabella Jimenez, CTE Culinary Arts 

Hope Lim, Early/Middle College 

Carter Mayfield, CTE Entrepreneurship 

Kennedy Smith KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Angela Vazquez, CTE Marketing 

Karis Watson, CTE Marketing


Portage Northern High School   

Braylen Amos, CTE Marketing 

Kristina Boaz, CTE Welding, CTE Auto Technology 

Owen Broeckel, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Amaya Curtis, CTE Accounting 

Haley Downey, CTE Teacher Academy 

Levi Miller, CTE Cosmetology/Barbering 

Avery Myers, CTE Engineering in Wood Technology 

Maxwell Pidgeon, CTE Accounting 

Benjamin Torrence, CTE Marketing 

Aniya Williams, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Alexis Wise, CTE Veterinary Science 

Aiden Zentz, CTE Engineering in Wood Technology 


Schoolcraft High School 

Irelyn Gerow, CTE Accounting 

Caleb Goldschmeding, CTE Horticulture 

Fischer Holmes, CTE Construction Trades 

Ryan Ling, CTE Construction Trades 


Vicksburg High School 

Megan Burke, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Marissa Buder, CTE Veterinary Science 

Connor Devries, CTE Computerized Manufacturing  

Dakota Dragicevich, CTE Horticulture 

Andrew Habel, CTE Marketing 

Trentin Harp, CTE Horticulture 

Grayson Louis, CTE Information Technology 

Colin Schramer, CTE Accounting 

Peyton Smith, KRESA Foundation Scholarship 

Reed Tassell, CTE Computerized Manufacturing 


Vicksburg Pathways 

Aurora Herriman, CTE Culinary 



YOU Scholarship Recipients:

Tiara Boyd, MyCITY and Career Coaching 

Diamond Davis, Career Coaching 

Erica Dingess, MyCITY, CareerNOW, Career Coaching 

Phi Duong, CareerNOW and Career Coaching 

Cassandra Ford, 2Gen 

Edlawit (Adele), Haile, Career Coaching 

Anasia Hall, MyCITY and Career Coaching 

Aquile Jordan, MyCITY and Career Coaching 

Saba Khan, MyCITY and Career Coaching 

Maia Lintner, MyCITY and CareerNOW 

Sanaa' Littlejohn, MyCITY and Career Coaching 

Sierra Luckett, MyCITY, CareerNOW, High School Diploma Program (HSDP) 

Elisia McPherson, MyCITY, CareerNOW, Career Coaching 

Ashana Tidwell, MyCITY and Career Coaching 

Kimberly Whittaker, 2Gen and Career Coaching 



Scholarship & World of Work Donors:  

Allkins Family Foundation; Patrick Allkins Memorial 

Alpha Delta Kappa; Michigan Alpha Delta Kappa 

Burdick-Thorne Foundation 

Don & Ann Parfet 

DQ Hunter Memorial 

Global Clinical Connections 

Jack & Sue Martin 

Kalamazoo Area Retired School Personnel 

Kalamazoo Valley Community College 

Linda Powell 

Western Michigan University 


Kalamazoo RESA Foundation Donors: 


Bronson Methodist Hosptial Gayl F. Werme Memorial and 

Kalamazoo RESA Gayl F. Werme Memorial 

Burdick-Thorne Foundation 

Donald & Ruth Webster Memorial 

Dr. Robert & Ruth VanderRoest Memorial 

Dr. W. Craig & Diane Misner 

Eaton Corportaion 

Education for Employment Retired Staff 

Fabri-Kal Foundation 

Gary P. and Logan L. Brown 

Gary Rice Memorial 

Home Builder’s Association of Western Michigan 

Irv & Alberta Cumming 

Irving S. Gilmore Foundation in Memory of Gayl Werme 

Jack & Sue Martin 

Jeanne Webster Memorial 

Kalamazoo RESA Board of Education 

Larry & Rose Wile 


Myra L. Jackson Memorial 

Nate Pollard Memorial 

Patrick J. Everett Memorial 

Paul & Betts Wollam/Stephanie Jo Harris Memorial 

Quota Club of Kalamazoo 

Robert C. Thompson Memorial 

Seargant Lisa Zuk Memorial 

Stairway to a Career 

Tammy Mallos Memorial 

TeleCity Information Highway 

Tom & Marsha Conor Memorial 

W. Jack & Dr. Nanette Keiser 

Walter B. Forbes Aviation 

YOU Scholarship 


About Kalamazoo RESA  

The Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency exists to transform lives by inspiring educational excellence. It provides a continuum of educational services and support to students, families, school districts and communities across Kalamazoo County. For more information, visit