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The third annual Waukee APEX Catalyst Awards was held at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center (WILC) on May 7 from 5-6 p.m. The Catalyst Awards recognize individuals or organizations that have gone above and beyond to support the students, staff and programming.

“Business partners are a vital component to the success of the APEX program and to our students. APEX could not exist and thrive without the involvement of the professional community, which is why we like to pause and give thanks to those partners that really take an interest in the program and add tremendous value to everyone involved,” Michelle Hill, director of APEX, said.

As the school year draws to a close, each APEX class is asked to nominate a person or organization for a Catalyst Award.

In true APEX fashion, student associates take a lead role in planning and emceeing the event. Every class designates a student to write and deliver a speech and present the award to each recipient.

“The Catalyst Awards are an opportunity to honor those that have made a profound impact on students, their plans for the future and our community,” Olivia Gagnon, senior and emcee for the event said. “It was an honor to emcee the event. My experience in APEX has been invaluable. I’ve been able to gain connections and network with business partners that will help me in my future career.”

Waukee Community School District would like to extend a sincere thank you to each and every business partner and host site that is connected to our APEX program. Each partnership contributes to the success, guidance and growth of our student associates, and for that, we are extremely grateful.

Congratulations to the 2018 Waukee APEX Catalyst Award Winners:

  • Global Foods Systems: Laura Robson, John Deere ISG
  • Animal and Veterinary Science: Dr. Angie Gearhart, Iowa Veterinary Wellness
  • Exploration of Health Sciences and Medicine: Diane Heckman & Keka Ganga, Mercy Medical Center
  • Medical and Bioscience Research: Dr. Pramod Mahajan, Drake University College of Pharmacy
  • Exploration of Exercise and Sports Science: Cratos Performance and Fitness
  • Developing Web-Based Technologies: Josh Larson, Vox
  • Business Startup: Meredith Smith, TigerLily STEM
  • Designing Communications Solutions: Julia Ratekin, Greater Des Moines Partnership
  • Finance, Banking & Investments: Ben Bruins, First Heartland Financial
  • Foundations of Insurance and Actuarial Science: Mary Griffin, Holmes Murphy
  • Next Generation Energy: Mark Woofter, MidAmerican Energy
  • Engineering Technology & Robotics: Ron Biotto, Accumold
  • Architecture and Engineering: Becca Baldus, Shive-Hattery
  • Construction Leadership: Gary Scrutchfield, Lumbermans Drywall and Roofing Supply