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Friday, September 28, 2007
Jesse Eichhorn, Diana Harper, David Westrich, Andy Sheibe (Aaron Eisenhauer)

High achievers

High school's all about testing: midterms, finals, weekly quizzes. Then there are the big ones: ACT, PSAT, SAT.

Those who decide to take the PSATs have the opportunity to qualify for a National Merit Scholarship.

Even achieving semifinalist status is an elite accomplishment. Less than 1 percent of graduating high school students in the country earn the designation. Four in Cape Girardeau County have made it: Jessie Eichhorn from Jackson High School, David Westrich from Notre Dame Regional High School and Diana Harper and Andy Sheibe, both from Central High School.

"We're good at tests," Harper said. Harper qualified for the National Merit Scholarship through the National Merit Achievement Program, which is open to minority students who take the PSAT and apply for achievement recognition.

She and Sheibe said the knowledge is important, but knowing the test format is the key.

Now Harper, Sheibe, Eichhorn and Westrich must submit records and an essay to compete for a finalist position and possibly a scholarship.

-- Chris Harris


Jessie Eichhorn

Parents' names: John and Reva Eichhorn

School: Jackson High School

Sports: He plays on his church softball team.

What do you like to do on the weekends?

Hang with friends

Do you work?

On his family's dairy farm

Prospective Colleges:

His sights are set on the University of Missouri at Rolla because it's a great engineering school.

What job do you want when you get out of school?

Eichhorn is undecided about exactly what he wants to do, but knows it will be some type of engineering.

I've always lived on a farm and if anything needed fixing, you just did it yourself," he said. "You figured it out."

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

He'd move south to Florida because of the great weather.

Favorite movies:

Minority Report and Star Wars

Favorite bands:

Green Day and Fallout Boy

What's one thing you like about high school?

The challenge of AP classes and the friends you make.

What's something you don't like about it?

ALL the homework.

He's also involved in:

Stuco, FBLA, Hi step, Speech and Debate, Drama Club, Peer tutors, the Spanish club, National Honor Society, Junior Rotarians and the Academic Team.


Diana Harper

Grandparents' names: John and Elsie Miller

School: Cape Central High School

Sports/activities: Harper calls herself "athleticly retarded."

But I am the principal cellist in the orchestra, captain of Speech and Debate and a member of Film and Lit. I also am in a quintet up at SEMO.

What do you like to do on the weekends?

I enjoy going up to St. Louis for concerts. Lazing about the house, sleeping in! And catching up on all the leftover stuff from the week.

Prospective colleges:

Reed College in Portland, Ore., has an amazing outlook on education and an exceptional student body. University of chicago drew me in with their cool mailings -- in a sea of "Come to our college!" letters, anything off the beaten path catches my eye. I'm also looking at University of California Davis and Berkeley, plus a few schools on the East Coast. I want to get out of small-town Midwesty-ness.

What job do want when you get out of school?

I'd like to go into environmental studies, which includes the science plus all of the politics, connections to humans, etc. But if that doesn't work out, teaching at the college level would be great.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Europe has an appeal -- I went there a few summers back with my grandma. I loved how integrated everything was. There wasn't the almost tangible gap between races like we have in the U.S. Ideally, I'd like to live on a beach with no storms close to some good hiking mountains, but I'm not sure how realistic that is.

Favorite Movies: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Waking Life, Princess Mononoke

Favorite Bands: Interpol, Bloc Party, Peter Bjorn and John, Rogue Wave, classical. I'm into indie-pop/rock. I hardly ever listen to the radio except NPR.

Name one thing you like about high school:

Umm... Speech and Debate is pretty awesome. So is Film and Lit.

What's something you don't like about high school?

I DESPISE having to take brain-numbing classes simply because they're required to graduate.


David Westrich

Parents' names: David and Mary Westrich

School: Notre Dame Regional High School

Sports or activities: I was on the track and cross country team my freshman and sophomore year.

What do you like to do on the weekends?

I like to read, catch up on homework, spend time with my girlfriend and relax with friends.

Do you work?

I do not work at a job during the school year, but over the summer I take classes at SEMO and volunteer as a tutor in the SEMO Math Lab.

Prospective Colleges: My prospective colleges are: SLU and Wash U, because they are a good education close to home.

Stanford because it offers a premier education on a beautiful campus in California. MIT and Caltech because they offer the most extreme experience.

What job do you want when you get out of school?

I would like to be a physician, possibly a surgeon.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I really do not believe I have the experience to answer that question. I have not been all around the world, and I have never even lived outside of Cape Girardeau. For now, I want to go off to college, see what that is like, and decide from there.

Favorite Movies: The Matrix, Fight Club, Star Wars: IV-VI, The Lord of the Rings

Favorite Bands: Bad Religion, Modest Mouse, Blink-182, Weird Al, Panic!, Snow Patrol, Dave Matthews, Bach's "Musical Offering," Led Zeppelin, and Rush

Name one thing you like about high school:

The teachers at Notre Dame are some of the most intellectually stimulating and completely dedicated people I know. They challenge me to learn and to ~perform to the best of my ability.

Name one thing you don't like about high school:

At times I feel that high school can place a great amount of stress on a student, but that is just part of the process of preparing to be an adult.


Andy Scheibe

Parents' names: John and Ezita Scheibe

School: Cape Central High School

Sports/activities: Cape Central Marching Tigers, Speech and Debate team, academic team and pep band

What do you like to do on the weekends?

Sleep, go to band contests, homework, reading and thinking

Prospective Colleges:

University of Missouri Rolla. One of the best engineering schools in the midwest.

What job do you want when you get out of school?

Mechanical engineer

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

American midwest, because space is plentiful and land is cheap.

Favorite movies: Can't remember any.

Favorite bands: Iron Maiden, Hommezhalll, Nightwish

What's something you like about high school?

All the wierd and wonderful people, the activities, the optimism.

Name one thing you don't like about high school

Three-fourths of it won't matter after graduation.


Voice box

Do you agree with city-enforced curfews for teenagers?

"I think there's a good reason curfew because I've had friends who've gotten into accidents being out after curfew partying and drinking." Malaina Kinder, a junior at Cape Central High School.

"It keeps crime off the streets, I guess." Hunter Lucas, a freshman at Cape Central High School.

"Yeah, because if you get in trouble you're screwed." Judd Potts, a freshman at Cape Central High School.

Use your voice: Who's going to win the rivalry game between Cape Central and Jackson High next week? Text your opinion to (573) 200-3394 or log on to semissourian.com/blogs/voicebox.


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