Seniors Taegan Gerler and Megan Buchheit have been elected to address the Perryville High School Class of 2022 at commencement on Friday, May 20.
Taegan is the daughter of Jaimy and Chris Brown and Scott Gerler. She has four siblings ‑
Makailyn, Ellie, Charli and Ridge. Her grandparents are David and Rhonda Meyr, Wanda Gerler and the late Clinton Gerler.
Taegan will graduate cum laude, is a member of the National Honor Society and has earned A Honor Roll all semesters of high school. She serves as treasurer of the Student Council, and is a member of the PHS Art Club. She is an athlete with USAV Club Volleyball and the Perryville High School Lady Pirates, and has earned first team All-Conference and All-District honors, as well as earning Academic All-State honors.
Taegan said PHS art instructor Bettina Comstock has been both a role model and inspiration. “Mrs. Comstock guided me through my first year of high school, and eased my nerves as an incoming freshman,” Taegan said. “She helped to make my senior year one of the best years of school, teaching me to be open minded and creative.” Her favorite memories of high school are “Friday night football games, being a part of the volleyball program for 4 years, and making lifelong friends!”
In the fall, Taegan will attend St. Charles Community College, where she will use the A+ Scholarship she earned through PHS, which is an A+ educational institution, by earning at least a 2.5 GPA, an attendance record of 95% or higher, completing at least 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring, having a record of good citizenship, and meeting minimum MAP test or ACT scores. A+ Scholarships pay for two years of tuition at state community colleges, state vocational and technical schools and certain private two-year vocational and technical schools.
At St. Charles Community College, Taegan will major in elementary education. “In five years from now, I hope to be traveling to less-developed countries in hopes of bringing education to children who don’t have access to a good school system,” she said.
Megan is the daughter of Glen and Laura Buchheit, and has one sister, Kayla. She is the granddaughter of Glen and Carol Buchheit and the late Gene and Christy Brown.
Megan will graduate summa cum laude, is vice president of the National Honor Society, and president of Student Council. She has earned the A Honor Roll every semester of high school. She is captain of the varsity Lady Pirates volleyball team, and has played USA Volleyball Club since 2014. Megan is a member of PHS Art Club and Silver Dagger Drama Players. She has been a member of St. Vincent Youth Group and the Perryville Rotary Interact youth organization. She was selected as a Missouri Girls’ State delegate.
Megan is a Girl Scout, since 2010, and has earned the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Girl Scout Awards. She has earned Academic All-State and All-Conference and All-District honors in volleyball. She has earned both the Student of the Month and Above and Beyond Awards.
Megan said her parents and some special teachers are her role models. “My parents are easily my biggest motivators,” she said. “They always encourage me to work towards the goals that I am passionate about. They support me through all of my hard work and celebrate my successes each and every time. I couldn’t ask for a better support system. At PHS, Mrs. Bettina Comstock, my art teacher, has been there for me since freshman year. She is a teacher that students know they can come to when they need advice or just someone to listen to them. She always motivates me to be my best, and encourages me to surround myself with the things that make me happy. And now that I am older, I am able to see how hard my elementary and middle school teachers worked to make school a happy and fun place to learn. My teachers always made sure that their students were safe and enjoyed learning with them.”
Megan’s favorite memories of PHS are “winning the Powderpuff football game our senior year, playing Valle in volleyball my junior year, being in my first musical, “Beauty and the Beast,” and attending Student Council State Convention during my freshman year.”
After graduation, Megan will attend Southeast Missouri State University to study environmental science and engineering. She has accepted the Copper Dome and Residence Life Scholarships from Southeast, as well as the Women Legislators of Missouri Scholarship and the Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation Extra Scholarship. She was also offered scholarships at Murray State University.
“In five years, I hope to have just earned my Master’s Degree in environmental engineering,” Megan said. “With this degree, I want to work towards finding more sustainable ways to live and protect our natural resources. I hope to be building a career for myself that is interesting, rewarding, and fun. Hopefully, I will be able to travel abroad and experience other cultures in order to broaden my perspective on life.”
PHS Commencement will be held Friday, May 20 at Perry Park Center, beginning at 7 pm.