Thanks to their athletic ability, four Joseph Charter School seniors are getting a little tuition help at their selected colleges. Emma Hite, Steven Beckman, Tori Suto and Ella Coughlan all signed letters of intent for their respective schools at a gym ceremony on April 11.
Both Hite and Beckman will attend Treasure Valley Community College. Hite will play volleyball for the school and Beckman will join the wrestling squad.
Hite played varsity volleyball for all four years of school and in her junior year, starred on a team that won the state championship. She was also a first-team selection in basketball at point guard in the Old Oregon League. She had no idea she’d get offers.
“I didn’t know I wanted to even play college volleyball until after we made it to the state tournament,” she said. Then it was something I was really interested in.”
She realized her potential by putting in the extra mile at her favorite sport.
“I practice year-round,” she sad. “As much as I can.”
She plans to major in elementary education.
“I really want to be an elementary teacher, and I’m really excited to go play,” she said.
Beckman is the first JCS wrestler to win three state wrestling titles, something he did in his sophomore, junior and senior years. An athlete who drives himself mercilessly, he plans to attend TVCC long enough to get his prerequisites done before transferring to another school to obtain a degree in sports administration at a school that will offer him a scholarship to continue wrestling.
The senior chalks up his success to his love of the sport.
“I like coming up and helping kids out, teaching kids who want to learn,” he said. “It’s a passion of mine.”
Also a scholar, Beckman earned a 3.85 GPA.
“Our coaches get on us if we’re slacking a little bit,” he said with laugh. “It makes us want to keep our grades up.”
Ella Coughlan is a runner extraordinaire. Eastern Oregon University thought so as well. Like the others, she doesn’t hang it up if it’s not at an official practice.
“I go to practice five days a week and sometimes six,” she said. “All through summer, all through fall and all through spring.”
She, Hite, plans to study elementary education at EOU. Coughlan is also an ace student with a 3.9 GPA.
“Having sports has helped me keep my good grades up and keeps me motivated to do well in school,” she said.
Tori Suto is one of the finest golfers in the state. Playing even against golfers at the 4A district-level; she has placed 10th, fourth and second place at state with her senior season remaining. The senior developed her skills by going the extra mile with dedicated practice.
“When you’re from here, you have to put a lot into it,” she said. “Because of the weather, we start late, and right now, certain parts of the course are flooded.” In the winter, she plays indoors, hitting into nets in the garage and practicing her swing in front of a mirror for a half-hour stretch.
Suto knows the importance of maintaining her classroom as well as greens work — earning the honor of co-valedictorian of her class.
What will she study at College of St. Mary’s?
“Art and Education — my two loves,” she said.