Niagara names top five seniors in Class of 2020


NIAGARA, Wis. — The Niagara School District has named its top five seniors from the Class of 2020.

As announced by Niagara Superintendent Nathaniel Burklund, the school board and the faculty, the class of 30 graduates is led by:

— Jessica Oratch, 18, is first in her class with a grade-point average of 3.958. She is the third child of Jamie and Kerri Oratch. Her siblings are Jake, Benjamin and Samantha Oratch.

Oratch is an honor student who has participated in basketball, volleyball, track and field, Majorettes, One-Act, Hi-Q, Academic Bowl, Art Club, Student Council, forensic public speaking and Badgers United. She is the 2020 Forward Financial Credit Union Badger Girl and her other honors and awards include 2019 and 2020 Basketball MVP, 2019 Basketball Badger Award, 2019 and 2020 Basketball Marinette and Oconto 2nd Team All-Conference, 2017 and 2018 Track and Field Storm Award, 2020 Volleyball Most Improved Player, 2019 and 2020 Artist of the Month, Michigan Tech. Science Award, 2018 and 2019 Wisconsin High School Forensics Association public speaking state medalist, 2018 and 2020 Student of the Week, Marinette and Oconto Conference Academic Bowl first-place winner-English Category, 2019 Volleyball Marinette and Oconto All-Conference Honorable Mention, high honor roll, Association of Student Artists Award, 2018 and 2019 varsity volleyball captain, 2019 and 2020 varsity basketball captain, 2020 Marinette and Oconto Achiever, WIAA Scholar Athlete, Hometowne Lumber Athlete of the Month nominee, National Honor Society member, ALA Badger Girl State delegate and president pro-tempore, and Dickinson-Iron Intermediate School District Technical Education Center Student of the Semester. Oratch also has received the Academic Excellence Scholarship.

She considers Emily Dickinson to be one of her many idols/heroes. She stated that Dickinson, apart from being one of the most influential and significant writers in history, symbolizes the advancement of women’s rights and societal reform. Dickinson rejected the idea of social acceptance and popularity, and participated in the first wave of the women’s rights movement just after the Civil War.


Oratch enjoys reading and writing, art and design, and athletics. Her community service includes being a junior counselor at Northern Lakes Impact Center, grocery shopper for Karen’s Food Pantry, volunteer at the Lions Club Picnic, service trip to Philadelphia and volunteer at the U.P. Honor Flight fundraiser.

Oratch is employed at Tadych’s Family Market. She is a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church, where she has been an altar server.

She plans to pursue a degree in user experience design and communication engineering this fall at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. She also will continue playing basketball as a MSOE Raider.

— Cassandra Gill, 18, is second in her class with a GPA of 3.946. She is the youngest child of Robert and Kim Gill. Her siblings are John Rockefeller and Laura and Alex Gill.

Gill is an honor student who has participated in basketball, volleyball, track and field, student council, theatre, One-Act, Badgers United, forensic public speaking and Hi-Q. Her honors and awards include 2020 Volleyball MVP, 2018 Volleyball and Basketball Marinette and Oconto All-Conference honorable mention, 2018 Volleyball and Basketball Most Improved Player, 2019 Volleyball Marinette and Oconto First Team All-Conference, September 2019 Hometowne Lumber Athlete of the Month, Marinette and Oconto Conference Achiever, academic letter and high honor roll.


Gill named her grandmother, Debbie, as her mentor because she always supported her in all aspects of life. Her grandmother also taught Gill how to love and respect others and to always be true to herself.

Gill enjoys playing sports, listening to music, and photography. Her community service includes the service trip to the Dominican Republic in 2018, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, bagging groceries and volunteering for spaghetti dinner fundraisers. Gill works as a shift leader at Culver’s restaurant in Iron Mountain.

She plans to major in psychology this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

— Olivia Brasure, 18, is third in her class with a cumulative GPA of 3.865. She is the daughter of Tom and Ann Brasure. Her siblings are Michael Cavagnetto, and Emma and Reid Brasure.

Brasure in an honor student who participated in volleyball, basketball, softball, One-Act, forensic public speaking, student council, Badgers United, collective bargaining and Miss Niagara court. She is a three-time medal winner at the state forensic public speaking competition, was softball team captain, received the “Most Coachable Player” award for volleyball and was an academic letter recipient. She was chosen as a delegate for Badger Girls State, was a member of the National Honor Society.


Brasure named her mother, Ann, as her role model, saying all of her life she has watched her mother show great courage through adversity, demonstrate hard work in every task and show kindness toward others. She always supports her daughter and inspires Olivia to become the best version of herself.

Olivia Brasure enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and lake kayaking during the summer. Her community service includes service trips to the Dominican Republic and Philadelphia, Penn.; ringing bells for the Salvation Army; bagging groceries; and volunteering at Karen’s Pantry, the Big Red Barn and Family Ties Adult Center. Her work experience includes babysitting. She is a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church.

Brasure plans to major in international business and marketing this fall at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, toward a career working in Sports Marketing and Management while also traveling and volunteering with humanitarian aid groups.

— Sydney Dunkes, 18, will finish fourth in her class with a 3.853 GPA. She is the oldest child of Jason and Lyn Dunkes. Her siblings are Wyatt and Owen Dunkes.

She is an honor student who participated in volleyball, basketball, soccer, cheerleading, forensic public speaking, Badger Bud 4-H, Marinette County 4-H, student council, honors band and One-Act. Dunkes also was chosen as 2018 Miss Niagara and Marinette County 4-H Princess. She received the 2020 basketball “Coach’s Award,” is a Marinette and Oconto Achiever and currently is vice-president for Badger Buds.


Dunkes named her aunt Ann, uncle David and grandparents Marcia and Pete DeClark as her heroes and role models because they taught her how much giving means and gave her opportunities she wouldn’t have had without them. They are active Christians and support her in many ways.

Dunkes enjoys reading, gardening, showing horses, woodworking, painting and exploring the outdoors. She is a member of Grace United Methodist Church and Blood of the Lamb Ministry.

Her community involvement includes being a counselor at Grace United Methodist Vacation Bible School; delivering meals for church; volunteering for the Proud Equestrian program, Marinette County Fair, Lions Club Veterans Day program and Philadelphia service trip; and serving Breakfast on the Farm through 4-H. She has worked in landscaping and as a culinary assistant.

Dunkes plans to pursue a mechanical engineering degree this fall at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

— Bailey Broullire, 17, will graduate fifth in her class with a 3.848 GPA. She is the oldest child of Mark and Joie Broullire, with one sibling, Emma.

She is an honor student who has participated in volleyball, track and field, soccer, One-Act, forensic public speaking and student council. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been nominated as Student of the Week multiple times. Broullire received the 2020 Nancy Morin Memorial Scholarship.

She named her parents as her role models because they always support her, help her with anything and taught her how to succeed.

Broullire likes to swim and run. She also enjoys hanging out with friends as well as camping and hiking in the summer. Her community service includes working at the concession stand during sporting events, helping with activities at her church, volunteering at fire department events and the service trip to Philadelphia. She is a vendor at Thomas Theatre Group movie theater and a lifeguard at the Northern Lights YMCA. She is a member of the Aurora Free Church.

Broullire plans to pursue a nursing degree this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire toward becoming a nurse practitioner.


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