The salutatorian of the Spencer Van Etten Class of 2020 is Ava Bruehwiler of Spencer. The daughter of Carlen Sill and Leonard Bruehwiler, she is known for her love of soccer and her work ethic on the field. That work ethic is the same one she brought to her academic studies, where she earned a 95 or better grade point average throughout high school.
Sadly, just a week before graduation, Bruehwiler suffered a seizure and missed graduation because she was still in the hospital. She was not far from her classmates’ thoughts, however, and they gave her a standing ovation when her name was called to receive her diploma. Bruehwiler has started physical therapy, the field she plans to go into as her career.
As is common with the highest academic achievers, Bruehwiler is also active in numerous community service activities and sports. She has participated in a variety of community service projects, including the community service day at Christmas run through student council where she worked with elementary school students for the day. She helped with Christmas-time bell ringing at the Spencer Shurfine for the Salvation Army and a children’s activity at a fire department. She worked frequently at the S-VE Community Food Pantry helping load food boxes into clients’ cars. Around Valentine’s Day, Bruehwiler helped to run another children’s activity at a local fire department. As an outstanding junior class member, she was selected to help decorate for the senior class’s graduation night and also to serve refreshments following it.
Bruehwiler has been a four-year member of the SVE Key Club, a service organization that does a variety of things, including the Empty Bowls luncheon served annually at the high school. She was also selected as a member of National Honor Society in her junior year. Bruehwiler is well-liked by her classmates, who chose her as a class officer for three years and Treasurer of National Honor Society her senior year.
Bruehwiler’s real passion is soccer, however, and she has loved it since she was a little girl. On the field she has always worked hard to improve her skills and that has paid off in numerous ways. She made the Girls Varsity Soccer team in her freshman year and was chosen as captain her junior and senior years. Her skill and work ethic did not go unnoticed by colleges. She signed a commitment-to-play agreement with Daemen College in Amherst, NY, earlier this year. Daemen is a Division II NCAA school and Bruehwiler is looking forward to the challenge. Bruehwiler also enjoys playing basketball and played three years as a Panther.
When a student is smart, shows leadership skills, and works hard, she earns many academic awards, and that is true for Bruehwiler. She was awarded several scholarships to colleges hoping to be her first choice, one offering up to $48,000 per year towards tuition. At SVE, she was given the four-year Science Award and the four-year Math Award, for excellence in those challenging subjects over all four years. In the athletic department, she won the Outstanding Senior Female Athlete Award. Overall, Bruehwiler is one of those students that every parent would love to have—smart, athletic, and of good character.
The entire S-VE community has rallied to support Bruehwiler and her family during this frightening time in hopes that she will be home soon.