EXECUTIVE EXCELLENCE DAVE HYATT NAMED PRESIDENT/CEO OF RIVERVIEW HEALTH TownePost.com MAGAZINE JUNE 2023 STILL A STAPLE New Owner of Syd’s Bar & Grill Completes Renovations ALL IN THE DETAILS No-H2O Is Changing the Way Automobiles Get Washed
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REAL-TIME ANALYTICS Scan the QR code to see this magazine’s real-time reach and distribution numbers. 6 STILL A STAPLE New Owner of Syd’s Bar & Grill Completes Renovations 10 KIDS’ CAUSE Boys & Girls Club Sign Unveiling Recognizes Donor Generosity 14 GROUND-BREAKING ENDEAVOR Husband-and-Wife Team Enjoying Local Support for Providence Home + Garden 16 ALL IN THE DETAILS No-H2O Is Changing the Way Automobiles Get Washed 26 EXECUTIVE EXCELLENCE
Hyatt Named President/CEO of Riverview Health 30 STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Maggie Hoppel KEY CONTRIBUTORS 26
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STILL A STAPLE
NEW OWNER OF SYD’S BAR & GRILL COMPLETES RENOVATIONS
Writer / Renee Larr Photographer / Sarah Browning
Syd’s Bar & Grill has been a staple of the historic downtown Noblesville landscape in the J.L. Evans Building at the corner of Logan and 8th Streets since 1889. For decades, it has been a local watering hole and restaurant for scores of dedicated fans except from 1909 to 1933, when the government prohibited alcohol sales. The name was changed to Syd’s in 1945. When the previous owner, Rick Robison, was looking to sell the business and retire, a loyal regular customer purchased Syd’s in 2022.
“I own a business that helps people sell their business,” says Brian Knoderer, the new owner. “In those talks, I decided to purchase Syd’s myself from Rick directly. It had a strong history, great community ties, and an awesome atmosphere. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I knew it would be a great investment and something I would enjoy owning and being involved in.”
The family-friendly establishment recently underwent renovations. Knoderer says normal wear and tear throughout the years meant some updates were needed, but he also wanted to make some strategic improvements.
“Walls needed to be painted and the kitchen needed some updating, but we also intentionally wanted to add more seating to the bar,” he says. “I would see people come in and not have a place to sit, so we expanded the bar seating area and opened the bar more into the family dining area, so it became more inviting to sit there in the evenings.”
Knoderer also added a new bar upstairs that he’s lovingly referring to as the Howdy Bub Lounge. The name is synonymous with the history of the iconic bar. Walter Carey and Sid Gill opened Syd’s in 1945 and installed the shuffleboard table in the middle of the bar. They also coined Syd’s catchphrase - “Howdy Bub.” Every customer was greeted with it when they walked through the door.
“We wanted to embrace the term and use it for the new area upstairs,” Knoderer says. “In the ’70s, that area was a disco bar. It was also used for overflow seating and events, but it was largely an unused area. The Howdy Bub is a lounge-style bar with comfortable seating and higher-end cocktails.”
During the renovation process, Knoderer says they found old windows they didn’t know about previously. He says they decided to embrace the exposed brick and stay true to the historical aspect of the building. He says the vibe has slightly changed, but the building has stayed true to its roots. He says the renovations were only scheduled to keep Syd’s closed for 10 days but ended up taking closer to 45.
“One of my biggest concerns with doing the renovations was not changing the culture of Syd’s or its historic nature,” Knoderer says. “It’s so important to our customers. When you walk in, it is a dramatic improvement with updated audio technology and the new bar, but overall our customers have been thrilled with the changes.”
/ JUNE 2023 / NOBLESVILLE MAGAZINE / 7
Knoderer says one factor that attracted him to purchasing Syd’s was the family-like atmosphere. He says many of the staff are longtime employees. He says it was important to him to keep the employee and customer relationship strong.
“Some of our customers have been coming here for years, and even their grandparents and parents came here,” Knoderer says. “We wanted to respect that tradition while making Syd’s the best it could be. It feels like Noblesville’s version of ‘Cheers.’”
Syd’s is well-known locally for the Hoosier classic breaded tenderloin. They also offer appetizers, soups, burgers, salads, sandwiches, dinner entrees, and a kid’s menu at affordable pricing. Knoderer says the Syd’s team loves catering to families, which some people may not know. He says since the renovation, they have embraced their family-friendly atmosphere even more. They also just added delivery service and will be adding brunch in
the near future.
“We’re going to be hosting some shuffleboard leagues this summer,” Knoderer says. “We plan on having a tent party later in the summer. We’ll have weekly bands, adding trivia night and possibly a comedy night. We do open-mic night every Wednesday night and karaoke every Tuesday night, which we will continue to do. We plan to have a vibrant weekly schedule of events. We recommend everyone follow up on Facebook and Instagram to get updated on our events.”
Knoderer says he’s seen a substantial increase in customers since opening the doors after the renovation. He’s hoping the improvements honor the history and tradition of Syd’s while attracting new customers.
Syd’s is located at 808 Logan Street in downtown Noblesville. For more information, call 317-773-6132 or visit sydsfinefoods.com.
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BOYS & GIRLS CLUB SIGN UNVEILING RECOGNIZES DONOR GENEROSITY
The Tom & Soni Sheehan Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville (BGCN) is planning today so they’re able to guide children well into the bright future of the Noblesville community. Through the Great Futures Fund, the community can help Noblesville youths get on the right path in life and stay there. Most recently, BGCN kicked off an endowment campaign in 2019 to ensure financial success for years to come.
Hamilton County is expected to add 218,000 residents by 2050, according to the Indiana Business Research Center. Among the
county’s nine cities and towns, Noblesville is projected to see some of the greatest population increases.
Over the next few decades and beyond, the need for a strong Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville will grow as more and more families call Noblesville home. Today’s donors who support the Great Futures Fund will help make sure community children and teens have an affordable place to learn and develop as individuals, through after-school and summer enrichment programs.
Currently, the Great Futures Fund has topped the $1 million mark with an additional $1.11 million in pledges. The campaign has a goal of achieving $3 million before tapping into any disbursement of funds.
The campaign, which was unfortunately put on the back-burner during the pandemic, has ramped back up in the last two years. Recognizing donors for their generosity is important to the club’s leadership, and that’s exactly what the signage recognition ceremony did on May 11.
Writer & Photographer / Natalie Platt
The signage, to recognize Heritage Club members and endowment campaign donors, has a prime location right outside the main entrance to the BGCN facility. Every day, those who visit the building will walk directly past the three large signs that showcase campaign donors’ support.
Tom and Soni Sheehan have committed the largest endowment gift to date, a $1 million pledge. The Sheehans also made a $2 million pledge to the club in 2016 for the Build & Grow capital campaign for the current facility, which included naming rights.
“Giving our time and treasure has been a source of fulfillment for our family for a long time, and a way to honor our son Tim’s memory, whom we lost when he was 12,” Tom Sheehan says. “When you give generously to the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville through the Great Futures Fund, you make a real difference in shaping lives and the place we all call home.”
Tom and Soni Sheehan have been supporters of the Boys & Girls Club of Noblesville for decades. Tom founded Carmel Financial Corporation in 1967, and Soni is a former Club Volunteer of the Year and current volunteer.
“Our youth are this community’s future - our future leaders, neighbors and workforce,” Sheehan says. “All these years, our giving has always been about these kids. Keeping kids off the street and in a safe, loving environment builds character and helps them become the people they dream of becoming.”
“I have served in several roles as a member of the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club, but one of the most important to me was establishing the Great Futures Fund,” says Board Member Daryl Petry. “The Great Futures fund is like an endowment fund, which will help the club weather the storm when
unbudgeted expenses such as a roof leak or air conditioner repair suddenly pops up. It is my belief that the club needs a fund like this to be prepared for those unexpected moments that come along, so operations can continue seamlessly without a loss of the services we provide for the kids in our area - because this is all about the kids.”
Petry is a past BGCN board president, endowment committee chair, and owner of Petry Wealth Management.
“My twin sons participated in club sports when they were growing up and two of my grandsons were members,” says Luke Kenley, former board member, and former Indiana State senator (District 20) and Noblesville City Court judge. “Every kid who wants or needs the club should be able to go. The Great Futures Fund helps ensure operations continue for all our club kids.”
For more info, visit bgcni.org.
TownePost.com / JUNE 2023 / 11
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HUSBAND-AND-WIFE TEAM ENJOYING LOCAL SUPPORT FOR PROVIDENCE HOME + GARDEN
It was just over a year ago that Christy and Joel Kempson broke ground on Providence Home + Garden. The new Noblesville home and garden store, along with their coffee shop, is now completed. The atmosphere feels more like being in someone’s home than a home and garden center, with a beautiful stone fireplace and rustic chandeliers hung throughout the large, vaulted space. You’ll find unique, curated home and garden decor items, from candles to holiday decor to pillows and plants to, of course, coffee, and everything in between.
The Kempsons have always loved supporting local businesses and being in the community with others, which made the decision to pursue their new passion exciting. Christy was a registered nurse for eight years and stayed home with their children for several years after that, when she started staging and decorating friends’ homes. After their youngest child went to kindergarten, it seemed like the ideal time to start putting a plan in motion to turn her ideas into a full-time career with her husband.
“This idea originated back in 2019 when my husband and I started talking about what it would look like to open a home and garden store, because he already had the landscape business and we had the property already,” Christy Kempson says. The husband-and-
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Writer / Natalie Platt
Photographer / Sarah Browning
wife duo has owned the land the new business is on - around 10 acres - since 2016.
“My brother and his wife own a home decor shop in northern Indiana and they were inspiring to us as well,” Kempson says. “We actually live in Carmel but our wedding was in Noblesville, so there is a lot of nostalgia here for us.”
Along with a sentimental meaning, the idea and location just made sense for the Kempsons. “We wanted to marry our two passions of landscape and nature with home design, and build space to share with the community,” Kempson says. Building began on April 11, 2022 - a process that included filling in an in-ground pool that was on the land, demolishing an old garage, as well as decking and framing to prepare for the new addition, which is connected to an existing farmhouse.
The most challenging aspect for Kempson, so far, is making decisions on something she’s never done before. Her main goal is to always make Providence Home + Garden a welcoming space that’s easy to navigate, and shopper-friendly to keep customers returning. “The community is incredibly supportive and excited for us to open,” she says. “Everyone has been so gracious and understanding during the entire process, which has been an incredible test of patience and faith.”
The supportive community will soon see a wide, yet curated, selection of items including home decor, specialty gifts, candles from Illume and Paddywax, indoor plants and accessories, and unique items for children and babies. Providence Home + Garden will also carry local honey and maple syrup, a local goat farm’s apothecary line, bagged coffee from Noble Coffee & Tea Company, and more.
And, of course, the new store will have a garden center.
“The garden part of the store, at first, will mainly be indoor plants with pots and hanging baskets for the porch,” Kempson says. “Later this summer and early fall, we plan to do a grand opening with the outdoor space fully designed. Customers will be able to find perennials, annuals, common bushes and shrubs, garden plants and herbs, and a larger variety of hanging baskets.”
If you need a pick-me-up while shopping, the store will also have a coffee and pastry counter serving Noble Coffee & Tea Company products, loose-leaf teas from Tea’s Me Cafe, and pastries from local bakers. Providence Home + Garden isn’t set up to host events yet, but Kempson says the thought has crossed her mind and may be possible in the future.
Ultimately, the Kempsons are excited to bring a unique concept to the community - a place where everyone feels at home.
Providence Home + Garden is located at 3200 Sheridan Road in Noblesville. Visit them on Instagram @providencehg.
TownePost.com / JUNE 2023 / 15
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ALL IN THE DETAILS
NO-H2O IS CHANGING THE WAY AUTOMOBILES GET WASHED
No doubt about it - cars get dirty. Whatever the weather, grime and gunk find their way onto any vehicle’s shiny exterior and gleaming wheels. No-H2O offers an alternative solution to the customary chore of washing with water and soap.
In addition to cleaning outside surfaces, the innovative business also details the insides of typical sedans as well as extra-large SUVs and full-sized trucks. The Indianapolis-area location of No-H20 is in Carmel, but it also caters to its customers by offering convenient pop-up locations.
It’s hard to imagine cleaning an auto without streaming water from a hose. No-H2O uses handheld, low-impact spray bottles filled
with a polymer that emulsifies all the dirt and dust. Then, special cloths are used to remove the muddy grime. The whole process is scratch-free, and leaves behind a shiny and protective finish.
Typically, 32 gallons of water are used to wash an average car. The runoff down a driveway or from a carwash makes its way into the environment through storm sewers, and eventually into waterways such as nearby streams, lakes and rivers. That wastewater not only contains harmful chemicals from car-wash products, but also the oils, fuels and other chemicals that cling to the outside of vehicles. Wildlife such as fish, birds and other small animals are exposed to these compounds.
The company was started in 2007 by former professional race-car driver Emmet O’Brien and his father. The pair were not only interested in clean cars, but also concerned about conserving water. Initially located in Ireland, No-H2O started franchising in the United States, beginning with Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Today it boasts over 60 sites throughout the world including major cities such as Boston, Chicago, Knoxville, Houston and San Francisco.
“Emmet O’Brien realized he loved detailing his own vehicles,” says Owner-Operator Bennet Ackerman. “He thought finding a way to do it without using water was a great option. Eventually he met the people who formulated the chemicals for his company.
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Writer / Julie Yates Photographer / Whitney Moore
I have had 11 other businesses during my career. I was always looking for something new and fun. I was ready to semi-retire when I came across No-H2O. I was blown away by this disruptive and unique venture.”
Besides the brick-and-mortar site, mobile locations are set up at places such as apartment complexes, business parks and even country clubs. By going to the company’s website, customers can see where sites are on any given day. In addition, No-H2O travels, so services can also be done at a private home or business. Whatever option is chosen, it’s best to book an appointment online to ensure a speedy turnaround time. Customers can also download the No-H2O app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
“We set up giant 10’x20’ canopy tents,” Ackerman says. “The applications are endless,
from auto dealerships to business owners who wish to give employees a weekly perk. It’s such a high-quality product that it can’t scratch the paint, or do damage to cars and trucks with decals or wraparounds. It’s perfect for fleets of vehicles with company logos and advertising on their sides. We opened in February and already we have over 30 accounts.”
“There is more than 160 years of collective detailing experience on our team,” Ackerman adds. “One person who has 27 years’ experience told me he couldn’t believe how well our system works. Another worked on a vehicle that had more dog hair in it that he had ever seen in his 40 years of experience. When the owner came to pick it up, he thought the floor mats had been replaced and were new, but they were the original ones.”
No-H2O has a full range of exterior and interior services, labeled General, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. A General Premium Exterior Hand Wash and Polish,
which includes the wheels, takes 30 minutes and is $49. In the middle of the menu of options is a Silver Wash and Detail for $199. The highest level is Platinum at $409. This service takes three hours and 30 minutes, and makes every inch of a vehicle, inside and out, sparkle, including the engine. Subscription packages and gift cards are also available.
“We have done roadsters, high-end sports cars, a 25-year-old pickup truck, plus a giant, 36-person passenger bus,” Ackerman says. “It’s a great service for Sprinters with wheelchair lifts and other vehicles equipped with handicapped modifications. It’s for anyone who loves a clean car. The proof of the concept is how well it works. People can’t believe it. It’s such a fun company to own.”
No-H2O is located at 1015 3rd Avenue Southwest in Carmel. Appointments can be booked from the No-H2O mobile app, and for more information and to book online, visit noh2o.com. Also call 317-804-4131.
TownePost.com / JUNE 2023 / 17
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The History of Pearls
Historically, pearls have been revered for their exquisite beauty and rarity. It’s said that the ancient Persians were among the first to recognize their allure, as evidenced by the discovery of a princess’s sarcophagus from 520 BC containing the oldest known pearl jewelry. This was during the height of pearl culture in the Middle East and Asia, when pearls were given as gifts to kings, queens, and other royalty.
The pearl has been the subject of countless origin myths in cultures spanning the globe. Among the Greeks, it was said that the goddess of love, Aphrodite, wept tears of pearls. The Arabs believed that pearls were the result of the tears of the gods, fallen into the ocean and making their way into the oysters. The Romans greatly revered pearls, and decreed that only men and women of high birth could wear them.
During the height of the British Empire, pearls were reserved exclusively for royalty and nobility, and their rarity made them unattainable for most people. The passion for pearls led to expeditions to far-flung locations like French Polynesia, Australia, and the Mexican Gulf.
With so many oysters harvested for their pearls, the once-abundant creatures were nearly brought to extinction. That was until Mikimoto Kōkichi revolutionized the Pearl industry in 1888 with the process of culturing (farming) Pearls.
He discovered that by seeding oysters with small amounts of Mother of Pearl (or Nacre), it was possible to create perfect hemispherical Pearls. On July 11th, 1893, he farmed his first cultured Pearls and founded the Mikimoto Pearl Oyster Farm in Japan with his wife Ume.
The Difference between Akoya and Freshwater Pearls
Akoya pearls and cultured pearls are two of the most popular types of pearls used in jewelry. The fascinating history of pearl culture traces its roots back to the
magnificent Akoya pearls, often hailed as the epitome of refined elegance. Grown in saltwater oysters, Akoya pearls have long been lauded for their unrivaled beauty and timeless appeal.
Meanwhile, their freshwater counterparts, which hail from mussels nestled in rivers and lakes, offer a more diverse array of shapes and colors, but are no less exquisite. It’s a tale of two treasures, each with its own unique charm and allure.
The Akoya Pearl
The Akoya oyster (Pinctada fucata martensii) produces a saltwater cultured pearl known as the Akoya pearl. Akoyas are usually creamy white in color and range in size from 2-10mm. They have a high luster, meaning they reflect light better than freshwater pearls.
Check the size and shape—Akoya pearls are smaller and rounder than freshwater pearls, which tend to be larger and slightly irregular.
The Akoya pearl has a longer cultured history than other types of pearls, making information on them abundant. With so much choice and variety, the Akoya pearl makes an ideal choice for those looking for rare jewelry or heirloom pieces.
The Pearl: A Symbol of Good Luck and Protection
Pearls have been associated with luck and protection throughout history. In many cultures, pearls are believed to bring serenity and wisdom, while also providing physical protection in the form of a talisman or amulet. They are said to be able to absorb negative energy and can even help ward off evil spirits.
It’s clear that pearls have many meanings and connotations, from good luck to protection. Whether you opt for a classic Akoya pearl or something more unique and unusual, your piece of pearl jewelry will be sure to bring you good fortune.
TownePost.com / JUNE 2023 / 23
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DAVE HYATT NAMED PRESIDENT/CEO OF RIVERVIEW HEALTH
Writer / Melissa Gibson Photographer / Whitney Moore
After just one year serving as the Riverview Health chief operating officer, Dave Hyatt was named president and chief executive officer of the organization in late March.
Hyatt isn’t new to the health care industry. He has 15 years of experience working in executive roles throughout the state.
“My first hospital job was actually at the loading dock at Columbus Regional Hospital as a supply clerk,” Hyatt says. “I was in college at the time and I thought I wanted to be premed. As it turns out I’m not very good at chemistry, but an advisor suggested health care administration and once I switched majors, everything clicked.”
His passions lie in making a difference, working with people and positively impacting the community.
“I have served as president at multiple hospitals, spent several years at IU Health, and I came to Riverview Health because I loved the culture and the organization,” Hyatt says. “It’s quite the honor and we have an excellent team, which makes all the difference.”
Riverview Health has a main campus in
Noblesville and, in 2018, opened a second hospital in Westfield. In addition, there are three freestanding emergency room and urgent care centers and 40 other sites across Hamilton County.
Hyatt says the hospital is unique in the way it serves the community, in many ways.
For example, the three emergency room/ urgent care centers in Carmel, West Carmel/Zionsville and Fishers, as well as the emergency departments at the Noblesville and Westfield hospitals are fully staffed emergency departments with emergency-trained physicians and staff. However, the urgent care services are integrated into the center. From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, patients are only charged for the level of care they are given.
“We do this because that’s what’s right for the patient,” Hyatt says. “If mom has a kid with an earache and it’s 6 p.m., we don’t charge more for those services simply because you’re in an emergency department.”
Despite the numerous locations, Riverview Health might still be considered small compared to some of the large health care systems in the state, but Hyatt says they can use that to their advantage, allowing
administration to be flexible and implement decisions quickly to better serve patients.
In one of the fastest-growing counties in Indiana, he’s excited to see what’s next.
“Riverview Health has done an excellent job laying the foundation for growth and success,” he says. “In the next few months I’d like to outline my vision for where we go in the next five to 10 years, delivering the best care for our patients and our community. We want to be the provider of choice. We have the people and the tools, so it’s really just about putting the right plan in place to make us successful.”
Part of that success comes through working with leaders in the community and getting involved, including outside the hospital doors.
“I look at a hospital as a community resource,” Hyatt says. “We want to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our community and providing a strong place for our residents. It’s important for the hospital to partner with businesses, the schools and others to build a stronger community.”
Hyatt doesn’t need to be convinced that Hamilton County is the place he and his family want to be. His entire family is
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“RIVERVIEW HEALTH HAS DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR GROWTH AND SUCCESS.”
excited to dive in, serve and be a part of their new home.
He’s already serving on the board for Meals on Wheels Hamilton County and the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce.
His wife, Tonya, is excited to immerse herself in the community too.
“I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without Tonya’s support,” Hyatt says. “It’s been absolutely critical. She’s fallen in love with the community as well, and serves with the Noblesville Youth Assistance Program and coaches for Girls on the Run in Carmel. We have a big belief in giving back to our community and have really enjoyed our time here.”
They are parents to 10-year-old George and 7-year-old Eliza.
“We had a hard time figuring out where we wanted to live in Hamilton County because
you can’t make a bad choice when it comes to the schools,” Hyatt says. “We’ve got leadership and foresight in this community that has really made progress, and we’re all investing in its future.”
Above all, Hyatt is impressed with the overall environment at Riverview Health.
“What sets us apart is the culture here,” he says. “Our team is absolutely committed to providing the best care for our patients. We want the care we provide to be affordable and accessible, and there are so many opportunities. I’m excited to see the growth.”
Hyatt holds A Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Master of Health Administration degrees from Indiana University. He is a certified Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Visit riverview.org for more information.
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Maggie Hoppel, a senior at Noblesville High School, was recently named as a national Scholastic Gold Medal winner for her writing.
She was recognized for writing a portfolio called “That Should Have Been the End of It.”
“The portfolio included six works - a poem, two science fiction stories, two humor pieces, and an opinions article I wrote for the Noblesville High School Mill Stream school newspaper,” Hoppel says. “An overall theme within the portfolio is that life’s unnecessary complications, while frustrating, are also meaningful in their complexity.”
Hoppel was honored to win the gold medal.
“This year is the 100th anniversary of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, which aim to celebrate young writers and support them on their journey to adulthood,” Hoppel says. “My mom stumbled across the awards online when I was in seventh grade, but I didn’t scrape up the courage to enter until William Kenley, my creative-writing teacher, encouraged our class to give it a shot last year.”
Hoppel remembers Kenley showing her class a video of Tina Fey speaking to some previous national winners at Carnegie Hall.
“Afterwards, on the way to lunch I said, ‘I’m
MAGGIE HOPPEL STUDENT SPOTLIGHT
going to go there. What does it take?’” Hoppel says. “Being a writer means a lot to me, so I’m willing to put in the work for any chance I have to get my stories out there.”
Hoppel says the Scholastic awards begin with a regional judging.
“For central Indiana, this is run by the Hoosier Writing Project,” Hoppel says. “Winners of this judging are awarded either an Honorable Mention, Silver Key or Gold Key. Then, the Gold Key winners advance to the national judging in New York City. There, most people don’t win anything. My first year, I received two Gold Key awards regionally, but my pieces weren’t successful at nationals. On the other hand, this year I received a Gold Medal as well as two Silver Medals at the national level, one for my second writing portfolio, ‘Animal Instincts,’ and one for my humor piece titled ‘The Four Horsemen of the COVID-19 Apocalypse.’”
There are lots of different categories students can submit pieces to for the Scholastic Awards.
“My friend Addie Cooley won a Gold Key regionally for her fashion piece, ‘Thoughts and Prayers,’ which is really beautiful,” Hoppel says. “The National Gold Medal Portfolio Award is the highest honor an entrant can receive because it demonstrates technical skill across many different genres. It’s exclusive to high school seniors, where the other categories are open to seventh grade and up, and it comes with the biggest scholarship offered by the awards.”
Hoppel beat out over 300,000 students to be one of only eight Gold Medal winners in the United States. She will be honored with a reception at Carnegie Hall and a $12,500 scholarship.
“There are lots of national Gold Medalists across the different art and writing categories, and all are invited to Carnegie Hall, but only
eight writing portfolios and eight art portfolios are chosen to receive the $12,500 scholarship,” Hoppel says. “I discovered that I won through a Zoom meeting with the awards program marketing and outreach team. Absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the excitement I felt that day. I remember leaving my student assisting block to call my family, and my hand was shaking and sweating so much it was hard to keep my phone pressed to my ear.”
Hoppel says being singled out from 300,000 people as a winner is a surreal experience.
“Out of all the talented teen writers across the United States and Canada, Scholastic looked at my voice, my snarky tone, and my poems that don’t rhyme and said, ‘Yup, that’s the one,’” she says. “That’s crazy. While it’s incredibly validating, it also carries the weight of a prestigious legacy that I’m responsible to uphold.”
Hoppel notes that Noblesville High School offers the only advanced creative writing class in the state.
“I owe my success to the support of my teachers and this amazing community,” she says. “Growing as a writer with the mentorship of my creative writing teacher, William Kenley, my journalism teacher, Joseph Akers, and my English teacher, Howard Jankowski, has been such a joy. My creative writing classmates, fellow Mill Stream staffers, and go-to writing buddies were a huge blessing as well. Krista Horbett, who also won several regional awards this year, critiqued almost every single one of my pieces before submission day. Most of all, I’m so lucky to have supportive parents who have encouraged me in pursuing my dream of writing full time since day one. They’ve always said that if I’m willing to work hard to create opportunities for myself, a career in the arts is as attainable as any other.”
Hoppel was also honored with a Silver Medal
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Writer / Matt Keating Photography Provided
for another writing assignment.
“I also won a Silver Medal for my portfolio titled ‘Animal Instincts,’” Hoppel says. “My humor piece, ‘The Four Horsemen of the COVID-19 Apocalypse,’ which is one of the six pieces included in ‘That Should Have Been the End of It,’ also won a Silver Medal as a stand-alone piece. In total that makes one Gold Medal and two Silver Medals, which I am so grateful for.”
Hoppel’s writing will also appear in a national anthology this summer.
“The national awards puts together an anthology of all the Gold Medal winners called ‘The Best Teen Writing’ for each year,” Hoppel says. “They also publish the featured pieces on their website. You can expect these to come out this summer. Additionally, I was honored to appear in the regional anthology for central Indiana this year and last. The Hoosier Writing Project gave out copies to the writers and their families during the regional
awards ceremony back in March. When my grandma got her copy of this anthology, she immediately cracked it open and began reading my work to our family out loud. It was wild to be able to say, ‘I wrote that. It was me.’”
Hoppel is also a member Mill Stream staff, and plans to attend college as a creative-writing major.
“Writing for the Mill Stream has been an awesome experience,” Hoppel says. “I love telling stories about the interesting things NHS students and teachers get involved in. Once, I held a biology teacher’s pet scorpion so my friend Morgan could snap a photo of it for our feature story. How many people can say they’ve done that? Journalism takes you on so many cool adventures.”
This fall Hoppel will attend IUPUI as an English major with a creative-writing focus, and is considering a second major in journalism.
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