In his footsteps: Schwartz earns Walter award like older brother

A Wapakoneta High School senior describes himself as competitive and a person who thrives in a disciplined environment.

This description helped lead  to Chris Schwartz being named Auglaize County’s Franklin B. Walter All Scholastic Achievement Award winner Wednesday at the annual banquet at Wapakoneta High School Wednesday.

The former shows he is wise beyond his age at making career choices.

Chris’ brother, Cory, received the award in 2007. From that time on, Chris admitted the influence of sibling rivalry and how big of a part it came in his high school career.

“Ever since he won the award, I wanted to match him,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz’s career choice shows he is following up on the latter description of himself, too. Schwartz plans to attend West Point Academy and will also play football. Schwartz plans to pursue a degree in mathematics and hopes to design and develop weapons in the armed services.

Wapakoneta teacher Adam Friemering said he has considered it a privilege to know Schwartz and to see the determination he has in everything he does.

Friemering was the honored teacher selected by Schwartz. Each award nominee chooses a teacher they found influential in their school career. Friemering also was a football coach when Schwartz played football in junior high.

“I’ve been in Wapakoneta for seven years and I have known Chris for six of those seven years,” Friemering said. “The thing that sets him apart from other students is his desire. He has been pushed with the success of other family members. His competitive nature causes him to want to surpass what they have done.”

Schwartz returned praise for Friemering’s ability as an educator.

“He has always shown me respect,” Schwartz said. “He has always been honest, sometimes brutally so. He treats me like the young adult I am.”

In addition to maintaining a perfect grade point average, Schwartz also has been busy with extra-curricular activities. He has earned numerous varsity letters in football, basketball and track. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He was a member of the Wapakoneta Academic Team and he is an Eagle Scout. Those activities barely scratch the surface of everything Schwartz chose to be involved in.

With Schwartz named as the winner, it marked the first time siblings had won the award, and the sixth time in seven years the award was won by a Wapakoneta student. His mother and father, Laura and Brent Schwartz, beamed as their child was given such a high recognition. Chris’ parents described themselves as being blessed.

“I think the most important thing we tried to do was to install hard work and kindness into our children,” his father said. “The school has always done a great job making things available to students here so they can be challenged.”

Laura Schwartz said the school district has helped with her son’s success.

“We originally moved here from Cleveland,” Laura Schwartz said. “I think coming to a small school has been a blessing.”

The Franklin B. Walter All-Scholastic Award program was established in 1990 by the Ohio Educational Service Center Association to recognize an outstanding senior student from each county within the state of Ohio. Eligible students must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement as indicated by high school grades, test scores and awards.

Other nominees for the award and their honored teachers were Alexandra Monnin (Pam Grew), of Minster High School, Neven Frazee (Kathy Schmitmeyer), of New Bremen High School, Casey Hovey (Stephanie Fledderjohann), of New Knoxville, Anthony Tenney (Andrea Johnson), of St. Marys and Jessica Riemesch (Joe Foster), of Waynesfield.

The students are rated on an intense rubric by county ESC administrators. Auglaize and Mercer counties rate each other’s students. Schwartz will represent the county at the state award banquet in Columbus April 25.

Schwartz said it was an honor to receive such an award.

“Hearing the resumes of the other students, any of us could have won this award,” Chris said. “It is an honor to be even considered.”