Jimmies News · Kiwanis Club Winter Honorees


On Tuesday, February 25th, the Kiwanis Club of Elkhart honored outstanding student-athletes from Jimtown, Memorial, Central and Concord.  This annual Kiwanis program aims to spotlight those students in our area schools that are not only recognized for their excellence on the field or court, but also for their excellence in the classroom and leadership roles at school.   The Kiwanis Club has this program near the end of each of the sports season and then has a year-end program at the end of the school year.
We are very thankful and appreciative of our local Kiwanis Club for putting on a program like this.  It allows us to really shine a light on the important things in Education-Based Athletics.   THANKS SO MUCH!!

Jimtown decides it’s honorees through the nominations and input from the coaching staff of each of their sports.  This winter…we are pleased to honor 1 young ladies and 2 young men that have been leaders at Jimtown both on and off the field.

Jenna Burkhart

  • 12th grader
  • Here today to represent basketball
  • She is a 4 year varsity starter and a 4 year letter winner in basketball
  • She has been playing basketball since 2nd grade
  • Jenna has been one of the leading scorers on Jimtowns team for the past 4 years.  She hit a 3 pointer with only 3 seconds left on the clock to lift Jimtown to a victory this year over Mishawaka.  In fact Jenna hit 2 in a row just before that last shot, just to put us in position to win. It was a wonderful display of senior leadership from Jenna and quite indicative of her personality
  • Jenna has been a stick-to-it, no matter the cost student athlete at Jimtown for all 4 years in basketball.  She has endured coaching changes and teammates who abandoned the program for no reason other than they did not want to look bad—that is not Jenna Burkhart
  • Jenna is actively involved in our music program at Jimtown    3 year member of our chamber choir
  • Jenna won gold with distinction at the solo and ensemble competition for 2 straight years.   She also won silver with a trio group at solo and ensemble.
  • Jenna works at Shepherds swim school teaching little kids how to swim
  • She loves to help out people less fortunate as herself
    • She has given up the last several summers to attend missions trips.  Last year she went to a summer camp for people with special needs. Jenna says that this camp experience had a really big impact on her.
    • Other summer camp experiences have been to help build churches in countries that are are not as fortunate as we are in the USA
    • Jenna also loves to go spend time in nursing homes talking to people who are the forgotten ones in our society.
  • Jenna carries a very impressive 3.523 cumulative GPA
  • Her future plans are to go to Bethel University on an academic scholarship for 4 years. When I am there she would like to major in early childhood education and minor in American Sign Language. After her four years at Bethel, she will be attending Purdue university to get a masters in Speech Pathology. 
  • I care about and respect Jenna Burkhart because she knows who she is.   She does not allow other people to define her. She is going to always bust her butt to do her best.  She is a caring young lady who you can tell lives her life by the golden rule: “do unto others as you would have done to you”

Bill Pawlak

  • 12th grader at Jimtown High School
  • Bill is here to today to represent basketball
  • He is a 4 year letter winner in basketball
  • Bill Pawlak is our 3  point specialist on our basketball team.   He leads the team in 3’s and in most games if Bill is hitting early we are going to have a good game
  • Bill was named as the Most Improved Player on our basketball team in 2018
  • Bill is a 3 sport athlete at Jimtown.  He also plays tennis and golf
  • He played 1 year of football before deciding to focus on tennis.  It turns out that Bill is also a very good tennis player.  
  • He was named as MVP to our tennis team this past fall.  Prior to that, Bill was the Mental Attitude Award winner in tennis is 2016 and 2017
  • Bill started playing golf a few years ago for Jimtown to have a 3rd sport to play.  While not his best sport, he did receive the most improved award last spring in Golf.
  • Outside of sports, Bill has been involved in Theater Arts.   He played in our school musical—’The Wizard of Oz” a couple of years ago.
  • Academically, Bill carries a cumulative GPA of 3.587
  • He will graduate this spring with an Indiana Academic Honors Diploma
  • His future plans are to got Ball State University and study business.
  • I care about and respect Bill Pawlak because he is a quiet leader who exudes competitiveness.   You’ll never hear Bill yell at a teammate or argue a bad call by the referee, but you will see him sacrifice his body and dive on a loose ball.  You will see him do whatever his coaches ask him to do without question. Bill loves to win more than he cares about being right.

Preston Phillips

  • 12th grader at Jimtown
  • As you can probably tell by looking—Preston is a basketball player.   
  • At 6’9”   Preston is the tallest player on our team.   What is interesting, however, is that Preston is NOT a center.  Preston is one the most ball-skilled 6’9” kids that you will ever see.   He is the best ball handler, passer and dribbler on our team. He is the player that we rely on to break the press when other teams are trying to go full-court.   
  • He is a huge match-up problem for other teams who risk him shooting over or slicing to the rim if they guard him with a smaller kid, or using his ball handling skills to get around taller, heavier players.  Preston Phillips is a problem for other teams
  • Preston is one of the leading scorers on our team, but he also leads the team in assists —especially if other teams pay too much attention to him.
  • Defensively, Preston has really improved his game since his 9th grade year.  His intimidating height, coupled with his long arms have made for a team leading number of blocks, batted passes and emphatic rebounds.  
  • Preston has also been a Jimtown tennis player for all 4 years in high school.  He was an intrical part of our boys tennis team’s success last year as we won the sectional.  Preston’s long reach comes in very handy on a tennis court as well as a basketball court.
  • Preston has been actively involved in our NG-3 Hudl group that meets outside of the school day.   He has also been involved this year as a teacher’s assistant in our special needs classroom.
  • Preston has also been involved in our “Peers” program as a 10th grader.  Peers is our program to involve high school students in working directly with younger junior high aged kids in an effort to steer them toward abstinence.
  • Preston was involved in Jimtown putting together our 1st ever “Champions Together” basketball event at the halftime of one of our boys games this season.  The students with special needs just light up when Preston is around and can’t wait to give him a high-5.
  • Academically, Preston carries a very impressive GPA of 3.7 out of 4. He is on track to earn an Indiana core 40 diploma with Academic Honors this spring.
  • Preston’s future almost certainly involves college.  It almost certainly involves training in business. The only question now is “where”/   Preston is trying to wait until the end of the current basketball season to make that decision.  He is currently being courted by several Division 1 programs including, Toledo, Ball State, Nevada, Davidson UAB and others.  Right now, Preston is just trying to enjoy the ride. Play a few more games with his teammates and perhaps win a sectional.
  • I respect and appreciate Preston Phillips because he is a young man of integrity and respect for others.  He could get a big head and try to act like a certain way that really good players sometimes do. That is NOT Preston.   He is a quiet, unassuming young man who loves to win. However, you know by the way he carries himself and how he interacts with others, he loves his family, Jimtown and Jimtown High School more than he loves talking about himself.  This is a rare and beautiful thing now in our society!!