Ephrata High School


Grant Zook


Ephrata senior Grant Zook is no stranger when it comes to hard work.

Zook admires his father, Steve Zook, for the work ethic and wisdom that has been passed down to him. This work ethic is evident through his accomplishments both in school and out: Zook takes part in numerous extracurriculars including volleyball, Investment Club, and German NHS.

Additionally, he attends and volunteers as tech support on the soundboard at Lancaster Evangelical Free Church in Lititz.

In school, his favorite class is economics, citing the practical knowledge he gains from his studies in this class. His favorite part of school is getting to see his friends, but you can also find Zook lending a listening ear to his teachers. 

Listening to others is a practice which Zook wishes more people would adopt, and he mentions this as something he would like to change about the world: “I would like people to be more understanding of other people’s opinions – more listening to other people instead of being sure that you’re right all the time.”

To date, Zook believes his most outstanding achievement is climbing five different 4,000 ft. mountains during the winter season.

In his free time, Zook enjoys playing games, spike ball, basketball, building computers, and collecting Lego.

Zook plans on continuing his education at Messiah University.

Always on the move, Zook won’t be stopped until his dreams are made a reality.

Written by: Eleonora Scutaru


Desiree Martin


Getting into college may seem like an ordinary task, but to Desiree Martin, it is a major accomplishment. 

Now accepted into seven colleges, Martin says, “Before applying, I was worried I wasn’t going to get accepted into some schools.” After this achievement, Martin admits she feels “very accomplished” because her “hard work has finally paid off.”

Daughter of Brian Martin Sr. and Cleante Zimmerman, Desiree Martin participates in many different school activities such as German National Honors Society, where she is president, Student Council, National Honors Society, Science National Honors, Society Link Crew, and the Mounts Buddy Program. With all of these activities, it is not surprising that Martin’s favorite part of school is the social aspect. She says, “I enjoy interacting with my peers and working on group projects.”

As standing president of German National Honors Society, Martin is an avid member of Ephrata’s German language programs. She says that AP German is her favorite class for many different reasons.  She mentions that she feels like she is always learning: “Every day, I learn something new in that class. I enjoy the cultural comparison between the U.S. and Germany.” Another reason Martin likes her German class is because she is always laughing and having fun.

Outside of her German studies, Martin enjoys weightlifting, collecting vinyl, traveling and occasionally drawing.

After high school, Martin plans on attending university to major in biochemistry. She is considering many colleges such as University of Pittsburgh, Drexel University, George Washington University, and University of Connecticut. 

Even with all the successful role models in her career path, Martin admires her mom the most. Martin says, “She’s a hardworking and generous woman that has taught me a lot. She’s one of the most positive role models I have in my life, and I appreciate the sacrifices she’s made for me and my brothers.”

Written by: Abigail Goodman


Austin Thompson


“If I could change the world, I would make it so people could have discussions and debate without it turning into a fight.” This quote was said by senior Austin Thompson who is passionate about bettering the debate of the world alongside his devoted interest in modern technology.

Thompson mentions that his greatest accomplishment is building his computer. Having to work for the money and source all the parts indicate his knack for problem-solving and his curiosity for computers. 

With his interest in modern technology, Thompson’s favorite class at Ephrata High School has been Mounts Tech Support where he works to help students with any possible technology problems they may have. Thompson says, “I enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together. I also really like computers.” 

While at Ephrata High School, Thompson has participated in different extracurricular activities such as Yearbook Club and German National Honors Society.

Outside of school, Thompson uses his technology skills in church where he helps out with different lighting and camera work. Other than his participation with the church’s camera work, Thompson enjoys playing video games, playing guitar, weightlifting, and watching documentaries. 

Perhaps because of his love for documentaries, Thompson admires many past figures. “I admire a lot of historical soldier figures. Audie Murphy is high up there because of his grit. He was considered the most decorated soldier during WW2.”

In the future, Thompson plans to attend either a four-year college, possibly Messiah, for cybersecurity or Thaddeus Stevens for a computer-related career.

Written by: Abigail Goodman


Bogdan Koychev


Ephrata senior Bogdan Koychev embodies what it truly means to be a mountaineer. The son of Sergey and Tatyana, Koychev takes each day as it comes in strides. He admires his parents  because, as Koychev notes, “They are the ones that have helped me throughout school and taught me a lot of life advice.”

In his free time, Koychev enjoys tinkering with technology, driving, playing games, perusing YouTube, and practicing his saxophone.

His love of music is made evident through Koychev citing his favorite class as band. “Mr. Goss is a fun guy and I enjoy playing music and being involved in other band activities,” he beamed.

Koychev feels that, “We have an amazing staff that always helps us, and the administration gives us what we need and makes sure that the school is a better place. For

example, they spent the time making it possible for the music department to have new rooms and practice rooms.”

Outside of school, Koychev takes part in numerous extracurriculars including the Marching band, Jazz Band, Ephrata AM, and EHS Bible Study. 

Additionally, he is part of the Youth Ministry at Calvary Church in Lancaster exclaiming, “I encourage others to come here!”

After graduating, he plans to attend Thaddeus Stevens College or pursue something in the tech field with a focus on repairs.

Driver’s license in hand, senior Bogdan Koychev is now ready to take on his future.

Written by: Eleonora Scutaru


Mathias Sweigart


Always seen with a smile, Senior Mathias Sweigart manages to spread positivity daily throughout the halls of Ephrata Senior High School.

Mathias is the son of Kevin and Karen Sweigart. At the high school, Mathias favors the agriculture classes over any others. His favorite of which has been Plant Science & Landscaping.

“For me, I love plants and flowers, so it was a great fit for me to learn more about them and also to grow them and eventually sell them in our plant sale. It is also an agricultural class so I immediately fell in love with it,” he expressed.

Coming as no shock to most, Mathias is a member of Ephrata’s Future Farmers of America (FFA). Alongside this organization, he is also a member of GEARS, a club centered around fitness.

Outside of school, Mathias is involved with Hosanna Church in Lititz. 

In his downtime, you can often catch him laughing in the company of friends, playing music, or playing video games.

Planning to further his knowledge of agriculture and education, Mathias is hoping to become an agricultural teacher after college.

Always hopeful, Mathias ended off by saying, “If I were to change something in the world, it would be to have every person do one good thing for another person. This is because if everybody did one good thing, then it would eradicate most of the hate in the world, as well as solve some of the problems that our world is facing.”

Written by: Eleonora Scutaru


Jessica Weiss


“There are so many ways we could take better care of our earth and be more sustainable for our future generations.” This is how Ephrata High School senior Jessica Weiss says the Earth could be improved. 

Weiss is the daughter of Keith and Denise Weiss. She has been a member of the school’s Cloister FFA since her freshman year and is currently the vice president of the club. Weiss states, “It has been a great leadership and learning opportunity for me.” In the club, Weiss is a member of the animal crew where she has helped raise chickens and lambs. Not only does Weiss enjoy helping with animals, she also strongly believes that FFA can help people grow and step out of their comfort zones to learn new things. 

“My leadership skills have changed drastically in the past four years. I have become stronger in my public speaking skills, it has allowed me to grow as a leader, and be better at serving others. If you would have asked me even two years ago if I could lead a meeting, talk in front of large crowds, or lead a small group at my church, I would have probably said no.”

In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, spending time with friends, and helping at her church. She is an avid member of her church’s youth group and leads the decorating committee with her brother. 

Throughout high school, her favorite class has been her environmental science class. Weiss explains, “I really loved how hands-on the class was, the environment, and the teaching style. Health is a passion of mine so getting to take a class solely on that topic was very beneficial to me.” After high school, Weiss plans to attend a college to study either Animal Science or Forestry Conservation.

Written by: Abigail Goodman