Swiss Ambassador competition brings best and brightest to festival


Saturday afternoon at the Swiss Wine Festival saw seniors from seven area high schools compete for the title of Swiss Ambassador – and again this year the judges had a difficult time selecting winners from a field of outstanding candidates.

The program was created to provide a scholarship competition, with area high schools sending a senior boy and senior girl representative. The male and female winners each earned a $500 scholarship; the first runners up earned $250 scholarships; and the second runners up earned $150 scholarships. The event and scholarship money was sponsored by Embarq.

This year’s representatives from Switzerland County High School were Ashley Bovard and Zachary Osowski.

Ashley Bovard is ranked fourth in her class, and is a member of the National Honor Society; FFA, the prom committee; STATS; and is a manager for the track team. She is on the board of directors of the United Fund of Switzerland County; participates in community service projects through FFA; has participated in Big Stuf Camp; and has earned academic awards for poetry and chemistry.

She is the daughter of Ernest and Suzi Bovard; and plans to attend Indiana University to study nursing.

Zachary Osowski is the president of the National Honor Society; and is also a member of the Pacer varsity baseball team, where he earned All Conference honors last season. He umpires baseball and softball games during the summer; and has also assisted with the Northern Kentucky Association’s Youth Hockey Program. He spends time repairing computers; and assists with the Vineyard Community Church Youth Group in conducting food drives.

He is the son of Dan and Mary Beth Osowski, and plans on attending college and playing baseball following graduation.

This year’s female Swiss Ambassador winner was Kelsi Deon Ward of Shawe Memorial High School. She is the daughter of Don Ward and Debbie St. Louis Ward; and is number one in her class and the President of the National Honor Society.

She plans on studying journalism at either Northwestern or New York University.

This year’s male Swiss Ambassador winner was James Robert Lafary of South Ripley High School. He is the son of Bob and Kris Lafary; and is President of the student council; percussion leader in the band; and is manager of the baseball team.

After high school he plans on attending college to pursue a career in radio and television.

This year’s first runners up were Courtney Nicole Weaver of Rising Sun High School and Christopher Michael Hendrick of Carroll County High School.

This year’s second runners up were Valarie Ann Wagner of Jac-Cen-Del High School and Zachary Osowski of Switzerland County High School.

Other honorees in the female Swiss Ambassador program were: Racheal Lynn House of South Dearborn High School; Christian Michelle Stoops of Carroll County High School; and Ashley Nicole Hunger of South Ripley High School.

Other male Swiss Ambassador candidates in the program included: Isaac Crouch of Rising Sun High School; Gerald Alan Hardesty of Jac-Cen-Del High School; Nicholas James Hall of Shawe Memorial High School; and Cory Gene Elder of South Dearborn High School.