Maci Kincaid, Southeast Polk senior, was named the 2023 Bill Burch Humanitarian Award winner this morning at our Annual Bill Burch Breakfast Ceremony. This prestigious award goes to the student who best exemplifies character, sincerity, and compassion toward others as voted on by the high school teachers.

One hundred Southeast Polk High School students were recognized at the award ceremony this morning for their academic achievements.

Congratulations to all!

Maci Kincaid with her parentsMaci has participated in a host of activities throughout her high school career, including being a two-year representative on student council, a two-year member of Got Bounce, and a two-year mentor in the Mentors in Violence Prevention group. She was inducted into the National Honor Society, and voted an officer on student council. Maci has been very successful in DECA, including holding offices for not only the Southeast Polk chapter, but also holds an office at the state level. She’s a devout wrestling manager and has completed over 160 hours of community service all while maintaining an excellent academic record, often taking challenging, college-level coursework. 

Compassionate, friendly, respectful, a true go-getter, ambitious, thoughtful, and humble. A leader in the classroom, extra-curricular activities and in the community. All of these characteristics describe Maci. But perhaps her most impressive trait is that she does not seek out or expect recognition for doing good; it is simply something ingrained in and reflective of the great character she possesses. She truly represents the meaning of the Bill Burch Humanitarian Award.

After graduation, Maci plans on attending the University of Minnesota focusing on business.

About the Bill Burch Award

Bill Burch was a school counselor at Southeast Polk High School from 1974 until 1992. The Bill Burch Scholarship and Recognition Breakfast was named after Mr. Burch in honor of his commitment to the students and adults of the Southeast Polk community. He was known as a man of compassion and integrity who took the time to relate to students and adults alike. The Bill Burch Humanitarian Award represents a long-standing Southeast Polk tradition that dates back to 1993 and is presented to the student who best exemplifies his character, sincerity, and compassion toward others. What makes this award such an honor is that the Southeast Polk High School faculty selects the senior recipient who best represents Bill Burch’s personal qualities.

We were honored that Jean Burch, wife of Bill, was able to attend this morning’s event. She continues to play an important part of the award, reaching out to talk with each year’s winner.


IMG 7957This year’s featured speaker at the Bill Burch award ceremony was MacKenzie Bills. MacKenzie is a 2012 Southeast Polk grad. She attended Simpson College majoring in Political Science and International Relations and minoring in French and Religion. After college graduation, she won a Fulbright Grant to Malaysia, worked at the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti, Africa, and worked for the U.S. State Department focusing on Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. She’s also managed the Trafficking in Persons Report and worked on the anti-trafficking policy for Central and East Africa. You may have also seen her name on yard signs recently as she ran for Iowa State House here in Altoona. MacKenzie gave heartwarming stories of opportunities she’s experienced since high school and gave sage advice to everyone in the room. She’s an incredible representative of Southeast Polk.


Our high school counselors always put on a wonderful event to honor and recognize these exemplary students. Congratulations to all of you for leading the way to a better world!

Click here to see the program:2023 Bill Burch Breakfast Program




Bill Burch Breakfast