Every year, the Bill Burch Humanitarian Award Breakfast starts our end-of-the-year special events. This event recognizes 50 seniors, 30 juniors and 20 sophomores who exemplify commitment to our SEP community and demonstrate compassion, integrity, character, and sincerity. What makes the Bill Burch Humanitarian Award such an honor is that the senior recipient who best represents Bill Burch’s personal qualities is chosen by the Southeast Polk High School faculty—a difficult task when you look at the nominees.

Several special guests were in attendance, including Jean Burch, Bill’s wife, and Sydney Rosenboom Jamison, 2016 Bill Burch Award Winner and guest speaker. Sydney encouraged all students as they make their way through life to “leave it better than you found it.” Words we can all live by!

Sydney Rosenboom Jamison 2016 Bill Burch Winner 2024 Guest Speaker Spencer Olesen With Jean Burch

The 2024 Bill Burch Humanitarian Award Winner

The 2024 Bill Burch Humanitarian Award winner represents the personal qualities of Mr. Burch as well as many other outstanding individual traits. Many of the young people attending the breakfast exemplify these outstanding character traits. However, only one person can be chosen.

This year’s winner may be described as intelligent, kind, driven, thoughtful, sincere and always quick to greet you with a warm smile and a compassionate heart. This highly motivated young man has found success in the classroom, in athletic competition, and in the community and has been inducted into the National Honors Society, earning several academic and athletic accolades. This dedicated high school athlete has received an All-Academic Award in baseball, track, and football. He contributed to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club and served as a student mentor through his involvement in the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) group at the high school. He also participated in the Southeast Polk chapter of Best Buddies, the SEP Unified Sports team, and gave back to our community through the completion of 150 hours of community service prior to his senior year. This year’s winner genuinely represents the integrity, character, and compassion that Mr. Burch possessed, and much like Mr. Burch, this student is willing to share these traits with others without hesitation. He is a true Ram fan through and through and represents the best that Southeast Polk High School has to offer.

And The Winner is…

This year’s winning recipient possesses the academic accolades, character traits, and community commitment that affirm why the high school faculty selected this individual for such an esteemed honor. On behalf of the Southeast Polk High School faculty, it is with great pleasure to announce Spencer Olesen as the 2024 Bill Burch Humanitarian Award winner.

Spencer Olesen 2024 Bill Burch Humanitarian Award Winner. 2

Congratulations Spencer!

Congrats to All!

Congratulations to all of the Bill Burch Humanitarian nominees!


Senior Names

Seniors 1 Seniors 2 Seniors 3 Seniors 4 Seniors 5 Seniors 8 Seniors 9 Seniors with Felicity Seniors with Spencer


Junior NamesJuniors 1Juniors 4Juniors 3Juniors 2Sophomores

Sophomore NamesSophomores 1Sophomores 2Sophomores with Gabi

The History of the Bill Burch Humanitarian Award

Bill Burch was a school counselor at Southeast Polk High School from 1974 until 1992. The Bill Burch Honors 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 Mr. Burch’s character, sincerity, and compassion toward others. The Southeast Polk High School faculty selected the senior recipient who best represents Bill Burch’s personal qualities.