RANTOUL  —  Elle Couch of Rantoul  —  the Rantoul Exchange Club student of the month for December  —  has set her sights high.

Couch’s goals are to earn a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from the University of Illinois, then study for five more years at the U of I to complete her master’s and doctorate in astronomy with a primary focus on planetary astronomy or astrophysics.

Elle Couch Jan. 1, 2020


“I plan on taking my degree to Alabama, Texas or California to work for NASA and help the world learn more good things about astronomy,” Couch said. “It is my passion, and I expect nothing but great things to come out of this degree.”

 Couch, daughter of Stacy Couch, ranks second in her class of 169 at Rantoul Township High School with a grade point average of 5.623.

Her school activities have included Interact club, student council, band/marching band, scholastic bowl, book club, Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, National Honor Society and girls astronomy camp.

Offices held include scholastic bowl acting co-captain for both varsity and junior varsity and student council secretary.

Couch has received several honors and awards, including American Legion Award, Illinois Leadership Seminar, Excellence in Academics, Excellence in Honors Algebra, Excellence in Honors Biology, Excellence in Honors Chemistry, Excellence in Honors Geometry and Excellence in Spanish Language.

Her civic and volunteer activities: food pantry, donation to the food drive at RTHS (student council and Interact), stuffing backpacks for underprivileged children in the area at Bethany Park Church, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor, yard work for American Lutheran Church and members of the congregation, and yard work for St. Malachy Church and parish members.

Her work experience has included baseball/softball scorekeeper, concession stand server, County Market cashier and parcel and Bank of Rantoul teller.