21
April
2022
|
17:29 PM
Europe/Amsterdam

Recognizing the 2022 Students of Character

Forty-three local high school students were selected by their respective school staff and celebrated at a special event April 20 at Madden's Resort.

The Students of Character Celebration recognizes high school juniors and seniors throughout Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties for their quiet leadership, perseverance, and dedication to their community, school, and fellow students. Donations from local businesses, organizations, and individuals make it possible for each student to receive a scholarship, plus a chance to win door prizes.

This celebration was by invitation only; however, the event was broadcast live on Facebook for the general public. A recording of the complete event can be viewed on the Sourcewell Facebook page. 

 

Megan Buchholz
Aitkin Public Schools

Nominated by: Meredith Sander

Megan is a hard-working student who has shown persistence through adversity over the past few years. She works hard to keep school a priority and has put forth a lot of effort into creating and maintaining the personal goals she has for herself. She is a responsible student and works well with her teachers.

 

Mitchell Kearns
Aitkin Public Schools

Nominated by: Meredith Sander

Mitchell is a kind, generous, fun-loving student. He is easy to like and easy to get along with. Mitchell serves as a peer tutor and enjoys helping younger students experience success in their courses. Mitchell hopes to manage a business one day, but until that happens, he plans to work and save money before attending college.

 

Isaac Blashack
Bertha-Hewitt

Nominated by: Alan Hanson

Isaac gives much of his time to helping others but does so without expectation of recognition. He was an All-Conference Park Region runner and was selected to the Academic All-Conference team. The fact he has accomplished all that he has is a testament to the person he is and the strong family he comes from.

 

Lynda Dobmeier
Bertha-Hewitt

Nominated by: Nancy VanDenheuvel

Lynda is an active member and leader of the FFA program at Bertha-Hewitt. She works very hard on her family farm and has been instrumental in teaching other “nonfarm students” the value of farming.  Lynda shares her joy by organizing local FFA weeklong activities that teach students about farming in fun and creative ways.

 

Melissa Bachman
Brainerd

Nominated by: Jolene Parks

Through life experience and volunteerism, Melissa has learned to advocate for herself and others. She has earned the Girl Scouts silver award and worked as a volunteer at her church and with the youth program at the Brainerd Family YMCA before being hired as an employee. Melissa is active in the ASL Club at Brainerd High School and is a member of the ASL Honors Society. 

 

Elizabeth Blom
Browerville

Nominated by: Scott Vedbraaten

Elizabeth is a multisport athlete and a member of the school band. She is also a cross-age student, assisting one of her school’s physical education instructors with underclassmen. In addition, she makes some of the best pizza at the local pizza parlor. Elizabeth continuously goes about her business, never calling attention to herself. She is a positive role model for other students, and she is appreciated for her efforts at Browerville Public School.

 

Eli Butler
Browerville

Nominated by: Rollie Lais

Eli does whatever is asked of him and is willing to help out with the underclassmen in welding class.  When a project needs to be completed, the students ask Eli. He also helps with first-grade physical education. Eli strives to do very good work and comes to school each day ready to go and willing to learn.

 

Charles Losh
Cass Lake-Bena

Nominated by: Alisha Hillukka

Charles shows strong tenacity to remain on track and encourages everyone around him to do so as well. At one point in his high school career, he had fallen a bit behind, but he set his mind toward making up those credits and is now one of the strongest students in 12th grade. Although he made mistakes in his past, he has learned from them and shares that insight with other students.

 

Mackenzie Stoebner
Cass Lake-Bena

Nominated by: Alisha Hillukka

Involved in many leadership roles and activities, Mackenzie has had to learn to manage her time and prioritize what needs to be done. In addition to the activities she is in, she has also always taken a rigorous academic course load that demands a lot of her time. This has been a huge challenge for her to overcome, but she has always handled it with grace.

 

Miranda Sicora
Crosby-Ironton

Nominated by: Katherine Thoennes

With a sweet smile and a kind word, Miranda endeavors to spread her positive attitude and has shown herself to be a pillar of support. Her small, day-to-day gestures demonstrate a tender-hearted nature that uplifts her peers during a time it is desperately needed. Miranda plans to become a registered nurse. It is no surprise her ambitions have led her to pursue a career caring for others.

 

Kearah Westhoff
Crosby-Ironton

Nominated by: Kelly Moore

When her high number of ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) are considered, Kearah defies the odds.  Not only does she survive the chaos surrounding her, but she also thrives in school and consistently shows up with a positive attitude. She doesn’t see herself as a victim and doesn’t expect special treatment. Kearah has grit, perseverance, and the maturity that comes from needing to be the adult when those around her were unable.

 

Kaci Jobe
Freshwater Education District

Nominated by: Wadena Area Learning Center staff

Kaci brings a positive smile and outlook to each day. She appreciates help and guidance and makes everyone around her cheerful. She also knows when to ask for help and helps others when they are in need. Kaci is respectful and pleasant to students and staff. She consistently attends school and is extremely mature in her role as a student leader.

 

Sage Laliberte
Freshwater Education District

Nominated by: Staples Area Learning Center staff

Sage has faced many challenges throughout her high school career. After a bumpy start to her freshman year, being behind in credits and having missed a lot of school, Sage enrolled in the Area Learning Center. With a new start and a positive attitude, she has managed to persevere and even enrolled in postsecondary enrollment option (PSEO) classes this past year.

 

Andrew Chisholm
Little Falls

Nominated by: Sarah Filippi

As a part of AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) for four years, Andrew wanted to give back to younger AVID students, so he is now a tutor in the ninth-grade AVID class. He is the ultimate role model: He shows kindness and respect to everyone, makes all feel welcome, and challenges younger students to better themselves as students and people.

 

Jaden Marrow
Little Falls

Nominated by: Karen Warner

Cooperation and participation are qualities Jaden exhibits on a daily basis. She has two younger, severely autistic siblings at home whom she is often responsible for helping. Despite the stress she encounters with caretaking and homework responsibilities, she always seems to come to school with a positive attitude and prepared to learn. 

 

Madison Becker 
Long Prairie-Grey Eagle

Nominated by: Jonathan Larson

Maddie works hard to make the school a better place for everyone. She is a hard worker in the classroom and on her number of teams, groups, and committees. Maddie has participated in tennis, track, trap shooting, student council, the Minnesota Honor Society, and the prom committee.

 

Humberto Luna
Long Prairie-Grey Eagle

Nominated by: Nedda Zetah

Humberto has become a silent and inspiring hero in the LPGE school and community. Even though he has been unable to attend school in person, he is teaching others how to live with cancer by maintaining his school grades and friendships. The whole school seems to know that a bad day isn’t really a bad day when compared to what Humberto goes through on a daily basis.

 

Nicole Chevalier
Menahga

Nominated by: April Hodge

Nicole has had to move around quite a bit with different foster homes, which included leaving Menahga as a student for about a year and a half. Even through her challenges, she is positive and always there to encourage younger students she sees struggling. Nicole enjoys working at Subway, photography, singing in choir, and hanging out with friends.

 

Jack Christofferson
Menahga

Nominated by: Mark Frank

Jack has faced adversity since a young age when he was diagnosed with hearing loss. But that didn’t stop him or slow him down. He has worked hard over the years, putting in countless hours and showing true grit with a positive attitude. He no longer needs help or support for that diagnosis. Jack is a remarkable, caring, and compassionate young man who will do anything for anyone – all with a smile on his face.

 

Riley Smith
Pequot Lakes

Nominated by: Aaron Nelson

During his freshman year, Riley endured the most difficult experience of any child: losing their mother. The struggle of finding belonging followed as he tried to wrestle with finding his voice and place while feeling alone. Riley has finally found a place where he has gotten some peace with the hand he has been dealt and has chosen to look beyond his own struggle to care for and be a light to the lives of others.

 

Delaney Westrich
Pequot Lakes

Nominated by: Aaron Nelson             

Delaney began her senior year behind on credits for graduation due to struggles earlier in her school career. Delaney has worked hard to recover credits while simultaneously earning her best grades ever during the fall of her senior year. She has become a thoughtful, responsible, and caring citizen of her school community and looks out for the interests of others.

 

Caleb Kuske
Pierz

Nominated by: Marilyn Keith

Caleb is a good student and leads by example. He participates in class and encourages others to participate in a positive manner. He challenges himself to excel in academics, as well as participate in the arts and athletics. Caleb shows others that it’s possible to be a well-rounded student with a wide variety of interests and a positive role model setting an outstanding example for others.

 

Katie Leidenfrost
Pierz

Nominated by: Marilyn Keith

Katie has had to overcome many challenges and obstacles in her life but is always there to help out a struggling peer. She would be the first person to talk to a student who is having a hard time in school or an activity. Katie has been a school leader for many years. This type of leadership she displaysand her welcoming personality have helped create a positive culture at Pierz High School.

 

Tehanna Johnson
Pillager

Nominated by: Ann Hutchison

Tehanna is willing to assist other students in any area, having worked with the youngest Pillager Huskies all the way up to her classmates. Tehanna can see what needs to be done and doesn't need recognition for it. An example of this is working in her ProStart class. She doesn't have to be in the spotlight. She is willing to do whatever jobs need to be done and finds time to volunteer at community events.

 

Cordell Welker
Pillager

Nominated by: Jason Savage

Cordell is a quiet leader, both in the classroom and on the football field. With an understanding of the power of positive relationships, he continuously works on nurturing his relationships with his friends, his peers and classmates, as well as his teachers. Cordell puts others before himself, which is evident in the daily choices he makes by helping when he can, listening, and supporting those around him.

 

Mara Adams
Pine River-Backus

Nominated by: Melanie Lindquist

Mara came to Pine River-Backus school in 10th grade – in the middle of some big changes in her personal and home life. Her teachers noticed right away her inner strength as she navigated her way through it. Mara is an asset to her school community. She is involved in many activities and is a leader within those groups, including music, theater, track, cross country, and yearbook. A lot of things get done because Mara makes sure they do.

 

Randall Yost
Pine River-Backus

Nominated by: Janice Oakley

Randy has been a standout since he was young — his intelligence is astounding! He is intrinsically motivated to learn and soak up what he can. He is also a self-starter who needs no pushing from parents or teachers to manage his time and do what he needs to do. Even though he has experienced many challenges in the past few years, he has persevered with grace and tenacity.

 

Zachary Ellerbusch
Royalton

Nominated by: Monica Flakus

As a peer tutor, Zach gives up his free time to work with middle-school students and does a tremendous job. The younger students are always so excited to have a senior spending time with them. Zach is patient and encouraging, and students feel more successful after having worked with him. His reputation among the middle school students has spread, and more students are requesting to work with him.

 

Kaylee Rudolph 
Royalton

Nominated by: Monica Flakus

Kaylee is a quiet student with a big heart. She lives her values of faith, family, and community by volunteering at church, helping out at school and home, and volunteering to do yardwork for her elderly neighbor. As FFA president, Kaylee is an excellent leader who puts in a lot of time behind the scenes making sure things go smoothly but does so without fanfare or self-promotion.

 

Sarah Hensel
Sebeka

Nominated by: Jacob Oyster

Sarah is always willing to serve others who need help. She doesn't need to be in the spotlight but is one of the rare individuals who seem to be content serving in whatever manner is required, often doing the things no one else is willing to do. Sarah has a positive attitude, greets people warmly in the halls, shows appreciation and respect for the school staff, and exhibits school spirit and pride.

 

Adam Roth
Sebeka

Nominated by: Bryson Vasey

Adam doesn’t need to be the star to make a difference. As a participant in the school play, he has a natural stage presence and makes performing in front of a large audience look easy. As a member of the football team, he may not have had the highest stats or most impressive plays, but his contributions didn’t go unnoticed. Last fall, Adam was voted Football Scout Team Player of the Year by his teammates.

 

Bronte Enyart-Martinez
Staples-Motley

Nominated by: Maggie Borg

Bronte is naturally and uniquely caring, accepting, and giving to everyone. In school and in the community, she is always fun-loving and cheerful, and it is infectious to others. She will reach out to anyone she sees who may be struggling or having a bad day. Bronte is one who can never walk away from someone in need, and she always puts others’ needs before her own.

 

Evan Woodwick
Staples-Motley

Nominated by: Maggie Borg

Evan was diagnosed with an autoinflammatory disease that has created some challenges for him. At times, it has affected his ability to attend and participate in school, extracurricular activities, and many leisure things he enjoys. Although this has been tough for him to endure, he has maintained his positive attitude and has turned the challenge into an inspiration to learn more about the disease and help others with the same battle.

 

Tyra Powell
Swanville

Nominated by: Liza Hasse

Tyra works hard – not for recognition, but to make a difference. She has a mature mindset in setting an achievable plan. Tyra has the ability to work well with others and has served on many committees for her class and the student council. She listens to others’ ideas and tries to include everyone. She will go out of her way to help someone or do something to make their day better.

 

Cooper Thieschafer
Swanville

Nominated by: Jay Loven

Cooper is a quiet kid, leading more by example than verbally. He is very well respected not only by his peers but also his teachers and coaches. He does whatever is asked of him and is one of the first kids to offer to help. When he’s not helping on the family turkey farm, he enjoys hunting, four-wheeling, and snowmobiling with friends.

 

Yasmine Crowe
Upsala

Nominated by: Gretchen Schleper

Always reliable and willing to help others, Yasmine has qualities that will take her far. But what stands out most and has made a practical difference in her classes are her positive attitude and determination. She consistently does her best, even if having a difficult day. She has overcome personal challenges and is unstoppable.

Hunter Steuck
Upsala

Nominated by: Nick Klug

Hunter has faced many obstacles throughout the years but always overcomes them. One of the most difficult things he faced was in 2020 when his best friend and classmate passed away. Despite his own pain, Hunter was there for his classmates. He was the glue that held his class together and put the emotions of others before his own. He is a genuinely good person and would do anything for anyone.

 

Mariah Freyholtz
Verndale

Nominated by: Sam Schmitz

Mariah is spirited, hard-working, motivated, and greatly committed to her education. She carries herself with dignity as she never puts others down and never gloats. She truly radiates goodness. She holds down two jobs, yet her studies never falter. When Mariah is called upon to complete a task, she completes it with thought and care. She never shies away from a challenge to her learning.

 

Emma Kalk
Verndale

Nominated by: Alex Anderson

Emma is a student who works incredibly hard in school. Even in classes that do not come naturally, she makes sure to ask questions and finds ways to persevere and succeed. Emma is kind to all students and lives by the philosophy: "you don't have to be best friends with everyone, but you should be nice to everyone." Emma is an all-around great member of the school community, and Verndale is even better because she is a part of it.

 

Madison Packer
Wadena-Deer Creek

Nominated by: Laura Kiser

Madison’s ever-present smile and fierce determination set her apart. In addition to doing great things in athletics, she can frequently be found volunteering her time. When she was a third-grade student, her class lost a very good friend to childhood cancer. Madison has been a big part of the Princess Warrior 5K ever since, keeping the legacy of Jane alive and well in our community and helping other families.

 

Emma Ries
Wadena-Deer Creek

Nominated by: Laura Kiser

Emma is a quiet, behind-the-scenes student. She is kind to all and, over the years, has found confidence in helping others. She makes Wadena-Deer Creek a better place to be with her enthusiasm for learning and by asking inquisitive and tough questions. Emma is kind, thoughtful, and grateful for everything during her school day. She never takes for granted her friends or what she can learn.

 

Andrew Palmer
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley

Nominated by: Colleena Bibeau

Andrew is a behind-the-scenes, considerate student willing to help anyone in need. Balancing the demands of school, his studies to become a pilot, and his job, he works hard for those counting on him. Andrew has steadfast determination and an attitude of not giving up when others might choose otherwise.

 

Luna Scanlon
Walker-Hackensack-Akeley

Nominated by: Colleena Bibeau

Luna moved from Colombia in March 2021, when she was adopted by a family in the Walker area. With Spanish as her first language, learning English has been a major barrier. Her story has been both unique and challenging, but she remains gentle in nature and is always welcoming and warm to everyone in the Walker Secondary School community.