2020 Academic All-Stars




SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2020

my play production coach since my freshman year. He has helped me evolve into an amazing math stu- dent. He has given more instruction, than just out of the textbook. Being a teacher means more than just giving you homework. It means getting to know your students and giv- ing them the knowledge to succeed later in life after school. He helps students realize their strengths and turn their weaknesses into strengths. He has helped me learn how to be a man and make things better for myself. He helps me re- member just how lucky I am to be where I’m from, and not to forget where I come from.” Jacob Rupe Eustis-Farnam High School Jacob is the son of Shannon and Julie Rupe of Eustis. He plans to study agriculture business at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Goals: To graduate with a bachelor’s degree and to take advantage of the opportunities that UNL has to offer to gain a wide knowledge of agricul- ture outside of southwest Nebraska. I hope to return to the Eustis area and be involved in many different activities and organiza- tions, including leadership positions. In his own words: “I take pride and honor in a job well done. I also know that each year education builds on top of the last, so therefore, that it is im- portant to understand and grasp the concept before you go forward. My math teacher helped to instill in me a concept that took some time for me to un- derstand, but that is that we learn from the mis- takes that we make. This is true in education and life as well. Because of this, I don’t worry so much about making mistakes, but instead I concentrate on learning. ... As far as community achievement, growing up in Eustis and being active in many dif- ferent organizations has given me a sense of great pride in my small town. I know that in order for communities to survive and thrive it takes peo- ple to volunteer their time and talents. It was exciting to be a part of the Eustis Wellness Center and to get to see the dream become a reality. I look forward to seeing the impact that it will have on the health and wellness of our com- munity.” Achievements and awards include: National Honor Society vice pres- ident, ESU Summer Honors Program, high honor roll, President’s

Therefore, it’s my objec- tive to give back as much as I can. In order for our community to change for the better, rather than ex- pecting others to do things for me, I’m dedicated to changing it myself. One act of kindness through volunteering can change someone’s whole life. ... I love to learn, and I love to be taught new things through various en- richment activities. My curiosity about the un- known world is a huge factor in my yearning for knowledge.” Achievements and awards include: All A honor roll all four years, McCook Inter-High Day first-place mathemat- ics and chemistry, Quiz Bowl captain, Eagle Scout, Marjorie Jackman Community Service Award, FFA state de- gree, NSAA district actor awards, NSAA district speech champion in hu- morous prose and oral interpretation of drama, NSAA 11th place Class C state golf, Academic All-State in one-act play, Communications scholar- ship, Concordia University President’s Scholarship, Concordia University men’s golf scholarship. Activities: National Honor Society, golf, speech, mock trial, one- acts, marching band, concert band, jazz band, musical, cross country, Quiz Bowl, FFA. Community and volunteer service: Methodist church Sunday school and Bible school teacher, junior golf coun- selor, Boy Scouts, play taps at Veterans Day and Memorial Day services, honor society blood drive, volunteer at Perkins County Fair, planting trees, trash pickup. Most influential teacher: Troy Kemling, Perkins County Schools. “Mr. Kemling was my seventh grade math teach- er. ...He saw that I was not being challenged in math and decided to take it upon himself to chal- Academic All-State in golf, Great Plains lenge me. He gave me the eighth grade math book and told me to work through it. Throughout my seventh grade year I worked through the eighth grade math book so that I could learn Algebra 1 in my eighth grade year. Mr. Kemling knew it was con- troversial to allowme to work at my own speed be- cause our principal was not very supportive. Even though the principal dis- liked what he did, he still allowed me to move on to Algebra 1. ...He supported me so much and I will al- ways be thankful for his influence on my life.”

Education Awards for hon- or roll, A average and top two in class, EF Believers and Achievers school winner, North Platte Inter- High Day second and third place in account- ing, McCook Inter-High Day first place in account- ing, Brandon Burlsworth character award, Elks teen of the month, Eustis Chamber of Commerce student of the month, FFA state team second- and third-place food science, FFA district food science team champions. Activities: Class pres- ident four years, student council vice president, FFA, one-act play, Quiz Bowl, Science Fair, team captain in football and basketball, track, Cornhusker Boys State delegate, 4-H and FFA. Community and vol- unteer service: E-Unit (youth portion of Eustis Area Community Foundation Fund), Wurst Tag, Farnam Community Carnival, youth league T-ball and baseball, Sunday League youth bas- ketball, Eustis pee-wee wrestling, National Honor Society events, St. John Lutheran Church day camp and vacation Bible school volunteer, church cemetery cleanup. Most influential teacher: Ben Spiegel, Eustis-FarnamHigh School. “He has been my his- tory, government and economics teacher. He was also one of my football coaches for two years. He is always willing to talk to students about things oth- er than just school. He is my favorite teacher I have ever had and was also my favorite football coach. He is a guy who is easy to talk to and is always will- ing to help others even if it is not something in one of his classes. He really sets a good example on what a good man is and is one of my persons I am proud to call a role model.” Jacob Woodmancy Perkins County High School Jacob is the son of John and Kathy Woodmancy of Grant. He plans to study mathematics at Concordia University. Goals: To go to college for four years to study to become an actuary. I want to have my tests taken by the time I graduate. In his own words: “My desire to reach my full potential is what mo- tivates my academic and community achievement. Throughout my life, I have been given various opportunities frommy tight-knit community that I’m extremely grateful for.

unteer service: Red Cross blood drive, blood donor, Elsie United Methodist Church youth group, Wallace Youth Club, 4-H Council, Feed the Farmer, trash pickup, Wallace va- cation Bible school, Elsie vacation Bible school, Elsie United Methodist Church advisory commit- tee, Partner Up Rodeo, summer reading program. Most influential teacher: Christy Sheets, Wallace High School. “She has always encour- aged me to push myself to my fullest potential. I have had her as a math and Spanish teacher since eighth grade and she has constantly made sure that she is giving me an amaz- ing education that will allowme to be successful. Mrs. Sheets has not only given me opportunities to learn in the classroom but has also taught me many life lessons along the way. She is the first person to give an encouraging word of advice. Mrs. Sheets is supportive of all of my life endeavors and I would not have had an as success- ful time in high school if it were not for her.” Trevor Ross Callaway High School Trevor is the son of Rodney and Mary Ross of Callaway. He plans to study animal sci- ence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Goals: I plan to come back to Callaway and take over my father’s ranch. In his own words: “I am very involved in the community of Callaway. My dad is a member of the Seven Valleys Rodeo Association, so I help them out a lot. I take money at the gate, make ham- burgers and clean up after the rodeos. I attend Callaway Senior High Youth Group. I am a mem- ber of the Morning Star United Methodist Church. ... I play football, basket- ball and am involved in play production. I am also a member of student coun- cil and National Honor Society. I love helping oth- er people out. In a small school you have to be in- volved in everything to make it work. I do it for my friends that care more about different activities than I do. I do it to make my family proud.” Achievements and awards include: Honor roll, National Honor Society, Callaway Scholastic Honor Society, Custer County Corn Growers scholarship, let- tered in play production, band, football and basket- ball, district champion and fourth and fifth place in state play production, academic All-State in foot- ball, state FFA qualifier. Activities: National Honor Society, FFA vice president, Citizenship Washington Focus dele- gate, Cornhusker Boys State representative, National Agricultural Youth Institute, Legion baseball. Community and vol- unteer service: As Citizenship Washington Focus delegate I vol- unteered at the Custer County Fairgrounds, community projects as a member of Tail Twisters 4-H Club, usher for Morning Star United Methodist Church, proj- ects for the Callaway senior high youth group, volunteer for the Callaway Good Life Center, volun- teer for Seven Valleys Rodeo and Callaway 4-H horse show, volunteer for the Sandhills Open Road Challenge. Most influential teacher: Darin Ellis, Callaway Public Schools. “Mr. Darin Ellis has been my math instructor since my seventh grade year. He has also been

less and Scholastic Book Fair, FCCLA Read-A-Thon, 4-H projects including painting the fairgrounds, community cleanup, teaching horse 4-H and turtle races at the fair, TeamMates Christmas cards for veterans. Most influential teacher: Sara Hardin, Mullen High School. “I have never had a teacher that has forced me to be organized, held me accountable, and has been so determined to help their students succeed quite like she has. She is also a big part of why I chose to pur- sue a degree in biology. While taking her class- es, if I ever had an issue or didn’t understand a con- cept, she was always there to lend a helping hand. Mrs. Hardin is one of a kind. She is extremely pas- sionate about teaching, and I hope to be as moti- vated and determined in my career as her. I will never be able to thank her enough for all that she has taught me, but I will re- member her wisdom and enthusiasm forever.” Sydney Pelster Wallace High School Sydney is the daugh- ter of Ben and Jill Pelster of Wallace. She plans to study business adminis- tration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Goals: Returning to a rural area of Nebraska highly interests me because of the job oppor- tunities and community support. I want to be an effective communicator, task manager and hard worker. I am confident that with all of these at- tributes I will be able to make a positive impact on my workplace and the peo- ple that I work with. Once earning an entry-level po- sition at a job that I love, I hope to continue working my way to high-level jobs in the company. I hope to start a family and raise my children in a small community just like I was. I hope that through hard work throughout the rest of high school and my col- lege career, I will make my professional and person- al goals something very attainable for me. I know that I have the skills and work ethic necessary to be successful. In her own words: “I ammotivated to achieve academically and in the community by knowing that I can be a role mod- el for younger members of my school and community, wanting to make a positive impact on my communi- ty, and setting myself up for success in the future. Some of my favorite mo- ments from high school are when I have younger students come up to me af- ter events and tell me that someday they hope to be having as much fun and success as I am in high school. Part of my moti- vation also comes from the fact that I know I am making a positive impact on my community by the things that I am doing. “The final thing that motivates me to achieve is knowing that I can make the most of my opportuni- ties in high school to set me up for success in col- lege and life after college.” Achievements and awards include: Honor roll four years, David Scholarship, Nebraska Business Honors Academy, Academic All-State volleyball and basketball, all-conference volleyball and basketball, Cornhusker Girls State delegate. Activities: National Honor Society, FFA, vol- leyball, basketball, track, one-act play, speech, Quiz Bowl, student council, band, choir, 4-H, Nebraska Farm Bureau ag crew. Community and vol-

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O’Malley, North Platte St. Patrick High School. “He has taught me earth science, biology and anatomy. His classes have always been fun and entertaining. ... I learn in his class, and I seem to retain the informa- tion for a longer period of time than other class- es. ... He understands the material and presents it in a way that engages the mind, is easy enough to understand, and in a way that I will remem- ber it for a long period of time. He leaves some of the connections up to the students to make, which is much better than simply regurgitating in- formation and having the students write it all down.”

Molly Paxton Mullen High School

Molly is the daughter of Dusty and Mindy Paxton of Tryon. She plans to study biological science and pre-medicine at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Goals: I have focused my passions and goals around becoming a doctor. I plan to either attend the University of Nebraska- Lincoln or Nebraska Wesleyan in the fall. If I choose Wesleyan, I plan on running cross coun- try and track. Upon graduation, I plan to attend medical school ei- ther at the University of Nebraska Medical Center or Creighton. My career goal is to become an ob- stetrician. I would also like to specialize in di- abetic patients. I have a passion for helping people, and I would love to help bring life into the world. My second option is to be a dermatologist. This op- tion appeals to me because I wouldn’t have to be on call, and if I have a family, it would be easier to bal- ance work and home life. I plan to move back west in the Kearney or Grand Island area to practice. In her own words: “As a little girl, I was always interested in learning as much as possible from as many people as possi- ble, and that mentality has not changed as I have aged. My parents have al- ways motivated me to be the absolute best version of myself that I can be at all times. I have also been blessed with the most supportive and uplifting teachers and communi- ty that I could ask for. I am extremely proud of where I come from, and that mo- tivates me to make them proud with everything that I do. Lastly, I ammoti- vated to achieve because I have high goals and plans for my future. In order to accomplish them, I must always remain self-driv- en and determined. I have many people to thank for holding me accountable, and I will never be able to repay them.” Achievements and awards include: National Honor Society vice pres- ident, honor roll four years, Academic All- State in cross country and speech, Presidential Award for academic excel- lence, U.S. Bank Believer and Achiever, valedic- torian, state speech qualifier, state track, cross country and basketball qualifier, FCCLA state sec- retary, Miss Teen Rodeo Nebraska, Nebraska High School Rodeo Queen, stu- dent council president. Activities: National Honor Society, volleyball, cross country, basketball, track, speech, FCCLA, FFA, high school, Spanish honor society, TeamMates, student council. Community and vol- unteer service: Partner Up Rodeo, National Honor Society feeding the home-

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