SPHS hosts annual Senior Awards Night
St. Peter High School hosted its annual Senior Awards Night on Wednesday, May 27, at the high school theater.
Several members of soon-to-be-graduating class of 2015 were recognized and rewarded for their efforts both in the classroom and in the community.
The following is the list of awards and scholarships which were presented at the Senior Awards Night:
Quill & Scroll Award
Peterian -- Jacob Rinehart
Instrumental Music Awards
John Philip Sousa Band Award - Dalton Myers
Senior Drum Major Award - Aaron Shoemaker
Louis Armstrong Jazz Award - Jacob Erkel
Vocal Music Awards
National School Choral Award - Claire Thoemke, Aaron Shoemaker
American Legion Awards
Oratory Award - Valerie Bresnahan
Scholarship - Claire Thoemke
American Award - Calli Sizer
Citizenship - Jacob Rinehart
Academic Achievement - Jordyn Roemhildt
Essay - Rachel Beran
Family Consumer Science - Noelle Neubauer
Music (Vocal) - Jacob Erkel, Marta Springer
Music (Instrumental) - Dustin Andree
Male Athlete - Samuel Wenner
Female Athlete - Marta Springer
Phi Beta Kappa Book Award (Gustavus Adolphus College chapter) - Rachel Beran, Halla Dontje Lindell, Abigail Borgmeier
Big South Academic Athletic All-Conference Award - Killian Bixby, Valerie Bresnahan, Halla Dontje Lindell, Olivia Hass, Jackson Keeley, Mikayla Ogren, Marta Springer, Shaun Timmerman, Lexi Wilkins, Brett Zallek
Minnesota State High School League Triple A Awards -- Marta Springer, Brett Zallek
SPHS Three-Sport Athlete Award - Valerie Bresnahan, Jackson Keeley, Marta Springer, Samuel Wenner, Lexi Wilkins, Brett Zallek
U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Awards - Lauren Chabot, Jackson Keeley
Army Reserve Scholar/Athlete - Valerie Bresnahan, Brett Zallek
St. Peter Scholars Program - Jordyn Roemhildt, Michaela Zachman
Faculty Award for Leadership & Academic Achievement - Heather Borchert
Senior Class Officer Awards - Victoria Kmett (President), Johanna Dietrich (Vice President), Valerie Bresnahan (Secretary), Aricka O’Gorman (Treasurer)
Senior Mural Awards - Sena Balbach, Christian McCabe, Samantha Michels, Megan Overgaard
American Red Cross Bloodmobile Award -- Ellen Eide, Megan Stenzel
Student Council Awards - Ellen Eide (President), Aricka O’Gorman (Vice President), Brett Zallek (Treasurer), Megan Stenzel (Secretary), Jacob Rinehart (Historian). Members: Sarah Bjorklund, Scott Crady, Jacob Gurrola, Jackson Keeley, Emily Lind, Khalid Omar, Janna Quick, Calli Sizer
Chamber of Commerce Certificate of Appreciation - Emily Lind, Kinsale Morrow
International Student Recognition - Noah Kroemer (Germany), Eleonora Romano (Italy)
2015 AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Graduates - Daniel Borseth, Nicolas Glidden, Alexis Jones, Andrea Kenyon, Evan Larson, Roberta Leal, Abbey Leonard, Haley Parker, Brian Perez, Logan Retzlaff, Jacob Rinehart, Shaun Timmerman
Honor Students (Requirement: Maintain A- Average (3.67 GPA) for grades 9-12) - Killian Bixby, Sarah Bjorklund, Heather Borchert, Lauren Chabot, Angela Erickson, Olivia Hass, Jackson Keeley, Aisha Khalif, Kinsale Morrow, Noelle Neubauer, Mikayla Ogren, Brian Perez, Jacob Rinehart, Calli Sizer, Jolene Smith, Shaun Timmerman, Morgan Weisgerber, Lexi Wilkins
President’s Education Excellence Awards Program and High Honor Students (Requirement: Maintain 4.0 GPA or above for grades 9-12) - Dustin Andree, Rachel Beran, Abigail Borgmeier, Valerie Bresnahan, Matthew Carlson, Tess Chadwick, Johanna Dietrich, Halla Dontje Lindell, Anthony Gomez, Emily Lind, Kaylee Neubauer, Aricka O’Gorman, Megan Overgaard, Janna Quick, Jordyn Roemhildt, Aaron Shoemaker, Marta Springer, Martha Stelter, Megan Stenzel, Claire Thoemke, Avery Wood, Kaylee Neubauer, Michaela Zachman, Brett Zallek
Principal’s Leadership Award - Valerie Bresnahan
National Honor Society - Dustin Andree, Rachel Beran, Killian Bixby, Sarah Bjorklund, Heather Borchert, Abigail Borgmeier, Brooklyn Braun, Valerie Bresnahan, Matthew Carlson, Lauren Chabot, Tess Chadwick, Halla Dontje Lindell, Olivia Hass, Emily Lind, Kinsale Morrow, Kaylee Neubauer, Noelle Neubauer, Aricka O’Gorman, Mikayla Ogren, Janna Quick, Jacob Rinehart, Jordyn Roemhildt, Aaron Shoemaker, Calli Sizer, Jolene Smith, Marta Springer, Martha Stelter, Megan Stenzel, Claire Thoemke, Shaun Timmerman, Joshua Weisenfeld, Michaela Zachman, Brett Zallek, Nicholas Zarn
Lions Students of the Month/Year Awards (*-signifies Students of the Year) - Rachel Beran, *Abigail Borgmeier, Valerie Bresnahan, Halla Dontje Lindell, Ellen Eide, Megan Overgaard, *Janna Quick, Martha Stelter, Brett Zallek
(Scholarships coordinated by Dollars for Scholars)
Dollars For Scholars Scholarships - Killian Bixby, Angela Erickson, Roberta Leal, Abbey Leonard, Emily Lind, Paige Lubiani, Cynthia McLane, Mikayla Ogren, Megan Overgaard, Haley Parker, Janna Quick, Brandon Reichel, Jacob Rinehart, Dylan Salisbury, Megan Stenzel, Johanna Thompson, Logan Woods, Brett Zallek
Signe Chilstrom Memorial Scholarship - Noelle Neubauer
David C. Rosoff Memorial Scholarship - Dustin Andree
Nicole Meier Memorial Scholarship - Rebekah Berry, Anthony Gomez
Eldred Engel Memorial Scholarship - Grace Carlson, Alexis Jones
P.E.O. Chapter CN Scholarship - Martha Stelter
Trinity Lutheran Church Scholarship - Michaela Zachman
Richard Reyelts Memorial Scholarship - Avery Wood
Riverside Dental Care Scholarship - Sarah Bjorklund
Bob and Nathan Bruns Memorial Scholarship - Abdulahi Daud,
HomeTown Bank of St. Peter Scholarship - Abigail Borgmeier
Eileen T. Miller Memorial Music Scholarship - Claire Thoemke
Nelson Printing Scholarship - Kaylee Neubauer
Don Nesheim Memorial Scholarship - Shaun Timmerman
Nicollet County Bank Scholarship - Sena Balbach
Red Men Lodge Ottawa Tribe 49 Scholarship - Tess Chadwick
Anonymous Memorial Scholarship - Aricka O’Gorman
Women Celebrating Women Scholarship - Samantha Michels
Loren & Mary Bjerke Memorial Scholarship - Aisha Khalif
Emily Herr Memorial Scholarship - Lexi Wilkins
Ashley Rose Leonard Memorial Scholarship - Aaron Shoemaker, Marta Springer
Marlys Christa Johnson Memorial Scholarship - Jordyn Roemhildt
Ameriprise Financial Scholarship - Mohamed Daud
St. Peter Rotary Scholarship - Valerie Bresnahan, Calli Sizer
Steve Koble Memorial Scholarship - Jackson Keeley
Kley Family Scholarship - Brooklyn Braun
Fern Martinson Memorial Scholarship - Rachel Beran
Dranttel Sales & Service, Inc., Scholarship - Meagan Speiss
The Fair Emporium Scholarship - Lauren Chabot
Dollars for Scholars Phone a Thon - Jolene Smith, Martha Stelter
St. Peter Youth Basketball Association Scholarship - Logan Retzlaff, Nicholas Zarn
First National Bank Minnesota Scholarship - Heather Borchert
College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Scholarship - Brian Perez
Kiwanis Club of St. Peter Scholarship - Halla Dontje Lindell
St. Peter Education Association Scholarship - Matthew Carlson
St. Peter All School Reunion Committee Scholarship - Jolene Smith
Sons of American Legion for Students of St. Peter High School Scholarship - Johanna Dietrich
Bolton & Menk Scholarship - Brian Perez
AgStar Fund for Rural America - Abigail Borgmeier
St. Peter Fire Department John Kennedy Memorial Scholarship - Brooklyn Braun, Janna Quick, Keenan Burg
American Legion Post 37 Auxiliary Scholarship - Valerie Bresnahan
Al & Cathy Annexstad Hope and Inspiration Scholarship - Brian Perez
AVID Scholarship - Roberta Leal
Andrew Kruger Memorial Scholarship - Shaun Timmerman
Band Aides Instrumental Music Scholarship - Dalton Myers
University of Minnesota, Duluth Best of Class Scholarship - Megan Overgaard
University of Minnesota, Duluth Best of Class Scholarship - Emily Lind
University of North Dakota Basketball Scholarship/Academic Achievement Scholar - Olivia Hass
St. Mary’s Presidential Scholarship/St. Mary’s St. Cecilia Music Award - Claire Thoemke
Catholic United Financial Post-High School Tuition Scholarship - Victoria Kmett
Maury & Tamara Forsyth Scholarship - Aricka O’Gorman
NDSU Freshman Academic Scholarship/Scott Lindsey Lamont Scholarship - Kaylee Neubauer
Maverick Scholarship - Noelle Neubauer
St. John’s University Trustees’ Scholarship/Recognition Scholarship/Legacy Scholarship/Siehl Scholarship - Brett Zallek
Macalester College DeWitt Wallace Distinguished Student Scholarship - Halla Dontje Lindell
College of St. Benedictine Focus Scholarship/Kiwanis Scholarship/Bird Island-Hawk Creek Scholarship/Milford O. Larson & Lois M. Larson Education Fund Scholarship - Janna Quick
Florida Gulf Coast University Blue & Green Director’s Silver Merit Scholarship - Jolene Smith
Gustavus Adolphus College Presidential Scholarship/Tuition Grant - Jordyn Roemhildt
Gustavus Adolphus College Presidential Scholarship/Mankato Job’s Daughters Scholarship/
St. Peter Mason’s Scholarship - Michaela Zachman
River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic Healthcare Scholarship - Heather Borchert, Lauren Chabot, Johanna Dietrich, Mikayla Ogren, Calli Sizer
Genesis Scholarship Program Recipient/College of St. Benedict’s Trustee Scholarship - Abigail Borgmeier
The College of Saint Scholastica The Benedictine Scholarship - Calli Sizer
St. Norbert College Trustee Distinguished Scholarship - Matthew Carlson
Ernie Vogel Memorial Scholarship - Dustin Andree, Jacob Erkel
Northern Michigan Certificate of Merit - Scott Crady
Luther College Founders Scholarship - Marta Springer
Mediacom World Class Scholarship - Megan Stenzel
MN State Supreme Court Historical Society Essay Contest Scholarship - Aaron Shoemaker
Scholarship America Dollars for Scholars Student Volunteer Award - Brian Perez
Saint Peter High School Class of 1950 Memorial Scholarship - Brett Zallek
Jim Hughes Memorial Scholarship - Claire Thoemke
Greg Wiese Scholarship - Megan Overgaard
Edward H. Schultz Scholarship - Abigail Borgmeier, Valerie Bresnahan, Abdulahi Daud, Aricka O’Gorman
A Q&A with former Saints' standout Dani Larson
Ex-SPHS student-athlete leaving a last impression after four years at St. Olaf College
During her time at St. Peter High School, Dani Larson was a versatile student athlete who graduated with high honors in 2011 as well as having the rare honor of participating in state tournaments in all three sports she played -- soccer, basketball, and track and field.
Flash forward four years, and Larson remains the same type of versatile student-athlete who will be graduating soon from St. Olaf College (Northfield) with a degree in English and Political Science with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies.
On top of that she has consistently been one of the top performers for the Oles’ women’s track and field team in each of her four years there where she has competed in the heptathlon, high jump, hurdles, middle distance races as well as various relays, to name a few.
During her career with the Oles, Larson has earned All-American honors four times, won 10 MIAC (Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) individual/relay events, and earned All-MIAC honors 21 times. She also is the school record holder in the high jump (indoor and outdoor), pentathlon (indoor) and 400-meter hurdles (outdoor).
The Spotlight staff was able to catch up with Dani recently as she winds down her senior year and ask her some questions about her time as a collegiate student-athlete as well as how her time at St. Peter High School influenced her life. The following are her responses:
What did you enjoy most about your experience as a student-athlete?
Being a part of a team is one of the most rewarding things about athletics, and I was lucky enough to be a part of the best team anyone could ask for. My teammates and coaches have blessed me with four years of friendship and support.
What was your favorite event to compete in as a member of the women's track team?
The 4x400-meter relay will always be the best race ever invented!
Where were some of your favorite places to compete at during your time at St. Olaf?
During the Indoor season, I've loved running on our home track because it always draws a crowd. I will also always love the Hamline track because it's where some of my fastest times have been raced.
What were some of the biggest challenges about being a student-athlete at the DIII level?
It's hard to put in the time required to do well in school work and the time it takes to be talented in athletics. As with most things in life, finding a balance is the toughest part.
How did your time at SPHS prepare you for life in college, both academically and athletically?
My teachers and coaches at SPHS taught me how important it is to do things passionately. I learned a lot about dedication and persistence from them.
What advice would you have for an SPHS student who is contemplating becoming a student-athlete at the DIII level?
If you love something and want it to remain a part of your life, DIII sports are the perfect opportunity to stay a part of a team and do what you love.
What are your future plans?
I'm graduating this spring and then taking the summer to do some traveling. I'm looking to start work in the fall.
Saints speech team fares well at Section 2A meet
SPHS qualifies seven entries into Minnesota State Speech Tournament
Last Friday’s Section 2A Speech Tournament was a banner day for the St. Peter High School speech team as the Saints had 12 speakers earn medals that day including seven that advanced to state.
Those advancing include senior Rachel Beran (2nd in Extemporaneous Reading); juniors Katie Sandquist (2nd in Informative), Allie Baskfield (2nd in Discussion) and Mason Legg (3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking); sophomores Sophia Lamor (2nd in Prose) and Connor Prafke (3rd in Discussion); and eighth grader Sophia Lee (2nd in Humorous). The Saints also had five other section finalists who ended up placing in the top six to help SPHS finish third in the team standings."
The other finalists for Coach Tom Fish's team were juniors Skyler Hochstein (4th in Informative) and Sam Mitchell (6th in Poetry); and ninth graders Olivia Young (5th in Extemporaneous Speaking), Rafat Solaiman (5th in Great Speeches) and Rachel Quist (5th in Storytelling).
Fairmont won the Section 2A title with 124 points followed by Mankato Loyola 108, St. Peter 86, Jackson County Central 44 and (tie) Minnesota Valley Lutheran and Maple River both with 30 points.
The Minnesota Class A State Speech Tournament is Friday, April 17, at Lakeville South High School.
Saints captains excited about team’s success
Saints speech team co-captains Rachel Beran and Katie Sandquist will each be making their first-ever trip to state and both expressed the excitement for not only their achievement but also of their teammates
“This has been my most successful season yet and getting to state was definitely one of my goals (coming into the section meet),” Beran said. “After they announced the sixth and fifth place finishers in my category I kept thinking to myself, ‘please don’t let me be fourth’ so it was a big relief and very exciting when I realized I had made the top three.
“I would love to final at state, but I’m going up there to have fun and enjoy the experience. It’s also great to have so many other teammates making the trip as well. Hopefully we can end the year on a high note.”
“I really didn’t know what to expect coming into sections because this was my first year in Informative,” Sandquist said. “I was just looking to do my best and I’m very fortunate to be able to move on.
“Skyler (Hochstein) is one of my best friends and we have really supported each other these past couple years so it was really bittersweet seeing her just miss going to state, as well. We have really pushed each other all season and I give her a lot of credit for my success.
“My goals at state are to, number one, have fun, but I’d also like to final so I’ll keep working hard this week and just see what happens at state. It’s great being part of a large group that made it this far and hopefully we can represent the school well at state.”
The following are the complete results from last Friday's meet:
Section 2A Speech Tournament
Team standings (top 5)
1. Fairmont 124; 2. Mankato Loyola 108; 3. St. Peter 86; 4. Jackson County Central 44; 5. (tie) Maple River and Minnesota Valley Lutheran 30.
Individual results (top 3 advance to state)
Creative Expression -- 1. Sofia Stumpf (JCC); 2. Heather Newman (BEA); 3. Adam Schwartz (Loyola); 4. Becca Kohlmeyer (Loyola), 5. Claire Loveall (BEA); 6. Kaci Atherton (WEM).
Discussion -- 1. Sonya Benzmiller (Loyola); 2. Allie Baskfield (St. Peter); 3. Connor Prafke (St. Peter); 4. Quinn O’Connor (Medford); 5. Nick Jewison (JWP); 6. Tristan Rabbe (MCW).
Drama -- 1. Kristiane Montgomery (BLHS/BOLD); 2. Jenna Sassenrath (JCC); 3. Anna Hernes (Fairmont); 4. Seth Holtz (BLHS/BOLD); 5. Megan Hillesheim (Loyola); 6. Evelyn Humphrey (K-W).
Duo -- 1. Katiana Fischer/Lexi Fischer (Fairmont); 2. Isabel Zwaschka/Elaine Adams (Loyola); 3. Austin Becker/Ben Hernes (Fairmont); 4. Makayla Sokoloski/Izzy Finholm (K-W); 5. Lexi McMahon-Adams/Lana King (JWP); 6. Lucas Cronin/Matt Swanson (Medford).
Extemporaneous Reading -- 1. Julia Okerman (Fairmont); 2. Rachel Beran (St. Peter); 3. Abbi Pleiss (MVL); 4. Rebecca Dose (JCC); 5. Emily Haugen (Fairmont); 6. Breanna Stoesz (Waseca).
Extemporaneous Speaking -- 1. Shane Price (Loyola); 2. Sean Willaert (Loyola); 3.Mason Legg (St. Peter); 4. Philip Goettl (Loyola); 5. Olivia Young (St. Peter); 6. Logan Kooistra (JCC).
Great Speeches -- 1. Peter Nielsen (Fairmont); 2. Machaela Spear (Waseca); 3. Moriah Lippert (Maple River); 4. Meghan Schaub (Loyola); 5. Rafat Solaiman (St. Peter); 6. Caitlyn Smith (MLC).
Humorous -- 1. Will Cipos (Loyola); 2. Sophia Lee (St. Peter); 3. Josh Raabe (MLC); 4. Espen Anthony (Fairmont); 5. Spencer Pratt (WEM); 6. Briann Kleven (Maple River).
Informative -- 1. Anagha Komoragiri (Fairmont); 2. Katie Sandquist (St. Peter); 3. Shantel Quist (Fairmont); 4. Skyler Hochstein (St. Peter); 5. Kelly Holmin (Loyola); 6. Elijah Stoesz (MLC).
Original Oratory -- 1. Lauren Carlson (Fairmont); 2. Maria Muske (MVL); 3. Sarah Best (WEM); 4. Anita Goharfar (Loyola); 5. Cole Leary (Maple River); 6. Elly Osland (WEM).
Poetry -- 1. Sophia Weisensel (MVL); 2. Emilee Moeller (Fairmont); 3. Emma Koehler (Fairmont); 4. Madelin Heidl (Loyola); 5. Josie Nunez (JCC); 6. Sam Mitchell (St. Peter).
Prose -- 1. Isaiah Lippert (Maple River); 2. Sophia Lamor (St. Peter); 3. Mackenzie Marconcini (BLHS/BOLD); 4. Taylor Sexton (Loyola); 5. Lee Schaur (Maple River); 6. Caitlin Schulze (BLHS/BOLD).
Storytelling -- 1. Mikayla Soelter (Fairmont); 2. Nick Reed (JCC); 3. Danica Dick (MLC); 4. Bailey Rogotzke (Medford); 5. Rachel Quist (St. Peter); 6. Kate Best (WEM).
KEY -- BEA (Blue Earth Area), WEM (Waterville-Elysian-Morristown), JCC (Jackson County Central); JWP (Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton); MVL (Minnesota Valley Lutheran); BLHS/BOLD (Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart/BOLD); K-W (Kenyon-Wanamingo), MLC (Mt. Lake Christian).
SPHS Blue wins Minnesota Academic Decathlon title
Team earns trip to national competition in California; SPHS White finishes fourth at state
Minnesota high school teams competed in the Academic Decathlon State Competition at Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center in Chaska on Feb. 22-23.
State championship honors went to St. Peter Blue with a score of 34,895.4. They will represent Minnesota at the United States Academic Decathlon National Competition in Garden Grove, California April 16–18. Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial (LCWM) was second with a score of 29,467.4 while the St. Peter White team was fourth overall out of six teams with a score of 26,617.4.
At the state event, students received scores for speech, interview and Super Quiz Relay. The essay test and other objective tests were completed online earlier in February.
The event concluded with an awards luncheon, featuring guest speakers from Xcel Energy Marcus Hendrickson, account manager, and Trisha A. Rosenfeld, community relations and economic development manager.
Six students performed in a judge-selected Speech Showcase. This year’s Speech Showcase presenters were Danny Reinan from Avalon School; Maddie Graham, Leah Jones and Brady Swanson from LCWM; and Grace Kvidera and Tanner Peterson from St. Peter.
Awards were presented for individual and team accomplishments and for the Super Quiz Relay team champion. Participating high schools included Avalon School, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Secondary School, St. Peter High School and Worthington Senior High School.
Academic Decathlon, the premiere national scholastic competition for high school students, was created to provide opportunities for students to experience the challenges of rigorous team and individual academic competition. Each student competes in 10 events: Economics, Essay, Art, Interview, Literature, Math, Music, Science, Social Science and Speech. Students also compete in Super Quiz Relay, an oral quiz-show event that includes questions from six topic areas.
A unique aspect of Academic Decathlon is that it is designed to include students from all academic ability and achievement levels. Each nine-member team consists of three “A” (Honors division), three “B” (Scholastic division), and three “C or below” (Varsity division) students. Each team member competes in all of the 10 events against other students in their individual divisions, and team scores are calculated using the top two individual scores from each division. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded for individual events and overall scores. A new theme of study is established every year with topics that are relevant, current and challenging. This year’s theme was New Alternatives in Energy: Ingenuity and Innovation.
For a complete list of individual and team winners, please visit the South Central Service Cooperative website www.mnscsc.org and click on “Minnesota Academic Decathlon” under the Programs & Services/Student Academic Enrichment tab.