NEW ULM - The New Ulm Rotary Club recognized the top academic achievers in New Ulm's three high schools at the 47th annual Scholars Recognition Banquet, held Monday at Martin Luther College.
In addition to recognizing the top 15 percent of the graduating seniors at New Ulm Public, Cathedral High School and Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, Rotarians presented their Service Above Self award to one student chosen by staff at each school as representing the ideals of the Rotary motto.
The Service Above Self award winner at New Ulm High School was Blake Piotter, son of Gaelan and Dena Piotter. NUHS Principal Mark Bergmann cited Piotter's involvement in a variety of student activities, including football, basketball and track, "but Blake's greatest strength is in service to others," said Bergmann. After suffering a serious shoulder injury that limited his playing time during football season, Piotter aggravated the injury and missed the rest of the year in athletics.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
The New Ulm Rotary Service Above Self winners are pictured above at the New Ulm Rotary Club Scholarship Banquet. From left are Alexa Alfred from MVL, Blake Piotter from New Ulm High School and Abby Berg from Cathedral High School.
"Blake demonstrated his character by assisting his replacement in football, helping the individual and the team become better. During basketball season, he was at nearly every practice, again doing whatever it takes to improve the skills of other players," said Bergmann.
Bergmann said Piotter is the "go-to" student when something needs to be done around school. He is active in the United Way Day of Caring, works with younger students, and is active in church activities.
Cathedral High School selected Abby Berg, daughter of Pat and Renae Berg. Rev. Matthew Weiring, principal at Cathedral, said Berg is another "go-to" student. "This past fall, when there was an earthquake in the Philippines, I really wanted us to do something as a school. All I had to do was mention this to Abby, and she put together a project, promoted it, organized it, and made it into a successful fundraiser for the needy people in the Philippines."
Berg is also active on the Art Council, Spanish Club, Speech Team, and "serves as a great role model for our underclassmen" on the Cathedral softball team, said Weiring.
She also volunteers her time at the Brown County Humane Society, he said.
Alexa Alfred, daughter of Richard and Carolee Alfred, is the Service Above Self recipient from Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School. Principal Tim Plath said she has been active in volleyball for four years, and basketball, being elected captain this year. She uses her musical talent in the school choir, and plays piano and sings for school chapel services. She is president of the National Honor Society and coaches in the summer basketball camps, and is coaching a fifth grade basketball tournament team.
She is active outside of school with the Jesus Cares Ministry, which works with disabled and autistic children, and she is an active member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Each Service Above Self recipient receives a $500 scholarship grant from the New Ulm Rotary Club.
The top 15 percent of each school are:
New Ulm High School
Hannah Backer, daughter of Dan and Jeanine Backer; Allison Bastian, daughter of Michael and Anna Bastian; Gideon Bode, son of Grant and Gail Bode; Tyler Dittrich, son of Lori Dittrich and Jeff Dittrich; Katelyn Forst, daughter of Lynn and Sue Forst; Mark Hillesheim, son of Amy Acree and Rob Hillesheim; Anna Johnson, daughter of Randy and Pam Johnson; Peder Johnson, son of Kurt and Anne-Lise Johnson; Kevin King, son of Michael and Kathy King; Meia Kjellberg, daughter of Greg and Jerilyn Kjellberg; Brach Kraus, son of Shane and Rachelle Kraus; Hannah Mangen, daughter of Rachel Monpetit and Glen Mangen; Blake Piotter, son of Gaelan and Dena Piotter; Emily Roiger, daughter of Mark and Kim Roiger; Matthew Saffert, son of Ron and Barb Saffert; Ellie Schneider, daughter of Daniel and Lisa Schneider; Kyrie Sellnow, daughter of David and Ellen Sellnow; Rachel Strandmark, daughter of Dale and Patricia Strandmark; Megan Struss, daughter of Paul and Mary Struss; Tiffany Thiese, daughter of Dianne Thiese and Pat Groebner, and Dominic Thomas, son of Kris Zetah and John Thomas.
Cathedral High School
Emily Domeier, daughter of Larry and Karen Domeier; Abby Hauser, daughter of Gary and Danelle Hauser; Peyton Lewis, daughter of Jeff and Carolie Lewis; Kristin Mohr, daughter of Marin and Sandy Mohr, and Megan Olson, daughter of Brad and Wendy Olson.
Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School
Alexa Alfred, daughter of Richard and Carolee Alfred; Ryley Davis, son of Todd and Robin Davis; Nicholas Jones, son of Timothy and Jennifer Jones; Nicole Moldstad, daughter of Johnathan and Janet Moldstad; Charlotte Pfingsten, daughter of Todd and Kara Pfingsten; Maggie Ruschmeyer, daughter of Ryan and Sheila Ruschmeyer; Beth Santelman, daughter of Mark and Martha Santelman; Mariah Stein, daughter of Mark and Melissa Stein, and Abby Trebelhorn, daughter of Scott and Julie Trebelhorn.