By Lorae Vardas, Correspondent
The faculty selection committee recently named Kailey Egan and Chris Ortman as Students of the Month at Pierz Healy High School for November. The senior classmates are being honored for their leadership style, high academic standards, participation in numerous activities and contributions to the community.
Kara Patrick, biology teacher and Student Council co-adviser, said Egan is an outstanding person who excels in everything she does. “She sets high goals and works to achieve them. Kailey has proven this in her choice of classes, as a student in my class and as Student Council president,” Patrick said.
Egan’s involvement in extracurricular activities and high scholastic standing is evidence that she works to her highest potential at all times. She plays basketball, is a member of jazz choir, serves as choir treasurer, belongs to WEB (a group that helps seventh-graders transition into high school) and Peer Helping. Her interest in sports has her keeping stats for both the football and baseball teams.
“She is a very positive person. Her hard work and demeanor will definitely lead her to success in the future,” Patrick said.
“My favorite activity is basketball because it’s a way for me to be with my friends and to compete at the same time,” she said.
The daughter of Toby and Lynn Egan plans to attend Bemidji State University next fall to become an elementary teacher. Her mentor is her father whom she calls her hero. “He’s taught me good moral values as well as how to be a caring person toward others,” she said. “He’s always there for me, whether it be sporting events or just for everyday things.”
Egan said her greatest accomplishment to date was being elected Student Council president. “It gave me a chance to represent the school and try to make it a better place for everyone,” she said. Her most cherished memory involves being part of Concordia Moorhead’s honor choir along with seven classmates. Performing with the 500-voice massed choir was an unbelievable experience, she said.
Ortman is musically talented and serves as band president and plays in jazz band. Other commitments include Business Professionals of America (BPA) and Where Everybody Belongs (WEB). As president of National Honor Society, he has helped coordinate both the Relay for Life event in Little Falls and the annual blood drive at school.
Yet, wrestling is a favorite activity, because he enjoys going out on the mat and giving it all he has. As a three-time state participant, he will always remember qualifying as an eighth-grader and pinning the very first person he went up against.
“Chris has been a role model in our schools and community since he was very young,” said Ruth Stuckmayer, business teacher and BPA adviser. “He has a charismatic personality that naturally draws people in. From little on he did what he felt was the right thing to do regardless of what others did and said. He is always eager to help and is respected by all.”
Stuckmayer pointed out that Ortman has been a great leader in both the classroom and athletics. “His role in the wrestling program has been fun to watch over the years. He has mentored many of our young athletes and now they are all part of one team,” she said.
Ortman has also been very instrumental in the success of BPA over the past four years, said Stuckmayer. “He has recruited many members and has guided these students along the way. He has earned a trip to the state competition and has the potential to make it to the national level this year,” she said.
The son of Victoria Ortman plans to attend St. John’s University next fall to pusue a degree in either business management or marketing. He will also wrestle and considers being accepted by St. John’s/St. Benedict’s among his greatest accomplishments. His role model, Dave Montage, taught him “to take things one at a time and enjoy the things you do,” he said.
“Chris is one of those students who has helped our high school programs in so many ways. As much as we hate to see him leave after his senior year, we know he will be successful because of it and we will be a better school because of him,” said Stuckmayer.
Egan and Ortman now become eligible for $1,500 scholarships from Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Pierz, Student of the Month sponsors, to be announced in May.