By Lorae Vardas, Correspondent
The faculty selection committee recently named the March Students of the Month at Pierz Healy High School. Tiara Hopkins and Jordon Goebel are being honored for maintaining high academic standards, demonstrating leadership potential and participating in a variety of extracurricular activities. They now become eligible for $1,500 scholarships courtesy of Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Pierz, program sponsors, to be announced in May.
A three-sport athlete, Hopkins was captain of both the basketball and volleyball teams and is an avid softball enthusiast. Additional school involvements include National Honor Society, Peer Helping and WEB (Where Everybody Belongs).
Rich Teske, science teacher and head girls basketball coach, characterizes Hoskins as an extremely hardworking individual, especially on the basketball court. “Working with younger students, she is an excellent role model by her work ethic and positive attitude,” he said.
Those are attributes she also exhibits on the volleyball court. “My greatest accomplishment was starting on the varsity volleyball team as a freshman,” she said. “I love the intensity of the game. The feeling when you kill the ball is amazing. I have made so many friends and memories through the game. My most memorable experience was beating Little Falls during the first round of playoffs,” she shared.
The daughter of Angela and John Hopkins chose her mother as her role model. “She is selfless and does so much for my sister (Breanna) and brother (Johnny) and me. I know my Mom is always there for me. She tells me as long as I try my best, that’s all that matters,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said she’s going to miss all the friends she has made over the years, the teachers she got to know, but especially competing in sports. “My life revolves around playing basketball, volleyball and softball, and giving that up will be hard,” she said.
In the fall, Hopkins is headed to North Dakota State University to study pharmacy.
Fellow classmate Goebel has a bright future on the horizon, as well, upon leaving Pierz Healy High School. He plans to attend Concordia College in Moorhead in music education, composition and theory. You’ll also find him in the sports arena because he’ll be wrestling for the Cobbers.
Earning music scholarships from both Augsburg and Concordia Colleges this year ranks among his list of major accomplishments to date. “I was gratified to see my hard work paid off, encouraging me to follow my dreams of a music career,” he said.
An accomplished musician Goebel excels in the performance arts. At Healy High he is the band’s percussion executive, belongs to Jazz Band and Jazz Choir, and serves as the choir’s vice-president. His leadership ability is evident as a member of Student Council and Knowledge Bowl. And he was on the award-winning Pierz Pioneer wrestling squad.
Although playing music is a fun way to relax and get rid of daily stresses, he acknowledged that wrestling has provided him the most memorable experiences. Highlights include taking fifth in the state wrestling team tournament this year and making it onto the all-tournament team.
Goebel credits his parents, Angela and Jeremy Goebel for guiding him along the pathway to success. “They always support me and have greatly influenced who I am today,” he said about his choice of role models. Sister Savannah completes the family.
Like many graduating seniors, Goebel will miss the close family of friends he’s made over the years, particularly the camaraderie of the wrestling team, who might good-naturedly describe him as a goof ball.
While that may be true, Frank Weber, college credit instructor, had another point of view: “Jordon is an intelligent and insightful student who has the inquisitive sense to explore new possibilities. It makes him enjoyable to teach and gives him the potential for great possibilities.”
Reinforcing that assessment is the fact that Goebel chose Albert Einstein as the one person he would like to have met because of his incredible smartness. “It would be interesting to see how he acted,” Goebel said.