Holgate Speaks: Making a Difference in Aberdeen
Each year, students share their thoughts with Aberdeen Magazine and share what makes our city great.

Holgate Speaks: Making a Difference in Aberdeen

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Holgate Middle School teachers Carolyn Geyer and Mia Bergan asked their 7th grade language arts students one question: Who has made a positive impact in your life? The following pieces tell the stories of people who have had a positive influence on some of our youngest residents’ lives. //

 

Imagine three of the most important people in your life. Well, I can easily do that, and this is why I’m honoring my three brothers. Troy (11) is the oldest of them, Henry (9) the second oldest, and Blake (6) is the youngest. My brothers are the most important people in my life because they always make me laugh and smile. When we go camping and hiking, it is always a special time. They are my siblings, and they will always be with me. That is why Troy, Henry, and Blake are the most important people in my whole life.

-Ben Gall

It was my first gymnastics meet as a part of the high school team, and my nerves were through the roof. When I suddenly received a text that said, “Good Luck!” I look at the name and realize it is none other than my first gymnastics coach, Jennifer Deutsch. I will never forget all the opportunities she blessed me with and all that she has done. She always planned practices that were unique, and believe me when I say I was thrilled for that Wednesday to arrive every week. Without Jen, I would not be where I am now and I am eternally grateful.

-Madelyn Walberg

 I have always been inspired by my dad, Michael Quast. I admire his humor, work ethic, and knowledge. I always think of my dad as the funniest person ever. If I’m having a tough day, he always knows what to say to make me smile. My dad never fails to make me laugh. He never gives up; he sets goals and reaches them. I know my dad can do anything. I really do believe my dad is the smartest person ever. He’s smart in ways like math and reading, but also in a way where he knows how to do the right thing. I love and am inspired to be like him every day.

-Elizabeth Quast

Have you ever had a teacher that could be entertaining while also teaching? I have. Mr. Swenson assists students with their schoolwork whenever they need it, and if I am missing anything, he holds me accountable to complete it. Swenson can also make the entire class laugh, even when we’re sleepy. Swenson can make children excited about school and brighten their day. He not only has an impact in the classroom, but he also instructs and helps kids improve their wrestling skills. Overall, Mr. Swenson has had a tremendous impact on my life.

-Loyall Smith Wade

Have you ever been so close to winning and you hear the words of your neighbor fly through your mind? Well,  this is him. He has gotten me into my favorite sport, BMX. Yet it is expensive. I still love it. He is also a very funny person. If there is a dry conversation, he will do something to make it better. The final reason is that he is very encouraging. When I was in a big race, he would tell me how to do better. This person has made a positive impact on me by getting me into my favorite sport, is hilarious, and is very encouraging. That person is my neighbor.

-Michael Wipf

Think of your favorite school subject. Whether it’s science, math, ELA, etc.  Mine is a band, mostly because of my teacher, Mrs.Weischedel. From my personal experience, learning an instrument is not easy, but she makes it just a little easier. She has helped me learn and become way better at the trombone than I could ever imagine in only two years. She makes learning extremely fun. From blookets to games naming random objects, she is the reason I want to go to band every day. Mrs.Weischedel is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

-Marshall Mettler

My mother is the most impacting and important person in my life since she is, in my opinion, the best. Her personality and the way she protects herself and our family are her best qualities. She’s the toughest person I’ve ever seen because of everything we’ve been through, including several losses and being unable to trust certain individuals who don’t care. That is my perspective; so, who has had an impact on your life, and what have they done to influence you to choose them?

– Jordyn TwoHearts

Teachers are educating the world’s future generations. I found a teacher who inspired both myself and the other students. She encourages and inspires others to attempt new things. She is optimistic. Always finding a way to stay positive even in the worst-case scenario, she recognized a bright side. Believing there should be more optimism for the future than for the past.  She recognized my best traits, which is something that has always stuck with me. Her name is Mrs. Hanley and she was always there for me when I needed her, therefore, is why she is someone who has positively impacted my life.

-Lydia Heinsohn

When I think about unique people in my life, one person immediately comes to mind: my dad. He motivates me to be my best self. He made me understand how much of an impact being polite to others makes. My father is the person I turn to when I need support, and he always makes an effort to be present, no matter what is going on in his life! He never gives up and works really hard to provide for our family and others. So, I suppose what I’m saying is that my father, Branden Jepsen, is the reason I am who I am today.

-Hannah Jepsen

Imagine being 7 years old and idolizing your 15-year-old sister. Five years later, you still do.Eme has been one of the biggest influences in my life since birth. Most of the things I wear, do, or say were learned from my sister. When one of my friends moved in the summer of 2022, she made sure the summer 2023 was amazing. Eme alone has sacrificed so much for me. My entire childhood, she was making sure it was excellent, while she also had to tend to her other two siblings. I just want to say to my oldest sister, Thank you for being my best friend through everything.

-Sally Martin Sobb

Ms. Thares is one of the kindest, most understanding people I know. Ms. Thares is a great teacher who is never afraid to tackle challenges in the classroom. She has helped me substantially in expanding my horizons in the mathematics of middle school. Before school started, I did not care for math. Now, math is quite interesting to me.  Ms. Thares is a very understanding person, no matter the reason for anything she still finds sympathy. In conclusion, Ms. Thares is a truly great teacher and person who has made my life easier. I will be forever grateful for her.

-Gideon LaBrosse

Did you know the chance for identical twins is .4%. Blake and Evan Hansen are in that small chance and are great people, too. Blake is a kind and caring soul who takes his time and pride in what he does and makes sure it’s the best. Evan, his brother, is no different in terms of greatness. He always makes sure people are well situated and working well. The duo work great together because they live together and grew up together. These two are outstanding people and deserve recognition for the people they are and being incredibly kind.

-Alex Ricci

Imagine getting help from your favorite teacher. I’m very thankful for Ms. Brockel. She is a teacher at Holgate that will help from 8:00 A.M. to 3:10. Ms. Brockel will also explain problems correctly, and she will do it the first time. Ms. Brockel has one of the best personalities, is always happy and joking around, and really fun to be with. She has made my 7th grade year one of the best because of who she is and made one of the best impacts in my life, from the good grades she has helped me earn.

-Jarrett Vining

Has there ever been a time in school where you’ve had to sit with nothing to do? With Mr. Kendall Hoellein, there was never that problem. He always gave you time to work and an IXL to challenge you. Additionally, he would always reward you for your hard work by giving Tootsie Rolls for every IXL you completed. Mr. Hoellein is a teacher that always makes sure everyone reaches their full potential and does their best. From Tootsie Rolls to funny stories, Mr. Hoellein has made a significant impact in my life and my story, and I am forever grateful.

-Kyra Prunty

“Always do your best. Your best is different on different days.” Lisa’s Life Lessons. Lisa Jorgenson is one of the most loving and supportive individuals I know. She is always cheering for ASC swimmers, even though she no longer coaches. Helping us, whether it’s improving a stroke or giving life lessons, Lisa believes in us and constantly believes we can do better. When she would give feedback after a race, she wouldn’t make you feel bad about what you didn’t do. She would explain what to do to improve. Overall, Lisa is an amazing person and coach; she cares for ALL ASC swimmers!

-Mali Larson   

I am grateful for my parents, Toni and Lee.  They have done so much for me and my family. The first reason is that they take me on adventures, like going on road trips, going to stores, and doing fun activities with me. The second reason is they buy me what I need and items that I think would be fun for me to use or food I like. The third thing is they help me with homework, technology, and care for me when I’m hurt or sick. In conclusion, they help me, spend quality time with me, and that is why I am blessed to have them as my parents.

-Luke Isaak

“Keep your arms straight, watch the ball, knees bent, and hit the ball.” This is what my dad, Tim, says to me before every golf tournament. My dad has taught me a lot over the years of my life, he taught me how to ride my first bike, shoot my first gun, and the etiquette of golf. Dad jokes around with me and my family, but at the same time, he is teaching us life skills we can use in the future. He works hard for what we have, and he still has time for us. The love for my dad is strong, and he truly is an awesome person!

-Maryn Evans

Have you ever had that special person that you would tell all your secrets and ultimately trust with your life? That person for me is my brother, Marcis. He has always been there for me and always keeps my secrets in and out of school. He always listens when I tell him drama about me and my friends. Everyday Marcis comes to my 3rd period class and asks me how I’m doing, if I respond with “bad” he comforts me. I am so grateful for him and sometimes think that I don’t deserve him.

-Matilyn Wilson

Running down the field, sweat dripping down my face, and the breeze in my hair. Suddenly, I hear, “Go Nana!” I look over to see my little brother, Noah, and notice a smile growing on my face as I kick the ball, and it crashes into the net. He  is my rock and never fails to make me laugh when I’ve had a bad day. He makes sure I’m ok and listened to. What I enjoy most is watching my little siblings grow and become wonderful human beings. Having my little brother, Noah, is truly a blessing, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

-Mila Hobbs

“Bob, Bob, and Bob,” as my dad calls us to do farm chores. My dad, Lee, has greatly impacted my life with his farming, building, and hunting skills. If it’s game night or a simple bad day, my dad has always been a person to talk to and lighten my day. He is also a great cook and is the person who taught me about animals, hunting, and fishing. Lastly, my dad has taught me to be kind, generous, and not to lie. Most importantly, I want everyone to know I love my dad, and he has been a massive influence on my life.

-Will Sumner

There aren’t many things I like more than being outdoors, and one is being outdoors with my dad, Mike Nguyen. Dad takes me hunting and fishing, which are the best moments of my life. These moments have been in a field or on a boat. My dad has been there for me for every game and moment of my life since I was born. A fond memory was when we won two tournaments for having the biggest walleye and most pounds of fish. We even made the cover of the flyers promoting the event. My favorite superhero is my dad, the best superhero.

-Camden Nguyen

“You got this, Bree,” is a quote from Grace McElory. She is my cousin who has supported me through everything, has always been there for me, and has never let me down. Grace and I do every sport together, even though we aren’t on the same teams. She always finds me and says good job and good luck. I didn’t like running, but she told me to try it; it’s making me love the sport just because of her. A funny memory that we have shared was when we accidentally dropped a pizza and never told my grandparents. Grace has always been by my side, and I am so thankful.

-Bree Cochran

“Are you ready to bake our yearly pies?”  Nana C., my grandma, otherwise known as Jackie Carpenter, would always say that to me the week before Halloween. We always bake two apple pies to eat on the same day. Nana will always be there for me. For example, after a hockey game, she would always bring lemon gum. Her house is also in the perfect location with many friends around like Tyler Joosten, Sonny Schmidt, or Logan Kolbe. To me, my Nana C. is the best person I could honor for this. I am very sorry to all my other grandparents that I could not write about you, as well.

-Collin Oswald

Everyone is bored and waiting for someone to think of something to do when someone wobbles up the stairs carrying a doll. She is singing and making everyone burst into laughter. It is my little sister, Ahna. She is two years old and is hilarious. She gives me a hug whenever I need it, brightens my day, and makes me laugh. Ahna makes my life less boring by letting me help or do something for her. Ahna has made a wonderful impact on me and my family, and we are lucky to have her in our lives.

-Elle Hendrickson

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” -Luke 6:31. I chose this quote because it makes me think of Joei Fiegler, my church leader. Joei is always so kind and patient to those around him. Being in such a wonderful church with tremendous people has impacted me so much as a person. He has shown me how to have faith, hope, and trust in the Lord. I am forever grateful for all the smiles, laughs, and adventures that Aldergate has gifted me with. Joei is such a big part of Aldersgate and has truly impacted everyone who has stepped foot in it.

-Hattie Gederos

One of the most important people in my life is my grandpa, Ron. He always has something to teach me and my sister and continues to more and more every day. Throughout my life, he has been like my father in many ways; he has always been there for me and is one of the smartest people I know. When I was younger, my family and I would always go to his tractor pulls, and these were fond memories.  Grandpa  Ron is one of the most important people in my life, and I am grateful for him.

-Jacob Jenson

Imagine just getting back from an amazing trip and being immediately taken West River for turkey hunting because that’s what it is like with Steve Schaller. He always takes me and our family on trips to Orlando and Hawaii and all sorts of places. Steve takes me out hunting for pheasants in his corn fields or for deer in his stands and even takes me West River to go hunting for turkey. He also always gives amazing advice and is willing to help. Between all the trips and hunting and his amazing advice, my grandpa, Steve Schaller, is a very special person to me.

-Colton Hanigan

Imagine you’re in a race and hear your coach shout, “Don’t give up!”  These are words spoken by Matt Osborne, a XC coach. I chose him because he has given me the ability to do things I thought that I could never do. Secondly, he has truly made a difference on how I see the XC world.  Lastly, Coach Osborne is not only the XC coach, he also coaches track and wants me to participate. In conclusion, Matt Osborne has been asking me if I will run track, and he will be thrilled because I have happily decided to.

-Ethan Jenson

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. My dad, Jason, is the most  important person in my life. For not having much in common, we look identical. In 3rd grade, my dad taught me how to play football, and I’ve loved the sport since. We watch football all the time, and even though we don’t like the same teams, we still support each other. Every weekend we go do things together like the movies or go to Allevity. We play on my x box a lot, also. Without my dad, I would not be the guy I am today.

-Justin DeYoung

“Hey, Cole, let’s go to Target.” That’s what my sister, Claire, asked me a few weeks ago. Claire is a great sister helping me with homework I can’t figure out, driving me home from swim practice, and buying me things. When she took me to Target, she spent her money to buy both me and her snacks; she spent $40 on snacks that day. I could go on forever, but those are only some of the reasons why I chose my sister, Claire. Those are the reasons why my sister is so important to me.

-Cole Malsam

A special person in my life is my mom, Kim. The reason why my mom is extraordinary is because she feeds me, keeps a roof over my head, and always comes to my concerts. Another reason is that when my mom is out shopping, she is nice to everybody she meets. My mom  also cares about what we’re doing because she wants us to be safe. Lastly, when my brother needed something for college, she gave him $1000 for a book and laptop. So in conclusion, my mom is extra special, and I am truly grateful for her.

-Andrew Tran

Have you ever looked up to someone so much that you thought life wouldn’t be possible without them? That’s how I feel about my mom, Carsa. My mom is the chef in the house. Every day while I play games, she cooks a delicious supper. My mom also pushes me and my siblings to get involved; she drives us to and from our 4H meetings every month and makes sure we have what we need for each meeting. My mom does whatever is possible to brighten my days. My provider, my role model, and my best friend—life would not be the same without her.

-Craig Crawford

Do you have someone significant in your life? Well, mine is my father. My dad and I are more than just father and son; we are best friends. He pushed me as much as he could to get me out of my comfort zone. My father will always be a special figure in my life. He is the best person to hang out with since it feels like I am spending the entire day with my best friend. My father is constantly eager to get things done. My dad and I both work over the summer, which strengthens our bond. My father is by far the most special person in my life.

-Treston Hanson

Have you ever had a teacher that you will never forget? Well, I have, and that person was my fifth grade teacher, Amanda Gauer. Amanda was a kind and caring teacher; she put others before herself. She made sure that every one of her students got the learning they needed and made it enjoyable too. There have been many teachers throughout the years who have made an impact on my life, but Mrs. Gauer, my fifth grade teacher, was and still is a teacher who has made the most significant impact.

-Amy Bellikka

Imagine someone in your life who gives you encouragement when you need it most. That is how I feel about my cross-country coach, Eric Pedersen. Coach Pedersen encourages the team to set goals and work towards them. He always makes sure that everyone on the cross-country team feels welcome and makes the team feel like family. Pedersen has always believed in me and cheers the whole team on during races. He tells us that we are doing great and to “keep that pace!” Having someone in your life who is always supportive and encouraging is so important, and I am very lucky to have Eric Pedersen in my life.

-Aly Novstrup

Many people have a sister or sisters, but my sister has had a significant impact on me in a variety of ways. Morgan, my sister, has had a significant impact on me by constantly serving as a positive role model. She always goes out of her way to talk to everyone she encounters and treats them with kindness that is recognized. My sister has left an impression on me since she is motivating. She encourages me to do good things and be polite to everyone, especially individuals I don’t know. Morgan not only has a lasting impression on me day in and day out, but she also makes a difference in the lives of everyone she interacts with.

-Bentley Maunu

I believe we all have a favorite superhero from the Avengers, but mine is far more unique than you think. My favorite superhero is my father, since he makes me feel safe. My father is not only inspirational, but also unique; he is also loving and caring. He always makes me laugh and brings a smile to my face. He motivates me to do my best, which I appreciate. My father is outgoing. He is quite social and doesn’t mind making new friends.

-Brooklyn Younkins

Have you ever looked up to someone so much that you thought life wouldn’t be possible without them? That’s how I feel about my mom, Carsa. My mom is the chef in the house. Every day while I play games, she cooks a delicious supper. My mom also pushes me and my siblings to get involved; she drives us to and from our 4H meetings every month and makes sure we have what we need for each meeting. My mom does whatever is possible to brighten my days. My provider, my role model, and my best friend—life would not be the same without her.

-Craig Crawford

 I have always been inspired by my dad, Michael Quast. I admire his humor, work ethic, and knowledge. I always think of my dad as the funniest person ever. If I’m having a tough day, he always knows what to say to make me smile. My dad never fails to make me laugh. He never gives up; he sets goals and reaches them. I know my dad can do anything. I really do believe my dad is the smartest person ever. He’s smart in ways like math and reading, but also in a way where he knows how to do the right thing. I love and am inspired to be like him every day.

-Elizabeth Quast

There are two categories of people: those who are compassionate and unselfish, and those who only think about themselves. My grandfather is a lovely and selfless person. He encourages me to become the greatest runner I can be. Without him, I would not be where I am now. He always maintains a good attitude, which makes me happy. Every time you chat to him, you can’t help but smile. He shows everyone respect and kindness. My grandpa is one of the few unselfish people in the world today.

-Evie Novstrup

Do you have someone special in your life who makes you want to get up every morning, motivates you when you’re down, and makes you laugh? For me, it’s my father. My father is a special person in my life because he inspires me to do my best every day. My dad never fails to make me laugh, or anyone else. He always brightens my day with his jokes. He is my greatest influence. He continually encourages me to try new things and set new goals. Motivational, encouraging, and amusing are just a few words to describe my unique dad.

-Jace Kimzey

Have you ever had a teacher that could be entertaining while also teaching? I have. Mr. Swenson assists students with their schoolwork whenever they need it, and if I am missing anything, he holds me accountable to complete it. Swenson can also make the entire class laugh, even when we’re sleepy. Swenson can make children excited about school and brighten their day. He not only has an impact in the classroom, but he also instructs and helps kids improve their wrestling skills. Overall, Mr. Swenson has had a tremendous impact on my life.

-Loyall Smith Wade

“No matter how far we come, our parents are always with us.” This is what my father, Brian Vander Weyst, constantly does for our family. He is one of my greatest influences in life. He constantly finds a way to take me to a sporting event, despite the fact that he works in Ipswich, SD. He always attempts to improve things, even if they are difficult to help with, such as homework or building anything. He has always remained at my side, even when things go wrong or when I am angry with him. My father is the most significant and special person in my life.

-Noah VanderWeyst

Do you have someone significant in your life? Well, mine is my father. My dad and I are more than just father and son; we are best friends. He pushed me as much as he could to get me out of my comfort zone. My father will always be a special figure in my life. He is the best person to hang out with since it feels like I am spending the entire day with my best friend. My father is constantly eager to get things done. My dad and I both work over the summer, which strengthens our bond. My father is by far the most special person in my life.

-Treston Hanson

My mother is the most impacting and important person in my life since she is, in my opinion, the best. Her personality and the way she protects herself and our family are her best qualities. She’s the toughest person I’ve ever seen because of everything we’ve been through, including several losses and being unable to trust certain individuals who don’t care. That is my perspective; so, who has had an impact on your life, and what have they done to influence you to choose them?

– Jordyn TwoHearts

Everybody has a role model. From a great musician to an athlete. Well, mine is my father. My father is always there for me, offering guidance when I need it. “There are some things in life you won’t understand, and it will be for the better.” I never understood what that meant until I was older. My father prioritizes meeting the needs of others over his own. Always willing to assist people in whatever way he can. Whether it’s from his employment dispensing medicine or a problem with our TV at home. Overall, my father exudes compassion, courage, and optimism.

-Abbi Aman

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can’t lose. My sister is the person for me. She is someone I’ve always looked up to and respected. She is loyal to both her friends and myself. My sister is someone who will aid you if you need it. One of her favorite things to do is chat to people and give them money or food. Isabelle is one of those people that will always have a lasting impression on you, no matter how big or tiny. If you don’t want a sister who helps or supports you, I’m not sure what you want.

– Aidan Zimney

Everyone has a role model. My mother had the greatest impact on me because she is confident. Even when she is angry, she always finds a way to make my brothers and me happy. When she comes home from work in a bad mood, she always tries to push it aside to make us happy. Even if she dislikes some of what we do, she will still join my brothers and me in a game of catch or baseball. Sometimes we go to the park to play volleyball, and mother has given my brothers and me everything we could possibly need and for that I am so grateful.

– Jaxon Stevens

Have you ever encountered someone who goes out of their way to spend time with you when they don’t have to? This is something that accurately characterizes my grandmother. She goes out of her way to be kind to our family and others alike. Always leaving a lasting impression on everyone around her. Not only is she kind, but she is also exceedingly generous. Bringing us freshly baked goods simply because she feels like it. There aren’t many people who leave an impression on you like my grandmother does. She is someone I am incredibly grateful for.

– Liam Rife

Assume you’ve had a particularly unpleasant day and come home to jokes and smiles. My father is the most important source of inspiration for me. When I’m unhappy or having a difficult day, my dad always makes me laugh with jokes. One thing that impresses me about my dad is his willingness to assist the Salvation Army collect food, and he occasionally brings me with him, which is something I want to do with my children as well. He constantly inspires me by how he treats me and my siblings. He is always there for us, and I hope to be the same for my children. This is why my father inspires me.

– Arianna Doering

I have yet to meet someone as considerate and well-rounded as my cousin Brantley. His genuine kindness and willingness to help others truly set him apart from the rest. It’s rare to find someone with such a great balance of competitiveness, compassion, and open-mindedness as my cousin. His ability to connect with others on a deep level and his genuine interest in people make him a truly exceptional individual. Brantley’s positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond for those around him make him a joy to be around.

– Cash Wagner

Teachers are educating the world’s future generations. I found a teacher who inspired both myself and the other students. She encourages and inspires others to attempt new things. She is optimistic. Always finding a way to stay positive even in the worst-case scenario, she recognized a bright side. Believing there should be more optimism for the future than for the past.  She recognized my best traits, which is something that has always stuck with me. Her name is Mrs. Hanley and she was always there for me when I needed her, therefore, is why she is someone who has positively impacted my life.

– Lydia Heinsohn

There is no love more special than my grandmother’s. Every day, she brings me home from school. My grandmother brings me food and takes me out to eat. When my parents are unavailable, she assists me in getting to baseball practice and then takes me out for ice cream afterward. When it’s my birthday, she brings me and my family out to dinner, and she’s always there for me. My grandmother will always hold a special place in my heart because of her loving nature and giving heart

– Dane Soderlund

Have you ever met someone who makes even the most mundane things in life exciting? That’s how I feel when I’m around my dad. My father is that wonderful person because of all the exciting things he and I do together and with our family. When I do something poorly, he never screams at me; instead, he shows me what I did wrong and teaches me how to do it correctly. My father is my father because of everything he has taught me that I will be able to use throughout my life. My father, Ben Keller, is a genuinely special person in my life. I would not be who I am now without his mentoring.

– Zayden Keller

Who is the most significant person in your life? Well, mine is my mother. First and foremost, she is generous, brilliant, and well-organized. She takes the time to watch my family’s events. She coordinates everyone’s practices, work, and family occasions. She is always willing to watch mine and Al’s musical performances, as well as my sporting activities. She is constantly helping and teaching the family new things. For example, teaching me and Al how to prepare excellent dinners or assisting me with band music. In conclusion, my mother is generous, brilliant, organized, helpful, and someone I will always look up to.

– Annabelle McDaniel

When I think about unique people in my life, one person immediately comes to mind: my dad. He motivates me to be my best self. He made me understand how much of an impact being polite to others makes. My father is the person I turn to when I need support, and he always makes an effort to be present, no matter what is going on in his life! He never gives up and works really hard to provide for our family and others. So, I suppose what I’m saying is that my father, Branden Jepsen, is the reason I am who I am today.

– Hannah Jepsen

Have you ever wondered where you would’ve ended up if you never had that one amazing coach or teacher that helped you improve yourself? Well, my amazing coach is Coach Chris, and he’s been the most impactful coach in my soccer career. I chose Coach Chris because he’s passionate about soccer and is dedicated to making our team even better. He’s determined to get our team to the Nationals. Not only is he determined to win, but he’s the most supportive coach I’ve ever had, since he’ll come watch my teammates and I play for other teams. I’m glad I have Coach Chris as my soccer coach.

– Savana Arampatzis

Think of your favorite school subject. Whether it’s science, math, ELA, etc.  Mine is a band, mostly because of my teacher, Mrs.Weischedel. From my personal experience, learning an instrument is not easy, but she makes it just a little easier. She has helped me learn and become way better at the trombone than I could ever imagine in only two years. She makes learning extremely fun. From blookets to games naming random objects, she is the reason I want to go to band every day. Mrs.Weischedel is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

– Marshall Mettler

Imagine having a sibling that you have looked up to since you could remember. For me, that’s my brother. I chose my brother because he is very hardworking and helpful. He uses almost all of his free time to play basketball. In the summer, he will take me and my friends places if we don’t have any rides. He also volunteers his time to help coach and refer younger kids to games. He leaves an impact not only on the community but also on the hearts of the young children who also look up to him. My brother is someone I will look up to forever.

– Lydiah Miller

Have you ever been in a sport or activity where you feel like quitting because you can’t do something? Well, Samantha Fletcher has never made someone feel like that during one of her dance classes. She always makes sure you can do a trick; if you can’t, she doesn’t yell at you; she just helps you and pushes your confidence to do it. Her main goal for people while they are dancing is to have confidence. Samantha Fletcher is an amazing person who has helped so many kids in their dance careers and got them to where they are right now. I’m proud to call her my sister.

– Brooklyn Fletcher

There is no love like a mother’s love. My mom is the most special person in my life. There are many reasons why my mom is the most special person in my life, but the one thing she does that stands out to me is that she takes care of me, my brothers, my dog, and even my dad. She feeds us, drives us places, and loves us at her most. If we had a bad day at school, she’s there; if we get hurt doing something, she’s there; and if we are at our lowest, she would be there. I love my mom so much, and the reason why is because she is the best mom I could ever ask for.

– Sawyer Cramond

Have you ever heard someone say, “If you are losing by points, that doesn’t mean you are going to lose; you can always catch up and win?” These are words from Mike Swenson, the wrestling coach. He makes sure that you are always prepared for your matches and confident, so you know you can still win no matter what you do. You can still try your best, even if you lose. It is still okay. All that matters is that you tried your best, are still trying your best, and keep doing it every match you wrestle.

– Bentley Peterson

Have you ever been losing a sports game and looked over your shoulder to see your dad give you a big thumbs up? My dad is the one who I constantly look to when I need a little bit of extra guidance or just need someone to cheer me up. I chose my dad because he is my biggest inspiration and supporter for everything I do. He is really fun to be around because he has really good ideas. My dad always makes sure he gives me and my siblings opportunities that will last a lifetime. In conclusion, I would do anything for him because he would do anything for me and my siblings.

– Connor Tobin

Have you ever had someone to help you in rough times? Well, for me, that is my grandma. My grandma isn’t in the best financial situation, but she is always buying things I need in order to be happy. Being a middle schooler, I haven’t gotten a full education, yet my grandma does her best to help me in school by helping me study and bringing me to school. I am always able to have a good day because my grandma is there. In conclusion, my grandma is the nicest being on earth and will always be there for me, and for that, I am forever grateful.

– Ryder Rott

All my life I’ve had someone who’s cheered me on, been there for me, and taught me to be a better person. This person’s my cousin, Jaelyn Neys. My cousin has always been someone I’ve looked up to. Ever since we were little she’s taught me to be my best self, she’s been my inspiration. Jaelyn is always there for me. Even though we live far apart, she’s sure to make sure I’m doing ok. She’s always generous, and puts everyone else before herself. She is the older cousin we all look up to, and for that I’m forever grateful.

– Kaitlyn Neys

Have you ever had a teacher that you will never forget? Well, I have, and that person was my fifth grade teacher, Amanda Gauer. Amanda was a kind and caring teacher; she put others before herself. She made sure that every one of her students got the learning they needed and made it enjoyable too. There have been many teachers throughout the years who have made an impact on my life, but Mrs. Gauer, my fifth grade teacher, was and still is a teacher who has made the most significant impact.

– Amy Bellikka

Honest, humble, friendly, and cheerful describe my 10-year-old cousin Leah. Full of laughter and joy. A humble friend to many. Leah is one of the most honest people I have ever met. You’ll never catch her lying. She always speaks highly of others and never of herself. Because of this, she is likeable. She can make friends easily and has many friends. She is a joy to be around and always makes me laugh. I have always wanted a little sister, and she’s my little sister. She is truly a great person.

– Ehva Simonson

Have you ever had anyone in your life that has never missed a big moment? Well,I have my mom. She is my biggest supporter. I can always count on her to buy me the necessities and wants If that means buying me food or making sure I have nice sports equipment she will. Another thing that I am grateful she does is get me and my siblings to school on time and gets us to sports. Even though she is busy at work, and when she gets home she’s tired, she always makes time for me and my brothers. I had other people in mind for this project but my mom came to mind right away.

– Brody Kludt

There’s no love like my grandmother’s love. My grandma is the most sweet and caring person in my life. There are many reasons why she is the most special person in my life, but one thing she does that stands out to me is how she takes care of everybody my grandma cares for and she would do anything for me or my family and she loves everybody she will never be mean to people. Another reason why I chose my grandmother is because she always helps me with homework and I can always count on her. I had other people in my but my grandma came right in my mind.

– Jan

Imagine getting in the car after school everyday and the first thing you hear is “How was your day?” My mom, Dana Wooledge, asks me this everyday after school. She is special to me because she is always by my side. For example, she supports me in my hobbies, like writing and photography. Every day she says, “ Bye, I love you,” or when I’m going to bed, “Goodnight, I love you”.  She is always there for me with a smile and wants to know about my whole day. In conclusion, my mom is not only special, she is like my best friend.

Alexys Stahl

One of my favorite things to do is help others; it always has been. Elizabeth Schwab has assisted me in doing that. Elizabeth is one of the main volunteers for Sertoma Club in Aberdeen. She is also an audiologist and helps people with their hearing every day.  Elizabeth is an excellent role model for me and others. She encourages me to come out and help her with events and fundraisers around town. Being able to serve my community in this way is bringing me out of my shell and aiding my social skills. Elizabeth truly is a shining light and an inspiration to me. Thank you Elizabeth Schwab!

– Halle Buckhouse

Everybody needs a supportive, funny, and super loving person in their life. For me, that person is my aunt, Kate Waring. My aunt has always been there for me. I know that I can tell her anything, and she has supportive advice for me every time. She knows exactly what to say to make me laugh, and my mood always brightens when I am with her. Kate is also very loving, and she makes an effort to come to many of my sports games and events. I am very blessed to have my amazing aunt, Kate Waring, in my life!

– Emeri Hamiel

“A woman of God neither relies on trends nor her intelligence to change the world, she follows God’s plan.” -Unknown Author. Sophia Powell is a youth group leader at New Life Fellowship. She is special to me because she is an inspiration through her faith and her genuine personality. She always takes the time to get to know each and every one of the girls at New Life. Sophia always puts herself in others shoes and does her best to make sure everyone feels included. Waking up every Wednesday knowing I get to go to church and see Sophia, I realize how blessed I truly am.

– Kenadee Fettig

Even when they’re far away, you will always think of them, always love them, always remember them. My grandpa, Jay, is a person I will never forget. Even though he lived in Rapid City, he looked for every chance to see his family (Ashley, Garrett, Anthony, Ally, Alice). He was constantly looking on the bright side of things and frequently telling jokes, even if some weren’t that great. My grandpa was so important to me because he would put a smile on my face, and we would make new memories every second that we were together. That’s why I’ll never forget Grandpa Jay, even if he’s already gone.

– Alice Brunmaier

All of a sudden your dad is behind a fence, you’re up to bat, you swing and hit right into the outfield, you make it on base, look back and see a wonderful person cheering. My dad definitely is a special person for many reasons. He has taught me all I know about softball and basketball. He has spent so much time with me, helping me with homework and music. Lastly my dad has always helped me with my mistakes, and he helped build more confidence in me. In conclusion these are just a few out of so many more reasons why I chose my dad.

– Rylee Beyer

Clap clap snap, that’s the sound of the best handshake ever! This handshake belongs to Mr. Allen and I. Mr. Allen always cheers me up when I’m having a hard day. He makes me feel supported and motivates me to always do my best. When I’m working in the hallway and my teacher is busy, he will take the time to see if he can help me with what I’m working on. These things may seem small to him, but to me they mean so much. I don’t think Mr. Allen realizes how special of a person he is to me and how much he genuinely impacts my day.

– Dawson Ness

Imagine baking brownies with your grandma and she asks you, “Do you want to go deer hunting tonight?” That is what it’s like to have a Nana. My grandma, Carla, bakes cookies and brownies with me. My grandma teaches me how to sew things, pick plants from her garden, and a lot of more things. Nana will give me gifts for my birthday, Christmas, and Easter, even if she lives in Michigan. When we go to Minnesota, my grandma will let me go deer hunting with her and let me shoot the deer. This is why I chose my Nana as my special person in my life.

– Ethan Sasse

What’s better than spending time on the weekends watching shows and hanging out? I do this with my mom, Gina. My mom has made me a better person in life, like how to be kind, help people out, and make other people feel better about themselves. Secondly, my mom has supported me by cheering me on in sports and getting me new shoes, basketballs, and baseball bats. She’s not doing these gestures only because I need them. It was out of love and being caring. I’ll always remember for the rest of my life that I am lucky enough to have the best mom in the world.

– Austin Ryan

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. My dad, Jason, is the most important person in my life. For not having much in common, we look identical. In 3rd grade, my dad taught me how to play football, and I’ve loved the sport since. We watch football all the time, and even though we don’t like the same teams, we still support each other. Every weekend we go do things together like the movies or go to Allevity. We play on my x box a lot, also. Without my dad, I would not be the guy I am today.

– Justin DeYoung

A kind, helpful older sibling, that is the type of sibling that everyone wants. That describes my brother, Noble. He is helpful using his knowledge, in auto and diesel mechanics, using that he fixes cars and things for the army. Also he fixes electronics that my mom asks him to at my house. He is kind by serving in the army as a mechanic, He is polite to people. Once he gave all of me and my siblings a ride on his motorcycle before he went home. In conclusion, my brother is one of the special people in my life.

– Isaiah La Croix

The people in my life who are extremely special are my parents, Joel and Holly. They provide me with new clothes, food, and other necessities. My parents have been there for me forever, and they have given me a roof over my head and many exceptional memories and moments. One significant memory I have with them is going to Target Field with my family to watch the Twins play. I treasure those times that I get to spend with them. Whether it is taking our puppy for a walk or a bigger adventure, we always enjoy being together.  My parents are the best in the world.

– Owen Backous

Not only the best cousin I could ask for, but the best friend, too, Mikayla. She is the one person that I look forward to talking to when I get home from school everyday. Even if I had the worst day, my mood would change the second I talk to her. She is the best person with the kindest and sweetest heart and always puts everyone before herself. Mikayla is the best sister, and it’s so fun when we laugh together. They are some of the best memories I have, and I am genuinely grateful for her.

– Rose Manley

Think of someone who is important to you. If someone were to ask me this question, I would choose my aunt, Heather. I chose my aunt because she took care of me when my mother was ill. When my mother used to go out of town for work, my aunt would always come and get me and look after me. Whenever I was sick, my aunt would make me feel better. Even if I was not sick, my aunt would always make me feel better. If I was ever down, she would make me feel better. All in all, I am thankful for having her as my aunt.

– Noah Picotte

“ Good job, Lainey, keep up your good work!” These words can be heard often by an individual who has made a positive impact in my life, Coach Bruno. At practice, Coach Bruno would try to improve our skills by implementing drills. If we were not listening, he would discipline us by making us run. On my bad days in soccer, Coach Bruno would hype me up at practices and games. He has never let me down in anything and would call me “the toe poke of doom” because as a kid, I couldn’t stop using my toe. Surprisingly, my toe pokes were very accurate. I am truly grateful for Coach Bruno.

-Lainey Lamont

My cousin is comforting, fun to be around, and kind-hearted. These words describe my cousin, Shaiyel. Shaiyel hears me out in everything, and we give each other advice when we need to hear it. We have the same music taste, so we listen to music together; it’s comforting and makes me feel good.  He’s funny and kind, and  he tries to joke about everything and make everyone laugh if they’re feeling under the weather. My cousin is the nicest person I’ve ever met, and he deserves to be acknowledged.

– Fynn Marko

Who’s the funniest, creative, loving, person you know? For me, it’s my mom, JoLanda; she always has something to do, a joke to say, and something to give. My mom always makes sure she has time for me and my siblings everyday. We go on trips to my grandparent’s house in Minneapolis and Sioux Falls every other weekend for fun and holidays. She always helps others out when they need it.  That’s why my mom is helpful. My mom has her ups and downs, but we get through them together. That’s why my mom has made a positive impact in my life.

– Martina Thompson

My most favorite person in the world, my mom. I love my mom so much; she’s sacrificed so much for me and my siblings. Even though she doesn’t live in the same town and she doesn’t have custody over me, she’s still an amazing mother. My mom, Cecilia, has had a rough past, but that doesn’t stop her from being there for her children. I love the time my mom and I spend together, like going to the movies. It’s always fun to spend time with her, and I am very grateful for her.

– ShayLynn Young

A close friend of mine is Alex Ricci, and he is very kind and supportive. For example, when I’m having a bad day, he will listen when others won’t. When I don’t understand something during school, he helps teach me what we have to learn from that lesson. When something bad happens, he will be there and have my back. Alex has made a positive difference in my life because he is there when no one else is, and he’s a loyal friend. Even as we continue on our paths in life, I hope we will always remain friends.

– Blake Hansen

No one is more important than your parents. My parents are the most important people in my life. Throughout my whole life, they have taken care of me and have always been there to entertain me. Sometimes we go to places like Texas or other locations to see my family, like grandpas, grandmas, or my cousins. A couple of years ago, we went to Tennessee for Christmas, unlike other years when we stayed home. My parents and I would always play games together. For example, on the Wii, we would play games with me like Mario. I am extremely thankful for my parents, and I truly do love them.

Jaxon McPartland

Intelligent, funny, and hard working are words that would describe one of the most important people in my life, my dad, Travis. He has made a positive impact in my life by helping me with basically…EVERYTHING! When I am playing video games online with my friends, my dad will be funny and interact with them. In addition, he always works hard at his job, so that he can provide for our family.  Any day of the week, you may also find him at the grill preparing the perfect steak. My dad means the world to me, and I appreciate him every waking day.

– Elliot Weiszhaar

There is something special about learning a new skill from your older brother. They aren’t required to teach you anything, but they do it because they want to. That is what my brother, Matthew, did for me. He has taught me so many things, like how to play baseball, for example. He also has shown me how to do my math homework. My brother and I like to ride bikes together or play on the Playstation. It means a great deal to  me to spend that time with my older brother. These are just a few reasons why Matthew is the most special person in my life.

– Amir Infante

Chop! Chop! Thud! This is the sound I hear when my uncle, Aaron, is in town. My uncle is the Aberdeen City Forester and saves the environment. When I am sitting in front of a piano in front of a large crowd, there sits a friendly face, my uncle. He takes that time to hear me play.  The last reason I am thankful for my uncle is because he is always there for our family and helping us through rough times. From cutting trees to save the environment and supporting me as a musician are just two of the reasons why he has made a positive impact on my life.

– Maria Kiesz

Life doesn’t come with a manual; it comes with a mother. My mom is one of the most supporting, caring, loving, and definitely one of the most important people in my life. She has been rooting for me since day one. She has been with me through all of my ups and downs, such as all my volleyball games, my school activities, and when she was even struggling. I love her to death for everything she’s done for me. I will forever be grateful for what my mom does,  and I will forever be truly proud of her because she’s been through more than anyone deserves.

– JaeLynn Mielke

Do you have someone that holds a special place in your heart ? Well, for me, that is my mom, Somer. Everyday when she picks me up from school, the first thing she asks me is, “How was your day?” The second reason is because she is kind to everyone. She makes sure she smiles and holds the door for strangers.  My last reason is she always puts a smile on my face.  No matter if I am having a horrible day, my mom still puts a smile on my face.  I am very grateful for the impact my mom has made in my life.

– Kate Schimke

Have you ever wondered who the best teacher is? That award goes to Mr. Torrence because he is a very kind, helpful, and nice teacher. Mr. Torrence always helps his students when they are in need of help and gives the students extra time on their work. When we were doing the Egyptian Gods assignment, he helped when I was drawing it. Mr. Torrence is funny, too; he has a skeleton that was left by another teacher that he uses to ask daily questions and gives out treats for correct answers. These are all the ways Mr. Torrence has made a positive impact on my life.

– Andrew Marko

Imagine waking up to a voice saying, “Good morning!” For me, I don’t have to imagine because it’s already true. Every morning when I go upstairs to eat breakfast, my mother, Ally, asks me how I slept, or if I had good dreams. I really appreciate everything my mom does because she tries her best to keep me and my siblings safe. I really love it when she makes dinner because everytime she cooks, it’s delicious. I also like when she takes me and my sister to the park sometimes or out to eat. I love my mom and always will!

– Sophia Jones

The people in my life who are extremely special are my parents, Joel and Holly. They provide me with new clothes, food, and other necessities. My parents have been there for me forever, and they have given me a roof over my head and many exceptional memories and moments. One significant memory I have with them is going to Target Field with my family to watch the Twins play. I treasure those times that I get to spend with them. Whether it is taking our puppy for a walk or a bigger adventure, we always enjoy being together. My parents are the best in the world.

– Owen Backous

There is nothing else better than spending a weekend with your dad. Well, my dad, Scott, provides me with fun and joy by taking me fishing and camping with my friends and cousins. He has been the best wrestling coach that I have had because he helped me win state. One extremely special memory I have with my dad was when we were hunting, and I shot my first buck. He was quite proud of me. I cannot imagine not having the dad that I have, and I am truly grateful for him. The time we get to spend together will always be treasured.

– Henry Gillen

Imagine this. You walk into a house and get hit with the wonderful smell of fresh cookies. Then your grandma brings you a full plate of them. This is just a normal day at Grandma Nina’s house. Not only does my grandma give me a lot of cookies, she is at every home hockey game I have. I could be sitting on the bench, and I look up to see my grandma waving at me from the stands. On top of all of that, she even comes over to watch the Superbowl with us. When leaving her farm after enjoying these fresh cookies you hear, “Have a safe drive home!”

– Coen Vilhauer

Some people would love to have a perfect mom like mine. There is no other mom I would ask for. I remember one time I didn’t win my basketball game, and my mom was there to cheer me up. Her name is Rebecca Acklin. She will care for me by feeding me and putting a roof over my head. She also takes care of me on my bad days and always keeps me on my feet. Rebecca, my mom, lets me go have sleepovers with my friends, and I feel like I can talk to her about anything. This is why my mom is the perfect mom for me.

– Mariah Acklin

Is there anything better than spending a Saturday afternoon learning how to fish from the man who raised you? To me, there is nothing better than that quality time with my dad, Chuck. He also has been teaching me about football when we watch the games together on Sundays. It gives us another fun way to spend time together. Whenever I’m home sick, he will come home and check on me to make sure I’m doing okay. My dad has done so many things for me, and that is why I chose him as the most special person in my life.

– Natalie Forrest

My parents have made my life the best I could ask for. They care about my learning and have helped improve my grades. They constantly check my grades and remind me when I have missing assignments. My parents have purchased thousands of dollars worth of books, camps, and tools to help me prepare for high school and college. Also, they try their best to teach me good life lessons, help me learn how to cook, do laundry, and with work. Finally, they have helped me make new friends through social camps and my friends. These are the reasons I can get good grades, make friends, and have a strong ethic.

– Wylan Heinrich

“Way to go, Saph!” Imagine every single game you play and hearing your coach yelling this across the field all happy and jumping around. Coach Richard would always be happy no matter what was going on. At games when we were tied against the Firebirds.1-1, he and Bruno, the assistant coach, would remind us to continue building up our confidence. By the second half, we started all very strong and confident. The last five minutes of the game, we scored a goal and Coach was elated! Coach Richard has inspired me to be the best athlete I can be, and I am extremely grateful for him.

– Sapphire Robertson

There almost seems to be no words to describe how thankful I am to have my dad, Jonathan Phillips. He’s always here to give me advice and help me solve my problems. He makes sure I know that I can go to him no matter what situation I may be in. While doing all of this, I can always make a joke with him and he’s always in a good mood. My dad is an amazing role model for me and teaches me how to be a better person overall. These are only a few of the many reasons why I think of him when thinking about somebody special in my life.

– Jaelynn Phillips

Imagine the most important person in your life. I can do that pretty easily because it’s my mom. The first reason why I’m honoring my mom is because she has taught me basically everything that I know. For example, she has taught me how to speak and ride a bike. She also helps me with my school work when I need help. The last reason is that she is at all of my sporting activities. For example, she is always at my hockey games and cheering for me in the stands. In conclusion, these are the reasons why I picked my wonderful mom.

– Owen Thomas