Seward High Senior, Taryn Brandl was named the SHS January Fine Arts Student of the Month. She is the daughter of John Brandl of Seward and Kris Geis of Lincoln.
She is a longtime member and leader of the Seward High National Honor Society and is always on the SHS Honor Roll for her academic scores! She was a member of the school’s award winning Reading Classics program and is certified in Microsoft Word and an Excel User Specialist. She is currently involved in numerous dual credit and AP classes in the high school, ranking as one of the top students academically in her class.
A leader in the various extracurricular activities at Seward High, she has been a longtime member of the SHS One Act Cast and she participated in the school’s annual competition show for one acts at both the Conference and District Levels. Taryn was named an Outstanding Actress in the District One Act Play Production in 2015 and the Outstanding Actress Award at the Central Conference Play Production in 2016. She also participated in the recent SHS musicals in 2015 and 2016. She participated as a member of the SHS Speech team in Serious Prose Literature and Humorous Prose Literature, participated in the SHS VFW Voice of Democracy Speech Contest, along with the SHS annual “Poetry Out Loud” poetry recitation contest.
Taryn is a member of the SHS Key Club-active in their annual Multi Cultural Fair, a member of the SHS Family Community and Career Leaders (FCCLA)-promoting the recent Concordia University Literacy Festival and a leader and longtime member of the SHS Student Council.
She represented SHS as the awardee in the Lincoln Elks Club Outstanding Student for Foreign Languages in 2015. She has received the SHS Student of the Month twice and is the recipient of numerous SHS PRIDE Awards.
She plans to attend Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana and major in Spanish, Russian, Swedish and Sign Language to eventually become an interpreter.
“Taryn exemplifies the high level of work ethic at Seward High,” states her speech teacher, Clark Kolterman. “She was a talented leader the last two years with our One Act productions and recognized for her work. I appreciated her dedication to the process-serving as a role model for other students to emulate. She is one of a kind and we will miss her next year!”
Ross R Briggs was named the January Youth Rotarian of the Month by the Seward Rotary Club at their first January Meeting of the Club on January 4 at the Jones National Bank and Trust in Seward. He is the son of Sue and Tom Briggs of Seward.
Ross is a long time academic leader in the school, always named to the SHS Honor Roll and a leader and longtime member of the SHS National Honor Society. He is one of the top scholars in his class and involved in the local Junior Jays Mentoring Program, along with being a counselor for the Outdoor Education program at the Seward Middle School.
Ross is a multitalented athlete, and earned varsity letters in both the SHS Track Team and the SHS Football team with various recognitions and awards-including recognition with the NSAA Academic All State Award for outstanding academics as an athlete. He also participated in the SHS Basketball program over the years.
One of his first loves in music and he has demonstrated time and again his leadership role in the SHS music program. Ross is a member of the SHS Bluejays Marching Band, the SHS Symphonic Band, the SHS Pep Band and the SHS Drumline and earned a Band Letter. He is also the drummer for the SHS musicals and SHS Swing Choir and involved in the 2015, 2016 musicals.
Ross is a member of the Rock Lutheran Church in Seward and a voice of their local youth program. He is an active member of their Godparent program. He also volunteers with his local church band for worship services.
Ross has been named an SHS Student of the Month twice-in 2013 and 2016 and is the recipient of numerous SHS PRIDE awards. He participated in both the Seward VFW Voice of Democracy Speech Contest and the “Poetry Out Loud” poetry recitation contest at SHS.
Ross is one of the senior leaders in the SHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). His leadership and work in the SHS Computer Science division generated the 2010 MOS State Championship in Microsoft Excel State Champion in 2015. He also has been recognized for other outstanding computer skills, and is the recipient of several State Championship awards and recognitions for his computer expertise.
Outside of school, Ross is employed with the family business and works with his family, assisting in the Briggs Cattle/Trucking operation and fills in a variety of jobs, where ever needed.
His “Service Above Self” volunteer effort is through his longtime work with the Junior Jays Program, where he visits and works with struggling students in the Seward Elementary School, assisting them with their homework-serving as a mentor and role model to these young children in a variety of settings.
His plans to become a high school math teacher and major in Math Education and has yet to decide where he will go to college.
Ross was recognized, honored and thanked for his “Service Above Self” and presented with Rotary Club information and mementos. He also is a finalist for the Youth Rotarian of the Year award, announced at the SHS Senior Honors Night in May. One local Seward High Senior is recognized every month at the local Seward Rotary Club meeting-named Youth Rotarian of the Month. The student application is available at the SHS Counselor’s office.
Six Quiz Bowl teams from Seward were invited to the prestigious Elkhorn South Quiz Bowl tournament on Saturday, January 7 in an all-day Quiz Bowl contest for both Varsity and Novice high school quiz bowl teams. The SHS Novice Quiz Bowl Team A, composed of SHS Sophomores-Ryan Wall, Jax Johnson, Kiernan Baker and Jack Yelden advanced to the semi-finals, to be defeated by the eventual champions-Creighton Pres Novice A Team. They then competed and defeated the Elkhorn South Quiz Bowl team for the Second Runner-Up trophy.
The SHS Quiz Bowl teams attending included SHS Varsity Team A-Evan Mettenbrink, Chris Galusha, Thomas Bosmeniel, Evan Nottingham and Clarke Chandler. They were the fifth seed going into the final tourney for the afternoon. The SHS Varsity Team B members were Sydney Erickson, Kevin Lyon, Nolan Homp and Shea Thompson, and they were the seventh seed into the final afternoon. In the Novice Division, the Novice Team A was Ryan Wall, Jax Johnson, Kiernan Baker and Jack Yelden, who were the fourth seed going into the afternoon events. SHS Novice Team B members included Garrett Erickson, Jack Groff, Brady Smith, and Alec Sachshewsky, the eight seed. SHS Team C consisted of Austin Dobrusky, Wade Slepicka, Jared Harris and Nolan Whitney, who were the twelfth seed and the SHS Quiz Bowl team D members were Clayton Moore, Emily Lintt, Samantha Warren, Camyrn Jensen and Alexis Hiser, who were the tenth seed. Clark Kolterman served as the team sponsor.
The teams all competed in a round robin tourney in the morning, playing various teams to determine their placement in the afternoon. Each team played four or five games in the morning rounds and started the tourney after lunch. It was a general knowledge quiz bowl featuring questions on math, science, geography, history, art, music and literature.
The winner of the Varsity tourney was Creighton Prep High, followed by Elkhorn and Elkhorn South. The winner of the Novice Tourney was Creighton Prep, followed by Elkhorn South and Seward. The schools participating included Seward, Columbus, Creighton Prep, Elkhorn, Elkhorn South, Bellevue East, Bellevue West, Concordia –Omaha, Norris, Logan-IA, Tekamah Herman, Woodbine-Iowa, Platteview, Nebraska City, Omaha Christian, and Central.
The Seward Quiz Bowl teams are sponsored and funded by the School District of Seward and the School District of Seward High Ability Learner Program (HAL).