Seven Seward High students were recognized by the 2020 Nebraska State Fair Education Division at the recent high school Education Contests sponsored by the Nebraska State Fair and the NEBRASKAland Foundation. The students competed in a variety of static contests only this year, due to the Covid-19 virus-no live contests, tests or quiz bowl contests were held. Recognized as a First Place/Champion Award in their division were Anna Sommerer-Grade 12: Wall Art (Oil of Country Road), Miriam Voehl-Grade 11: Know Nebraska Art (“Fourth of July Little Girl”- Watercolor), William Poley-Grade 11: Short Story-Grades 11-12 (“The Doctor and the Monster”), Hannah Kolterman-Wagner and Miriam Voehl-Grade 11: Community Service/Group Entry- (“Teen Suicide Awareness”-FCCLA), Elizabeth Gokie-Grade 11: Community Service (Community Service-Individual-FCCLA “Crocheting Bears for Kids”), Heidi van der Heiden: Three Dimensional Sculpture (Fox Sculpture). Each winning student won a rosette Champion Ribbon award.
Seward High was award the First Place/Championship Sweepstake Trophy for the seventh year in a row! The school win was based on number of entries and number of placings by students in the competition. Second place was awarded to Ulrich School and Third Place was awarded to Chase County High School. The individual Sweepstakes competition for the State Fair Education Division awarded the Firth Place trophy to Miriam Voehl and Sixth Place trophy to Hannah Kolterman-Wagner, based on number of individual entries and placings in the competition.
Anna Sommer’s Oil Painting-“Country Road,” Miriam Voehl’s Water Colo-“Fourth of July Girl,” and Miriam Voehl and Hannah Kolterman-Wagner’s Community Service project-“Suicide Awareness” were all “tapped” to be displayed and featured at the Nebraska Statehood Day event at the State Capitol for the March Statehood Festival.
The static category winners from Seward High include…
Short Story-Grades 9-10, Second Place: Elizabeth Rongo-Grade 10 “Paula’s Gun.” Third Place-Noah Fields-Grade 9 “The Cosmos,” Fourth Place-Ava King-Grade 10 “The Forest,” Seventh Place-Jeanna Synder-Grade 10 “Lesson Learned,” Ninth Place-Ethan Galusha-Grade 10 “The Horror of Amberjack,” and Mahri Vega-Grade 10 “Drowning.” In the Short Story Contest for Grades 11-12, the results included First Place-William Poley-Grade 11 “The Doctor and the Monster,” and Fourth Place-Peyton Wood-Grade 11-“Hyperthymesia.” In the area of High School Poetry-Noah Fields-Grade 9 won Third Place in Poetry with the poem “Flora Nebraska.”
The Three Dimensional art winners included First Place-Heidi van der Heiden-Grade 11 (Fox Sculpture), Third Place-Miriam Voehl-Grade 11, Fourth Place-Samantha Oborny Grade 12, Fifth Place-Isaac Rolf-Grade 12, Sixth Place-Olivia Benes-Grade 10, Seventh Place-Allysen Gross-Grade 11, Eighth Place-Isaac Rolf-Grade 12 and Ninth Place-Gracen Sommerer-Grade 10.
The contest winners in the “Know Nebraska” Art Contest-two dimensional wall art include First Place: Miriam Voehl-Grade 11, Second Place-Ava Krahulik-Grade 9, Third Place: Hannah Kolterman/Wagner-Grade 11, Fourth Place: Rory Nolan-Grade 11, Sixth Place-Riken Koinzan-Grade 10, Ninth Place: Megan Hague-Grade 10, and Tenth Place-Riken Koinzan-Grade 10.
In the two dimensional Wall Art Contest, the winners included First Place Anna Sommerer-Grade 12, Third Place: Hannah Kolterman-Wagner-Grade 11, Fourth Place: Heidi van der Heiden-Grade 11, Fifth Place: Hannah Kolterman-Wagner-Grade 11, Seventh Place-Miriam Voehl-Grade 11, and Ninth Place: Zach Ellingson-Grade 12.
In the “Know Nebraska” Photography contest on the high school level, recognized SHS students included Fourth Place: Dillon Jones-Grade 12, Seventh Place: Dillon Jones-Grade 12, Eighth Place: Tyler Smith-Grade 12.
In the area of community service, both first place winners were from Seward High, including: First Place-Individual Community Service Project: Elizabeth Gokie-Grade 11 (“Crocheting Bears for Kids” FCCLA) and First Place–Team Community Service Project: Hannah Kolterman-Wagner and Miriam Voehl-Grade 11 (“Teen Suicide Awareness” FCCLA).
The annual overall individual and school “Sweepstakes” Awards and recognition have not been tallied yet and will be announced at a later date.
“We appreciate the longtime, annual support of the students and staff at Seward High towards our Nebraska State Fair Education Division programing and contests,” stated Judi Harper- State Fair Education Division Superintendent. “Seward High has, time and again, displayed leadership in many of the contests, both in the static entries, live presentations, quiz bowls contests and tests, and it is our hope that the Nebraska State Fair Education Division contests can return to a full complement of both the static and live contests at the 2021 Nebraska State Fair. However, this year we are very appreciative of the support of the Seward High students for this 2020 Nebraska State Fair Education Division contest and thank the Seward High students, teachers and their administration for an outstanding set of entries and for their participation in such a crazy year at the 2020 Nebraska State Fair!”
Seward High teacher sponsors for the State Fair Education Division include both Nate Knott-Art Educator and Melissa Pohl-Language Arts Teacher who both coordinated the entries for this year’s State Fair Education Division entries for Seward High. Judi Harper served as the volunteer State Fair Superintendent for the Nebraska State Fair Education Division competitions this year for students in Nebraska Grades K -12. There is very limited funding for this year’s contests. The NEBRASKAland Foundation is the sole corporate sponsor for this year’s event--assisting in sponsoring the trophies, ribbons and tee shirts for the entries, along with the State Fair Board’s contributions.
The static exhibit was in the large, new Pinnacle Bank Pavilion in the space where the Nebraska Quilt show is normally held, and the event and the State Fair featured free admission. All the first place winners will be recognized at a future SHS “PRIDE” Rally and at the Nebraska Statehood Day Recognition in early March of 2021 at the State Capitol in Lincoln, NE by the NEBRASKAland Foundation and the State Fair.
Seward High Senior, Semantha Rojewski was selected the September Youth Rotarian and honored by the Seward Rotary Club at their weekly meeting at the Seward Civic Center on Wednesday, September 1, 2020 at their luncheon at the Seward Civic Center. She was introduced to the Rotary Club by Rotarian Dr. Matt Dominy. The Rotary members saluted, thanked and honored Samantha for her dedication as a student leader at Seward High School. She was presented with a Rotary Banner, mementos and will receive a Rotary Book Scholarship for next year at college. She is the parents of Jed and Judy Rojewski of Seward.
Samantha is a leader in the Seward High National Honor Society and has been on the honor roll for all twelve semesters of her high school career. She is a scholar, completing many dual credit and advance placement classes at Seward High. She has enjoyed six years of Spanish and currently enrolled in several college level classes. She also participated in the Seward High Study Abroad 12 day trip in the summer of 2019.
Samantha’s first love is music and she has been an involved leader in both the band and vocal music programs at Seward High. In the SHS band program, she has been a leader in the SHS Marching Bluejay Band for all four years-serving as a section leader and most recently named the Drum Major for the band. She is a member of the Symphonic Band for four years and a three year member of the SHS Jazz Band. She was also involved in the District Music Contest s for two years.
Choir is also a top priority with Samantha, as she has been involved with the Select Choir for all four years, as well as a leader with the SHS Swing Choir/Show Choir. She has been a Star/Lead in the most recent SHS Musical-“Bye Bye Birdie” and participated for the last two years in the Concordia Musical Arts Day participating in the choir. She also competed in the annual SHS “Poetry Out Loud” poetry recitation contest and placed Second last year!
Samantha has been involved with dance at Shelly’s School of Dance for the six years and involved over the years with the Olde Glory’s Missoula Children’s Theater. She was also very involved with the Olde Glory Melodrama’s as a volunteer.
She has been selected and serves as an SHS Student Ambassador for the last two years and assisted with the freshman orientation, as well as a volunteer with student packets/material presentations.
She is an involved member of the Seward United Methodist Church in Seward and involved with her Godparent Program at the church. She is a student leader, assisted with the church’s video and sound equipment and technology at the church. She is a voice of youth in her congregation and assist with the “Last Supper” presentation/productions.
She has worked for “InMotion” Fitness Studio/William Henry School of the Arts dance studio as a teacher for the last three years. She also is employed each summer for Sloup/Thorell for the last two years and also works the kitchen at the Seward “Westside Café.”
Samantha is also a volunteer for the Seward Optimist “Bemis” park-assisting with the Optimist members as they work the park and flower garden plots.
Her volunteer “Service Above Self” areas all involve youth –working with young people as a volunteer in the annual “Swing Choir” camps, coordinating the Freshman orientations and volunteers to assist the “senior citizens” in her church with a host of yard and home assistance.
Samantha plans to attend the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in the area of Journalism. She will be honored and recognized again at the annual Seward High School Honors Night in May of 2021 and is now a finalist for the Seward Rotary Club Youth Rotarian of the Year Scholarship. At the Honors Night she will be introduced and receive her Youth Rotarian “Book” Scholarship, which is presented to all the Seward Youth Rotarians in the 2020/2021!
The Seward Rotary Club will present a Youth Rotarian award each month of the school year, with applications available from the SHS Counselors.
SHS Sophomore, Karnie Gottschalk, was selected the annual HOBY (Hugh O’Brien Youth Leader) through an application and interview process on Friday, September 11, 2020 at the Seward United Methodist Church in Seward. She is the daughter of Kirk and Carrie Gottschalk. First Runner-up/First Alternate was Noah Fields, son of Kevin and Deidra Fields.
The ten HOBY student finalists from SHS included Karnie Gottschalk, Noah Fields, Luke Seevers, Audrey Dobesh, Madison Dominy, Jaci Hinrichs, Kalen Knott, Lydia Lobmeyer, Brenna McAdam, and Grace Roberts. Each student prepared an application and was interviewed by the panel of community leader volunteers.
The HOBY Program is a national youth leadership development program for high school sophomores, who then return to their respective schools and use the skills from the seminar and develop other leaders in the school at the same time. It is endorsed nationally by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs-GFWC, Rotary International, Kiwanis International and Optimist International.
Karnie is in the SHS Marching Band, Cross Country team, Track team, Show Choir, Musical and Speech team. .
She is an Honor Roll student, won many PRIDE awards and a Patriot Pen award. She is an active member of 4-H, Key Club at SHS and involved in Foster Care in the community.
She will attend the Nebraska HOBY Leadership Program in June, 2021, representing SHS.
She was selected by a panel of judges, based on her interview and application. The judges were Jon and Bonnie Kruse, Dr. Louis Rieth, and Ken Schmieding. The program is sponsored by the School District of Seward, Seward Rotary Club, The GFWC Seward Woman’s Club, GFWC Seward Junior Women’s Club and Seward Kiwanis and Seward Optimists. Clark Kolterman served as the host for the students and coordinated the interviews with the SHS Counselor Noelle Baker.