Seward High was one of the Top Winners –named First Place in Nebraska High Schools in Recycling Efforts. The program is coordinated by Pat Piskorski. The SHS FCCLA was First Runner-up in Secondary High School Groups with Environmental, Recycling and Beautification projects.
The community of Seward was recognized many times during the 2023 “Keep Nebraska Beautiful Sustainability Awards” Banquet held Thursday, September 27th at Kearney in the Younes Convention Hall’s Crystal Ball Room. Attending from Seward were Dan and Joanie Brecka for the Seward SCCDP, Julya Metschke and April Hoffbauer for the SHS FCCLA and Seward High and Clark Kolterman for the Keep Seward Beautiful Committee.
The City of Seward won the top award of the evening ‘The Deanie Anderson Award”-“First Place-Top Community in the State” - Keep Nebraska Beautiful Sustainability Award. Anderson of Omaha, was the longtime Chair of “Keep Nebraska Beautiful.”
The community of Seward was recognized for their local beautification efforts, both downtown and throughout the community, the new signage program downtown, the downtown redevelopment/refurbishing of the store fronts, the outstanding local recycling efforts, the successful annual Clean Up Seward Day, the strong sense of civic groups working together and the outstanding volunteer efforts throughout the community on so many endeavors. The plaque will be presented to the City Council at a future meeting.
Seward High was named the Best Recycling High School program in Nebraska and won the Top Secondary High School Recycling Award from Keep Nebraska Beautiful. The award was the Keep Nebraska Beautiful Sustainability Award School Recycling Award –First Place. The project is coordinated and sponsored by SHS teacher Pat Piskorski.
The Seward County Chamber and Development Partnership was recognized with the First Runner up/Second Place award in Outstanding Clean-Up programing. They won the Keep Nebraska Beautiful Sustainably Award –The “Great American Clean-Up Award”-Second Place. Joan Brecka accepted the award for the SCCDP.
The Seward High FCCLA (Family Career, Community Leaders of America) volunteer organization was presented the First Runner-Up/Second Place Award in Secondary High School Organizations with Recycling efforts. The award was the Keep Nebraska Beautiful Sustainability Award Youth Group Secondary. Julya Metschke, SHS FCCLA President accepted the award.
The Seward Girl Scout Troop 20622 was named First Runner-up/Second Place in the Jane Polson Beautification Program for their various beautification projects in Seward.
The GFWC Seward Woman’s Club was the first to be recognized for their longtime beautification efforts and their 50 + years of celebrating Arbor Day in Seward. They won an “Award of Excellence” in Beautification.
Jean Kolterman serves as the Chair of the Keep Seward Beautiful Committee but was unable to attend the evening event.
Keep Nebraska Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. For more information on Keep Nebraska Beautiful visit www.knb.org
Photo L-R Dan Brecka, Joanie Brecka, Clark Kolterman, Julya Metschke and April Hoffbauer.
A local “Teen Suicide Awareness and Prevention” Panel presented Wednesday, October 27th, 2023 at 7:00 pm at the Seward Civic Center, Langworthy Auditorium-sponsored by the GFWC Seward Womans Club and the Seward High Family, Community, Career Leaders of America (FCCLA). The event was free and open to all with an emphasis to encourage local youth to attend.
The Welcome and Introductions was presented by SHS Senior, Julya Metschke, SHS FCCLA President. She also served as the Seward High Teen Suicide Awareness Month Chair.
The panel consisted of - Anna Downing-Mother of the late Thomas Bosmeniel, who lost his life to suicide Taunya Schlueter-BA, RN, CRRN-who lost a good friend to suicide, Jon Metschke MA, LIMHP, LPC Mental Health Practitioner and Professional Counselor- Metschke Counseling, and Dr. David Miers-Lincoln Bryan Mental Health Services Executive Director.
Anna Downing presented her story centered on Thomas and spoke that the person committing suicide affects so many in so many ways. She shared her son Thomas’ story, how it devastated the family and encouraged any and all to talk and ask for help. Taunya Schuleter spoke on losing a close friend to suicide and shared how she is now active in a variety of preventive measures and groups dealing with the issue.
Both Dr. David Miers and Jonathan Metschke focused on Suicide Prevention and Postvention-stressing that “Mental Health is as important as physical health. Miers commented on the prevalence of Mental Illness and noted that about 1 in 4 or 25% of adults have some level of mental illness. He said 1 in 7 youth have a form of mental illness and that depression is the most common form of mental illness.
He said, in Nebraska we have 14.7 suicides per 100,000 and nationally it is 14.5! Nebraska ranks 35th in states for the rate of suicide.
Both Metschke and Miers shared Myths of dealing with suicide and spoke on prevention techniques. They discussed the risk factors, especially with teens and commented on the “Warning Signs” of Suicide.
Advice was shared in the hour program and they stressed the new National Suicide Helpline 988!
Miers spoke about the Byran Medical Center Behavioral Health Services available and commented on the work of the National State Suicide Prevention Coalition and the LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors).
The entire panel encourage and reminded the audience-You are not alone! If feeling hopeless, depressed or suicidal, call or text 988 or go to Bryan West Campus Emergency Department.
Sara Kettlehake, with Four Corner’s Health, spoke on the various Suicide Awareness meeting and program from Four Corners in York.
Both Four Corner’s Health and the GFWC Seward Womans Club offered tables with printed information for those attending on Suicide Awareness.
Questions and answers followed the presentation. The members of the GFWC Seward Womans Club furnished the refreshments for the evening, following the presentation.
For more information on Teen Suicide Awareness contact Dr. David Miers at email@example.com.
Photo: L-Promoting Groups join to present on Teen Suicide Awareness.
Jonathn Metschke-Counselor, Angela Belew-GFWC SWC, Julya Metschke-SHS FCCLA, Dr. David Miers-Bryan Health, Anna Downing-Panelist, Taunya Schlueter-Panelist and Sara Kettlehake-Four Corners Health of York.
Three Seward High young men were selected to be the representatives to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program sponsored by Rotary District 5650 and Rotary International! The selected students were announced Wednesday Sept 27th, 2024!
Selected for the RYLA program are SHS representatives Lawson Luebbe and Hayden Burhoop. Lawson Luebbe is the son of Jeff and Melissa Luebbe, Hayden Burhoop is the son of Krista and Jon Burhoop and Esten is the son of Steven and Angela Johnsen. All three play to attend the Rotary meeting October 18th and be introduced at Rotary!
The fall program will be October 3-5 at a camp near Louisville, Nebraska. The summer camp will be near Grand Island. Luebbe and Burhoop will attend the fall camp and Johnsen will attend the summer camp!
Selection judges were Jon and Bonnie Kruse, Mary Meyer and Marv Taylor- all of Seward.
The RYLA program expenses for the student’s fees is funded completely by the Seward Rotary Club!
For more information on RYLA visit www.RYLA. Org.
The 2024 SHS HOBY student is Avery Rodocker- a Sophomore at Seward High. Avery is the daughter of Sarah and Tony Rodocker. Chosen as First Alternate for the leadership opportunity is Cardin Goracke. Cardin is the son of Laura and Darrin Goracke.
Avery will represent Seward High at the summer’s Hugh O’ Brian Youth Leadership Conference. The location is yet to be announced but was at Concordia University in Seward the last few years!
Avery was selected from a written application and personal interview by judges on Wednesday, September 27th at the Seward United Methodist Church.
Other finalists besides Rodocker and Goracke included Lily Brashear, Molly Marroquin and Grace Matulka.
Judges for the selection included Mary Meyer, Bonnie and Jon Kruse and Marv Taylor. The student is sponsored locally by the School District of Seward. The national leadership youth program is endorsed locally the GFWC Seward Womans Club, GFWC Seward Junior Women’s Club, Seward Kiwanis and Seward Rotary and their national organizations!
SHS Junior - Esten Johnsen served as the interview host and timer! Esten was the 2023 HOBY SHS representative. Clark Kolterman and Noelle Baker coordinated the applications!
The leadership program is designed for Sophomores- so they can return to their schools and use the leadership skills developed at HOBY.
For more information on HOBY contact www.HOBY.org
There were eight First Place Awards by Seward High students at the recent Nebraska State Fair Education Division Competition. The First Place winners included Julya Metschke-Community Service Project, Ainsley Hotovy-Short Story, Marisa Schmeckpeper-Poetry Outloud, Landen Waegli-Construction Science, Chloe Simmons-Chalk Art, Kyle Novak-Wall Art, Sophie Russell-Cup Stacking and Jadyn Nelson-3D Art. Each student won a rosette, a plaque and a $100 scholarship from the NEBRASKAland Foundation-to be redeemed upon graduation from high school.
This year the State Fair limited the places to Five Award Placings and two Honorable Mentions for each category.
Other winners in the contests from Seward included Abigayil Wundserlich-3rd in Poetry Out Loud, Nathan Kulhanek-2nd in Nebraska Essay, Juliet Morre-3rd in Nebraska Poetry, Ayda Metschke and Molly Marroquin -2nd in Community Service, Katie Rasmussen-2nd in Chalk Art, Emme Brauer-3rd in 3D Art, Chastity Waller-3rd Nebraska Photo and Noah Fields-2nd in Nebraska Poetry.
Additionally, Makennah Matulka placed 4th and 5th in Wall Art, Abby Moore -5th in Photography, Liz Pracheil: HM Photography, Jadyn Nelson-4th 3D Art, Noelle Geidel-4th Chalk Art, Marisa Schmeckpeper-4th Short Story, Lily Brashear-4th Poetry, Addy Sugden-5th Nebraska Poetry, Nolan Austin-HM Nebraska Poetry, Aidan Summa-4th Nebraska Essay, Avery Rodocker-5th Nebraska Essay and Molly Marroquin-HM Nebraska Essay.
In the High School Quiz Bowl contest-the SHS Team of Sjoen Muck, Dalton Mobley, Julya Metschke and Abigayil Wunderlich took 4th Place and the Quiz Bowl Team of Ava Slechta, Maddy Larson, Emma Matulka, Addy Sugden and Molly Marroquin place 5th in the competition.
Seward High placed Third this year in the Sweepstakes Division for High Schools.
Sponsors for the Seward High entries in the State Fair Education Division contests are Nathan Knott-Art and Melissa Pohl-Language Arts. Sponsor Melissa Pohl attended both days of the State Fair with the bus load of Seward High students –competing with the live competitions on Saturday August 26 and Sunday August 27th.
PHOTO ID L-R
SHS First Place Winners at the State Fair Education Division Contest for2023 State Fair –show off the Sweepstake Trophy now on display in Ms. Melissa Pohl’s classroom. L-R Julya Metschke, Chloe Simmonds, Jadyn Nelson, Marisa Schmeckpeper, Kyla Novak, Sophie Russell, Not pictured were Landen Waegli and Ainsley Hotovy
SHS Senior, Rachel Kuss was selected the 2023-2024 September Youth Rotarian for the Seward Rotary Club and honored at the recent September 6th Rotary Club meeting at noon at the Jones Bank auditorium. She is the daughter of Cindy Kuss and Brian Kuss. She was introduced to the club by Rotarian Anita Foor.
Rachel is an outstanding student at SHS, with a GPA of 3.98 and has been a member of the SHS Honor Roll ten terms. She is a member of the Bluejay Leadership Team (Student Council) and is serving at the President of that SHS Leadership Team this year. She is a leader in the local SHS National Honor Society and was First Runner-up for the SHS HOBY Award Representative and a local winner in the Optimist Essay Contest. Her college credits to date include Calculus at NE Wesleyan, US History at Concordia in Seward and Intro to Business at Southeast Community College. She is Microsoft Word Certified and taken AP Human Geography too.
Rachel is a very involved young leader at SHS and currently serves as the President of the local SHS FFA Chapter, with almost 150+ members and has held a number of FFA offices and project chairmanships. She won the FFA Star Greenhand Award, placed Fourth in Districts in the FFA Creed Speaking and has an FFA Chapter Degree.
She is also a member of the SHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and placed Second at State FBLA with Introduction to Event Planning.
Her work career has included child care services, Sloup-Thorell Detasseling, and Rumery Lawn and Landscape. She is currently is employed at the Seward Rivoli Theater and Movie Place Video.
She is a member and a voice of the youth at the St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and is an active member of their God teen’s program.
Her volunteer –“Service Above Self” hours included the SMS Outdoor Ed Counselor (twice!), The FFA “Feed A Farmer” project, the Greenhouse care and clean-up team, County Fair Petting Zoo, County Fair Clean-up (Many times), Church Clean-up, Homecoming ticket taker, “Blue Jay Way” Day at the Nebraska National Guard Museum –cleanup, numerous FFA and FBLA Community Service projects and Hallway Decorating, along with being part of the Prom Leadership Team and offering tours of SHS to various requests.
Rachel plans to attend either the University of Nebraska in Lincoln or the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the field of Business Administration-earning a degree in Business and hopes to someday be part of the sales team for medical equipment.
She was recognized and thanked for her leadership and service and presented with a Rotary Club banner and materials for herself and a book scholarship from the Seward Rotary Club. She will be honored again at the annual SHS Honors Night. She now is a finalist for the annual Seward Rotary Youth Rotarian of the Year Scholarship-announced at Honors Night.
The Seward Rotary Club recognizes one SHS Senior each month and thanks them for their leadership, scholarship and service to others in the form of volunteerism. For an application, contact the SHS Counselor’s office.
The Seward Rotary Club welcomed the new SHS International Student Hannah Herzog of Augsburg, Germany at their recent Rotary Club noon meeting at the Jones Bank in Seward. She is the daughter of Doris Herzog-her mother and Dr. Reinhard Herzog, her father. Her mother is employed as a Social Worker and her father is a Dentist. Hannah has one older sister Sarah Herzog.
She is living with Melissa and Josh Delcamp while in Seward, her host family “parents” and their children.
Hannah is considered a “Junior” at Seward High and will return to Augsburg, Germany in the Spring of 2024 to complete her high school career in Germany.
She was introduced by Rotarian Anita Foor and was presented with a bag of information on Seward and Rotary. She also was presented by the Seward Rotary Club with some welcome gifts- including a special Seward Rotary Banner, a “Seward Fourth of July Tee Shirt,” a Rotary Club student dictionary, a small USA Flag and a full size US Flag to fly when she returns home to Germany! She promised to return to a Rotary Meeting at Christmas with a full report to the club on her impressions and observations of living in Seward and the USA!
The Seward Rotary Club is affiliated with Rotary International, an International Organization, with 46,000 clubs in over 160 countries worldwide. The Seward Rotary Club members have hosted many international students over the years, along with International Group Study Exchange groups visiting Seward from around the world and members of the club have also served as the District’s International Group Study Exchange leaders.