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Rachel Runyan Named September Youth Rotarian by the Seward Rotary Club

Seward High Senior, Rachel Runyan was selected to be the September Seward Rotary Club’s Youth Rotarian and was recognized and honored on Wednesday, September 21st at the Seward Rotary Club meeting.  The noon luncheon meeting was held at the auditorium of the Jones Bank.  Rachel was introduced and thanked for being a role model as an outstanding student and leader at SHS.  She is the daughter of Pat and Kathleen Runyan of Seward.  

Rachel’s values her education at Seward High and enjoys a 3.90 GPA, is a leader in the career tSHS National Honor Society and been on the SHS Honor Roll ten times during her high school to date.  She has won and been recognized with numerous P.R.I.D.E. awards and serves as one of the “go to” student leaders in the school.

Her passion is music and performance and has been a member of the SHS Marching Band since 2019 as a Percussion Section leader and the current Drum Major for the band.  Rachel has been a member of the Symphonic Band since 2019 and participated in numerous Concordia University Musical Arts Day events and was selected for the Conference Honor Band as well.  She is also in the Wind Ensemble and participated in many District Music Contests –receiving high honors.

Rachel has been a member of the SHS Show Choir and the SHS Select Choir since 2019 and also involved-and participated in the SHS musicals.  She is a leader in the SHS Play Production/One Act Play program and was named “Outstanding Actress” twice in 2020 and 2021.  She participated in speech and this year she plans to be part of the SHS Speech Team again.  

She has been a very active member of the Goehner Centennial Players Mellerdrama offerings over the years and a longtime volunteer for their programs and as an Olde Glory Theater Volunteer as well.

Rachel currently serves as the STATE President of the Nebraska SKILLS USA program, having also served as the STATE Reporter in 2021.  She is a strong leader in the local SHS SKILLS USA Chapter-having represented the Seward and Nebraska SKILLS USA in Prepared Speech at Nationals – placing 5th overall.  She also was on the “Opening and Closing” team for SHS and placed 6th at Nationals! On the state level, she placed First in the competition for First Aid/CPR!

Her area of “Service Above Self” centers around her volunteer efforts with the Goehner Centennial Players program over a period of many years and the many, many community campaigns sponsored by the local SHS Skills USA –such as the community food drives, blood drives and honoring the teachers and local educators.  

She participated in Dance for seven years and is in her eleventh year with piano lessons and has become an accomplished pianist.  

Rachel is currently employed at the historic Rivoli Theater on week-ends and after school and also enjoys serving as Life Guard at the Dowding Memorial Swimming Pool in Seward each summer.  

She was confirmed and a member of the Seward United Methodist Church and a voice of youth for that congregation.  

She has not decided on her school for next year as of yet, but she does plan to obtain a degree or profession in the areas of Nursing and/or Performing Arts.  

Rachel was introduced, honored and thanked for being a role model at Seward High and was presented with a packet of mementos, Rotary and Seward information and an official Rotary Banner, along with a special “Book Scholarship” for her college days in the future.  She will again be recognized at the SHS Honors Night in the spring and her name will now be placed in consideration for the Youth Rotarian of the Year award.  

The Seward Rotary Club honors one Youth Rotarian every month of the school year and applications are available at the SHS school counselor’s office.  

The Seward Rotary Club believes that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. The 46,000 + clubs worldwide work together to: Promote peace, Fight disease, Provide Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Save Mothers and Children, Support Education, Grow Local Economies and Protect the Environment.  The mission of Rotary is to provide service to others, promote integrity and advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the fellowship of business, professional and community leaders.  The vision of Rotary is that “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.”