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    Commencement Ceremony Held at High School


    Leigh High School administration, faculty, and staff are proud to announce the graduation of this year’s senior class on Friday, May 12, at the Leigh High School gym.

    Although the class is comprised of 10 students, just three of these seniors began their education in Leigh, making it one of the more unique classes in Leigh High School history. 

    The ceremony began as the Class of 2017 salutatorian, Megan Bahns, gave the welcome address. A highlight memory video was shown.  Later, Karmen Hake gave the valedictorian speech, where she related all she has learned from her unique class and every one of her classmates.

    The seniors presented flowers to their parents, and guidance counselor Karen Hillen presented the scholarships.  School Board President Jason Mullenhoff, Superintendent Mike Montgomery, and Principal Troy Holmberg presented the diplomas.

     Senior class president, Daniel Arriaza, gave the closing address and thanked everyone for coming. The Clarkson-Leigh band provided music during the processional and recessional. 

    The senior scholarship awards and seniors’ future plans are listed below.  Congratulations and good luck to the Class of 2017!


                Mark Aguirre plans to attend Central Community College majoring in Modeling and Drafting.  He received the Education Quest Foundation Scholarship, Central Community College and National Auto Sales Scholarship, and Northeast Community College scholarships.

    Daniel Arriaza plans to attend Northeast Community College majoring in Criminal Justice.  He received the Leigh Sons of the American Legion Scholarship and the Citizen’s State Bank Scholarship. He was alternate for the Leigh Alumni Association Scholarship.

    Megan Bahns plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Kearney majoring in Speech Pathology.  She received the University of Nebraska – Kearney Regent’s Scholarship, University of Nebraska – Omaha Regent’s Scholarship, Leigh Volunteer Fire Department Scholarship, Leigh Community Club Scholarship, Lavern Went Memorial Scholarship, Leigh Rescue Unit Scholarship, Paul Hollatz Memorial Scholarship, Nick Wieseler Memorial Scholarship, Patriot Booster Club Scholarship, Patriot Youth Advisory Committee Scholarship, Jim and Helen Evans Memorial Scholarship, ARC of Colfax Scholarship, Cada/Krupka Memorial Scholarship, American Red Cross/FCCLA Scholarship, Wade Wendt FFA Memorial Scholarship, KTIC Russ Herman Memorial Scholarship, Aaron Cech Memorial Scholarship, Lisa Kuta Memorial Scholarship, and the Citizen’s State Bank Scholarships. She was named as an alternate for the Leigh Alumni Association Scholarship and Lyle Hamernik Memorial Scholarship.

    Karmen Hake plans to attend Northeast Community College majoring in Animal Science.  She received the Leigh American Legion Scholarship, Rick Charipar Agricultural Scholarship, Cooperative Supply Scholarship, Terri Wietfeld Memorial Scholarship, Taylor Went FFA Memorial Scholarship, Wade Wendt FFA Memorial Scholarship, Board of Governor’s Scholarship – Northeast Community College, Northeast Community College Academic Contest Scholarship, Colfax County 4-H Council Scholarship, FFA America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders/Monsanto Fund, James Canfield Scholar Scholarship University of NE – Lincoln, Sara Reichmuth Memorial Scholarship, Leigh Alumni Association Scholarship, Patriot Youth Advisory Scholarship, and Lyle Hamernik Memorial Scholarship. She was named as an alternate for the Jay Blessen Memorial Scholarship, Paul Hollatz Memorial Scholarship, Nick Wieseler Memorial Scholarship, Patriot Booster Club Scholarship, Citizen’s State Bank Scholarship, and the Aaron Cech Memorial Scholarship.

    Makenzie Noonan plans to attend Northeast Community College majoring in Nursing.  She received the Aaron Cech Memorial Scholarship, American Red Cross/FCCLA Scholarship, and the Jagmahan Desai & Family Endowed Scholarship from Northeast College. She was named as an alternate to the Leigh Volunteer Fire Department Scholarship, Leigh American Legion Scholarship, Leigh Rescue Unit Scholarship, Sons of the American Legion Scholarship, and the Leigh Community Club Scholarship.

                Ried Krutz plans to attend Northeast Community College majoring in Building Construction.  He received the Jan Fuhr Memorial Scholarship, Stanton United Methodist Church Memorial Scholarship, NHE/NAHB Past President’s Scholarship, and the Wade Wendt FFA Memorial Scholarship. 

                Luiz Mayorga plans to attend Central Community College majoring in Physical Education.  He received the Leigh Alumni Association Scholarship, Jay Blessen Memorial Scholarship, Leigh Education Association Scholarship, and Loup Public Power Scholarship. He was named as an alternate to the Jan Fuhr Memorial Scholarship.

    Hannah Johnson plans to attend Northeast Community College majoring in Psychology.  She received the Dean’s Scholarship from Northeast Community College.

                Jeremy Pacas plans to attend Job Corps of Chadron for Computer Science.

    Nick Ober’s future plans are undecided at this time.


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    Seven Athletes Compete at State Track

    The Clarkson-Leigh track team qualified seven athletes in six events for the Class D State Track Meet at Omaha Burke Stadium on May 19 and 20. 

                Clarkson senior Bradley Bunner made a strong showing, with a 10.0 second runner-up finish in the 100M Dash as his crowning achievement.

                Bunner also finished 7th in the 400M Dash with a time of 51.8 seconds.

                The boys’ 1600M Relay team of Bunner, Anthony Bruhn, Hector Mendoza, and Dillon Knapp, after improving all season, also finished well, placing 7th out of 15 teams. 

                “After starting the year somewhat rough, the boys’ 4x4 team really worked hard and rallied as a team, setting a new Patriot record at the State meet with a time of 3:38.4,” Coach Adam Van Buren said.  “The Patriot coaching staff is extremely proud of all our athletes for working to improve their personal best all season long.”

                The boys team ended up finishing 16th in the State for Class D.

                The girls’ team faced disappointment at the state meet.  Senior Shelby Paprocki qualified in the Shot Put, and sophomores Sara McEvoy and Halee Steffensmeier qualified in the Discus and 200M Dash respectively.  Unfortunately, none of the girls’ qualifiers made it to finals or placed in the top 8. 

                Congratulations to all Patriot track athletes on an outstanding season!

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    Athletes Honored at Annual Sports Banquet

                The Clarkson-Leigh Patriot sports banquet was held on Thursday, May 4, at the Colfax County Fairgrounds in Leigh. It was a night for recognition for all the Patriot athletes for their hard work and accomplishments throughout the year. All sports were recognized including softball, volleyball, football, girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, wrestling, dance, boys’ and girls’ track, and boys’ golf. 

                The night began with a meal catered by M & M Market of Clarkson.  Then a yearlong highlight video was shown.  Senior Karmen Hake created the video, with assistance from Daniel Arriaza and Jeremy Pacas.   

                At the conclusion of the video, the coaches from each sport gave short speeches recapping their seasons and handing out individual post-season letters and other honors. 

    Junior Garrett Schroeder said, “ It was good to see all the athletes get recognized for their hard work, and the food was delicious.”

     It was also great to see such vast parent and community support in attendance at the event.  Good luck to all Patriot teams this summer as they begin preparing for the 2017-18 seasons!

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    High School Holds Academic Honors and Fine Arts Awards Ceremony

    On Tuesday, May 9th, Leigh High School students were awarded for all of the hard work they have done throughout the year at the annual Academic and Fine Arts Awards Ceremony.

    Each teacher took a turn at the podium and presented awards for their outstanding academic performance. Coaches of band, choir, speech, and One-Act play also presented awards.  The awards are as follows:

    Attendance Awards: Bianca Aguirre, Jose Aguirre, Luis Aguirre, Kevin Becerril, Logan Becher, Abbi Brabec, Natalie Brabec, Jacob Eisenmann, Alex Fischer, Jenny Guerra, Kaegan Held, McKenna Held, Alissa Kasik, Meranda Kudrna, Holly Kuhr, Emily Loseke, Alex Machmueller, Luiz Mayorga, Madison Pelan, Cort Pokorny, Payje Rayback, Issac Rodenburg, Alexis Schroeder, Garret Schroeder, Logan Schroder, Calvin Wemhoff

    2016-17 “Student of the Month” Winners: Sydney Geier, Hannah Kasik, Holly Kuhr, Riana Grotelueschen, Sydney Folken, Emily Loseke, Payje Rayback, Rylee Olson, Logan Becher, Natalie Brabec, Anthony Bruhn, Reagan Settje, Megan Bahns, Kaegan Held, Luis Aguirre, Haden Held

    East Husker Conference Academic Award: Megan Bahns.

    200 or Above on NeSA Reading Assessments: Emily Loseke and Megan Bahns

    Omaha World-Herald All-State Academic Team Honorable Mention: Megan Bahns and Karmen Hake

    MAP Achievement Test 90th Percentile or Above in ALL Testing Areas: Justine Thompson, Emily Loseke, Cassidy Hoffman, Emma Labenz, Holly Kuhr, Michaela Hall

    MAP Achievement Test 90th Percentile or Above in 3 of 4 Testing Areas: Kanyon Held, Alicia Holmberg, Kaegan Held, Cameron Miller

    MAP Achievement Test 90th Percentile or Above in 2 of 4 Testing Areas: Makenna Held, Darian Ober-Brown, Logan Becher, Cort Pokorney, Audie Tejkl, Riana Grotelueschen

    MAP Achievement Test 90th Percentile or Above in 1 of 4 Testing Areas: Rylee Olson, Reagan Settje, Anthony Bruhn, Hector Mendoza, Natalie Brabec, Alissa Kasik, Calvin Wemhoff, Zoey Wolford, Trevor Zulkoski, Abbi Brabec, Meranda Kudrna, Brady Hathaway, Alex Machmueller

    MAP Achievement Test Most Improved: Kanyon Held (Math and Science); Makenna Held (Math); Isaac Rodenburg (Math); Justine Thompson (Math); Alicia Holmberg (Math and Science); Layne Krutz (Math); Emily Loseke (Math); Trevor Zulkoski (Math); Bianca Aguirre (Math); Jason Ober (Math); Garrett Schroeder (Language and Reading); Hector Mendoza (Language); Alissa Kasik (Language); Natalie Brabec (Language); Kevin Becerril (Language); Cortlynn Cadwallader (Reading); Kennedy Settje (Reading); Jose Aguirre (Reading); Cassidy Hoffman (Reading); Kyleigh Rayback (Reading); Aiden Miller (Science); Madisyn Pelan (Science); Abbi Brabec (Science); Meranda Kudrna (Science)

    MAP Achievement Test Top Junior High Scores: Emily Loseke (1st Math, 1st Language, 2nd Science); Cassidy Hoffman (2nd Math, 1st Reading, 1st Language, 1st Science); Alicia Holmberg (2nd Reading); Alissa Kasik (2nd Language)

    MAP Achievement Test Top High School Scores: Hector Mendoza (1st Math); Holly Kuhr (2nd Math, 1st Science); Michaela Hall (1st Reading, 1st Language, 2nd Science); Cameron Miller (2nd Reading); Emma Labenz (2nd Reading, 2nd Language)

    National Honor Society Members: Megan Bahns and Karmen Hake (3-Year members who received their honor cord to wear at graduation); Michaela Hall and Sydney Geier (2-Year Members who received pin and certificate); Logan Becher, Kaegan Held, Holly Kuhr, Hannah Kasik, and Cort Pokorney (Newly-inducted members who received certificate of membership)

    CCC Honor Cord Recipients: Megan Bahns and Karmen Hake (for completing 12 hours of college credit at Central Community College)

    Gold Star Students for Science – Mr. Schmidt

    Science 100% Club: Kanyon Held, Makenna Held, Kennedy Settje, Justine Thompson, Riana Grotelueschen, Cassidy Hoffman, Alicia Holmberg, Alissa Kasik, Emily Loseke, Emma Labenz, Natalie Reeves, Reagan Settje. Kaegan Held, Holly Kuhr, Cort Pokorney, Sydney Geier, Michaela Hall, Megan Bahns and Hannah Johnson.

    English Class Top GPAs: Megan Bahns and Karmen Hake (College English, Tie);  Luiz Mayorga (English 12);  Michaela Hall (English 11); Kaegan Held and Holly Kuhr (English 10, Tie); Emma Labenz (English 9);  Emma Labenz (Speech 9); Cassidy Hoffman and Emily Loseke (English 8, Tie);  Makenna Held (English 7);  Cassidy Hoffman and Emily Loseke (Jr. High Reading, Tie);  Cortlynn Cadwallader (Jr. High Reading)

    Spenish Class Top GPAs: Michaela Hall and Hector Mendoza

    Social Studies Top GPAs:  Megan Bahns (Government); Michaela Hall (US History); Reagan Settje (World History); Cassidy Hoffman (8th Social Studies); Justine Thompson (7th Social Studies);

    Social Studies “L to J” Awards: Karmen Hake, Michaela Hall, Natalie Reeves, Rylee Olson, Kanyon Held

    “Top NeSA” Junior High Math Awards: Justine Thompson, Kanyon Held, Makenna Held, and Darian Ober-Brown (7th Grade); Riana Groteluschen, Cassidy Hoffman, Alicia Holmberg, Alissa Kasik, and Emily Loseke (8th Grade)

    Top High School Math Students: Reagan Settje, Emma Labenz, Natalie Reeves (Algebra I); Kaegan Held, Hannah Kasik, Holly Kuhr (Geometry); Mackenzie Williams (Basic Geometry); Michaela Hall (Algebra II); Alex Machmueller (Basic Algebra II)

    Business Class Awards: Michaela Hall (Entrepreneur of the Year); Reagan Settje (Computer Saavy); Kennedy Settje (Top Greenhorn); Bianca Aguirre (Most Improved); Kaegan Held (Tech Bee); Emily Loseke (Future Innovator); Cort Pokorney (Business Saavy); Holly Kuhr (Business Student of the Year)

    Family and Consumer Science Awards: Kenzie Noonan (Child Expert Award); Alissa Kasik (Master Sewer Award) Justine Thompson (Junior Chef Award);  Reagan Settje (FACS and Foods Award);  Holly Kuhr (Career-Ready Award);  Sydney Folken (Master Chef Award);  Kaegan Held (Relationship Expert Award) 

    Physical Education Awards;  Hector Mendoza (PE CrossFit Open Champion); Daniel Arriaza (Outstanding Physical Education Student): Anthony Bruhn (Outstanding Weight Training Student); Anthony Bruhn (Lifter of the Year): Taya Gross, Alexis Schroeder, Garrett Schroeder (Milestone Awards); Alex Fischer (Mental Toughness Award)

    Reading Challenge Individual “Top 10 Reader” Award: Michaela Hall, Alicia Holmberg, Justine Thompson, Emma Labenz, Natalie Brabec, Emily Loseke, Cameron Miller, Aiden Miller, Cassidy Hoffman, Sydney Geier

    Reading Challenge 10,000-Page Club: Michaela Hall, Alicia Holmberg, Justine Thompson, Natalie Brabec

    Yearbook Staff Appreciation Awards:  Kenzie Noonan, Hannah Johnson, Sydney Geier, Sydney Folken, Kaegan Held, Hannah Kasik, Holly Kuhr, Karmen Hake (Business Manager) Megan Bahns (Editor)

    Journalism Club Letter-Winners: Karmen Hake, Megan Bahns, Kenzie Noonan, Sydney Geier, Haden Held, Holly Kuhr, Kaegan Held, Logan Becher, Hannah Kasik, Alexis Schroeder, Natalie Reeves, Payje Rayback, Reagan Settje, Emma Labenz

    Journalism Club Awards: Holly Kuhr and Kaegan Held (Top Sports Writers); Reagan Settje (Rookie of the Year); Hannah Johnson (Top Opinion Columnist); Megan Bahns (Overall Best Staff Writer)

    Top Artist Award: Emma Labenz

    Joslyn Art Museum Scavenger Hunt Winners: Holly Kuhr and Megan Bahns

    East Husker Conference Art Show Ribbon-Winners: Alissa Kasik, Cassidy Hoffman, Nestor Mendoza, Lane Krutz, Megan Bahns, Reagan Settje, Emily Loseke, Mackenzie Williams, Mark Aguirre, Payje Rayback, Holly Kuhr, Emma Labenz, Alicia Holmberg, Brady Hathaway (Best of Show Pottery), and Hannah Kasik.

    East Husker Conference Honor Choir Awards: Sydney Folken and Logan Becker

    Choir Senior Awards: Kenzie Noonan and Nick Ober

    National Choir Award:  Kenzie Noonan.

    East Husker Conference Honor Band Awards: Haden Held, Holly Kuhr, Garrett Schroeder, Daniel Arriaza, Megan Bahns, Sydney Geier, Cort Pokorney

    NSAA Medal for Unanimous 1 Ranking in Band at District Music: Karmen Hae, Kaegan Held, Bianca Aguirre, Kenzie Noonan, Natalie Reeves, Abbi Brabec, Sydney Folken, Hannah Kasik, Reagan Settje, Taylor Larson, Sydney Geier, Megan Bahns, Cort Pokorney, Haden Held, Holly Kuhr, Logan Becher, Carson Ahrens, Garett Schroeder, Daniel Beller, Daniel Arriaza, Hannah Johnson, Michaela Hall, Alex Fischer, Cameron Miller, Alexis Schroeder, Morgan Voborny

    NSAA Medal for 1 Ranking in Trombone Solo: Holly Kuhr

    John Philip Sousa Band Award: Megan Bahns

    Speech Team Letter-Winners: Hannah Johnson, Daniel Arriaza, Logan Becher, Alex Fischer, Kaegan Held, Holly Kuhr, Carson Ahrens

    Speech Team State Medal Winners: Holly Kuhr and Logan Becher

    One-Act Play Letter-Winners (NSAA Medal Winners for Class D2 State Runner-Up): Morgan Voborny, Reagan Settje, Meranda Kudrna, Payje Rayback, Kenzie Noonan, Bianca Aguirre, Taya Gross, Taylor Larson, Mackenzie Williams, Michaela Hall, Sydney Folken, Luis Aguirre, Abbi Brabec, Anthony Bruhn, Hannah Kasik, Emma Labenz, Luiz Mayorga, Cameron Miller, Daniel Beller, Carson Ahrens, Logan Becher, Natalie Reeves, Alexis Schroeder, Kaegan Held, Cort Pokorney, Karmen Hake, Haden Held, Holly Kuhr, Hannah Johnson, Hector Mendoza, Alex Machmueller, Daniel Arriaza, Megan Bahns, Jeremy Pacas, Ried Krutz, Sydney Geier, Garrett Schroeder, Nestor Mendoza

    East Husker Conference and/or D2-2 District Outstanding Actor/Actress: Cort Pokorney, Haden Held, Hannah Johnson, Karmen Hake, Daniel Arriaza, Holly Kuhr, Cameron Miller, Luiz Mayorga, Anthony Bruhn

    East Husker Conference Outstanding Technical Crew: Megan Bahns, Ried Krutz, Jeremy Pacas

    Class D2 State Outstanding Actor/Actress Recognition: Hannah Johnson, Haden Held, Cort Pokorney, Holly Kuhr




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    High School Wraps Up Year-Long Reading Challenge

    The final day of the high school reading challenge was Friday, May 12, and the results are in!  It was another successful year with many library records broken! 

                As a school, the 7-12th grade students read over 200,000 pages.  This equates to an average of 2,811 pages per student!  This is 300 pages per student more than last year, however, the overall record of 2902 pages per student set in 2014-2015 is still standing.  We will look to beat that next year! 

                High school librarian, Mrs. Justine Fischer, holds a class reading challenge and an individual reading challenge.  In the class challenge, each student had to read an average of 3,500 pages to beat the challenge. 

                We are pleased to announce that three classes beat the challenge: the 7th grade, 8th grade, and juniors!  This is the first time in the history of the reading challenge that more than two grade levels have beat the challenge! 

                For their efforts, those three classes spent the afternoon of May 17 at the Columbus YMCA where they had access to the volleyball, basketball, and pickleball courts; inflatable bounce houses; foosball tables; and pool.  They also made a pit stop at McDonalds. 

                Mrs. Fischer also recognizes top individual readers in the school.  This year’s Top 10 that earned their picture on the library “Hall of Fame” are as follows:

                Michaela Hall (1st);  Alicia Holmberg (2nd);  Justine Thompson (3rd);  Emma Labenz (4th);  Natalie Brabec (5th);  Emily Loseke (6th);  Cameron Miller (7th): Aiden Miller (8th):  Cassidy Hoffman (9th);  Sydney Geier (10th). 

                Of this group, junior Michaela Hall and 8th-grader Alicia Holmberg had a tight race all year, but Hall finished on top, breaking her own individual record set last year by reading 751.2 Accelerated Reader points, or 18,300 pages. 

                Holmberg, along with 7th-graders Justine Thompson and Natalie Brabec, were recognized for reading over 10,000 pages. 

                Mrs. Fischer congratulates all the students for their hard work, and wishes everyone a happy summer of reading! 

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