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Leigh Community Schools

Learning Empowers Individuals to Great Heights

  • Settje, Urban, and Wemhoff Win Student of the Month!

    Ending the month of February on a high note, Leigh High School announced three new “Student of the Month” winners: Brynn Settje, Ella Urban, and Michael Wemhoff. These students were all described as very hardworking individuals. 

    The first person to receive “Student of the Month” was junior, Brynn Settje. Brynn is the daughter of Chad and Kristi Settje. Her grandparents are Judy Blessen and the late Gary Blessen, of Creston; Tom and Susan Kabes of Clarkson, and Mike and Cindy Settje of Leigh. She is the great-grandaughter of Joyce and Lavern Wendt and Stanley and Marilyn Settje of Leigh.

    Brynn stays busy by being involved in volleyball, basketball, track, FCCLA, FBLA, YAC, One Act, and journalism.

    Brynn’s favorite class is her CAN class. Brynn is thinking about being a Physical Therapy Assistant when she finishes high school, but is unsure of what college she wants to attend. Outside of school Brynn enjoys hanging out with friends and family, playing sports, and going shopping. 

    This is Brynn’s second time winning this award. Here is what Brynn has to say about winning this award: “It feels really great to win this award. It shows that my hard work in the classroom and in my extracurricular activities pays off. It shows that people notice how hard I try in school and everything I am involved in.”

    Brynn’s teachers have all good things to say:

    • She is a very hard-working student, pleasant, and helpful. She is a quiet leader who leads by example.
    • Brynn has showed composure in basketball this year and never gives up. She also excels in the classroom and in activities, and she is polite and respectful.

    Another winner of “Student of the Month” for February was junior, Ella Urban. Ella’s parents are Josh and Robin Urban. Ella is the granddaughter of Dean and Cindy Urban, and Judy Blessen and the late Gary Blessen. 

    Ella participates in golf, track, FCCLA, FBLA, journalism, dance team, One-Act, National Honor society, and YAC. Ella enjoys spending time with family and friends. Ella said that her favorite class is FCS because it teaches her real-life skills that she can use in the future. Ella is still undecided on what she wants to do in her future. 

    The “Student of the Month” award has been given to Ella twice. “Winning this award makes me feel good,” Ella exclaimed, “because it shows that my hard work is being recognized.” 

    Here is what Ella’s teachers had to say about her:

    • She is such a fun student. She speaks her mind, works hard, and is willing to volunteer whenever anything is needed.”
    • Ella works very hard to earn good grades, and she is a great team player in all her activities. She always has a smile and a positive attitude.”

    The third student to receive “Student of the Month” was eighth-grader Michael Wemhoff. This is his first time winning this award. Michael is the son of Jon and Deana Wemhoff. Michael is a part of the Football and FCCLA teams. 

    Michael says his favorite subject is social studies. Michael stays busy outside of school by playing golf and cards. Michael hopes to do some kind of landscaping for his future career. 

    “It is a pleasure to win this award” Michael said. 

    Michael’s teachers said the following: 

    • “Michael works very hard in class and wants to get good grades. He is friendly to classmates and respectful towards his teachers.”
    • “Michael also did a very good job with MAP testing, scoring above the 90th percentile nationally for multiple sections.”

    Congratulations to these outstanding students!


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  • Track Athletes Prepare For Season

    The spring sports’ season is in full swing!  High school track practice started March 5th for the 2024 season. The track team will be going and competing in a total of 11 track meets with their first being on March 26th at Stanton. 
    The track team this year consists of seniors Tanyn Larson, Sage Fernau, Addie McAtee, Chloe Hanel, and Alyssa Gurnsey. Senior boys include Isaac Baumert, Trey Steffensmeier, Max Muhle, Joey Steffensmeier, Christian Hamernik. 
    The junior girls are Rylee Balzer, Cadence Indra, Ella Urban, Izzy Hollatz, Baylee Settje, and Brynn Settje. The junior boys include Otto Crecco, Korbin Lemburg, Jairo Alvarado, Caleb Christenson, and Zach Gall. 
    The sophomore girls are Lexis Gleason, Jocelyn Donnelly, Karly Wendt, Sydney Messerlie, Ava Kasik, and Nevaeh Zulkoski, Willow Fernau, Emma Gall, Kendall Schneider, and Hannah Cech.  The boys are Levi Gall, Corey Steffensmeier, Tucker Mathies, and Coal Fernau.
    The freshmen girls are Grace Hansen, Emersyn Urban, Kaylee Brabec, Carmen Malena, Ella Higby, Madi Freudenberg, Reann Bruhn, Vylet Hollatz, Reese Wietfeld, Maizie Stokloska, Claire Holubek, Kyla Clarkson, Rae Scott, Gracie Sorentino, Chelsy Matthies, Ava Baumert, and Ella Baumert. Freshmen boys include Blake Loseke Jeryn Struebing, and Colton Steffensmeier. The coaches include Briana Wietfeld, Lee Schneider, Jim Clarkson, Jeff Korus, Brianne Bachman, and Kim Heimann. 
    “What a promising outlook I have for this season,” Head girls’ coach Mrs. Bri Wietfeld said. “The first couple practices have shown that our team will be full of hard workers and determined athletes. We have high numbers and great potential. We have many freshmen that we are excited to see what they bring to the team. Also, we have several returning athletes that are ready to pick up where they left off last spring. Be sure to listen in as the season goes, you will be hearing some great things.”
    Senior Tanyn Larson said, “I am really excited about this upcoming track season! There are a lot of incoming freshmen with a lot of talent, as well as a lot of returning talent from last year. I am looking forward to seeing what this track season brings!”

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  • Student Opinion Column: What current musicians do I think will stand the test of time?

    Looking across all generations and decades, there are hundreds of musicians who have stood the test of time, from The Beatles in the 60’s, to Queen in the 70’s, to almost every 80’s artist, and bands that blew up on stage in the 90’s and 2000’s. Looking at artists nowadays, there are a few I think that have a chance to last a long time in the future. 

    A quick Google search says the Top 5 most popular artists worldwide right now are Drake, Rihanna, Eminem, Coldplay, and The Weekend. Out of these five musicians, I think Rihanna, Eminem and Coldplay will stand the test of time. And my personal choice that is a little obscure is the band Bush.

    Out of those three Rihanna is probably the one I’m the most hesitant on. I think her poppy and upbeat tunes will resonate in the future with the people that have grown up with her. People will continue to listen and connect with her music, and most likely have their kids and friends listen to them as well.

    Coldplay is coming in a close third for me. Coldplay has been around since 1997 and is still going strong. Coldplay has influenced over 25 years of teens and young adults, which has definitely developed a cult following since its inception. With their most recent album coming out in 2021, they are showing no signs of slowing down, and I think this is why they are a prime candidate for sticking around.

    Eminem is next. One of the most popular rappers and artists of his generation, his lyrics, although fast, can leave lasting effects on people. From hyping people up before the day or getting people to move around, he is a great musician. With his most recent album also coming out in 2021, he is still trucking along. At just 51 years old, he still has plenty of time and music to use up.

    And my personal favorite that I think will stand the test of time is the 90’s band Bush. Bush is a post-grunge band originating in Britain, with their first album “Sixteen Stone” coming out in 1994. Sixteen Stone is by far my favorite album of all time due to its variety of music inside. Bush has been active as recently as 2022 with the album “The Art of Survival”. 

    I think these artists I picked will continue to create music well into the 2020’s, and I for one cannot wait to see how long I will connect and listen to their music in the future.


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  • Senior Spotlight: Simon Wemhoff


    On April 12, 2006, in Columbus Nebraska, Jon and Deana Wemhoff welcomed their second boy, Simon Henry Wemhoff, to their family

    Simon has three other brothers to conclude his family. He has an older brother Calvin, who is 19, and two younger brothers, Brett who is 15, and Michael who is 14. Simon’s grandparents are the late Victor and Janet Johnson of Albion and Laura Wemhoff and the late Victor Wemoff of Columbus.

    Throughout Simon’s high school career, he has been involved in One-Act and golf team for four years and football for one year. 

    Simon’s favorite class in school is Lifetime Activities.  His favorite song is “Paralyzer” by Finger Eleven, and his favorite sports’ team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

    Outside of school you can find Simon working at Just Another Mini Mart. 

    After graduating high school, Simon plans to attend Northeast and complete their HVAC program. In the future, Simon sees himself living a happy life with a wife and family. 

    If Simon won the lottery, he says he would save the money he wins and continue to live his life exactly like he would prior to winning the lottery. 

    If Simon could travel anywhere in the world he would travel to Poland or Germany to see the World War II tourist attractions. 

    His biggest pet peeve is when people throw away food that they take. He says the only time he finds that it is fine is if the food is expired or moldy.

    On Simon’s bucket list he says he hopes to win the lottery, save up a million dollars, and live until his 90's. 

    His advice to the younger classmen is “Don't be afraid to have fun while you are young because the older you get, the less time you have to mess around.”

    We wish Simon the best of luck in his future endeavors!



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  • FCCLA Blood Drive Helps Red Cross

    On March 13 the Leigh FCCLA held a blood drive in the Leigh High School gym. There was a total of 28 donors with 6 donors doing power red donations along with 22 whole blood donations. 

    Adam Cerv, William Langdon, Rhonda Bartling, Dave Eisenmann, Brian Maliha, Kurt Dostal, Carter Timm, James Grotelueschen, Kyleigh Rayback, Heather Kasik, Kathy Heard, Wes Went, Kelsey Larson, Jaime Bohaboj-Blum, Jarrod Bazata, Harley Tejkl, Sandy Muhle, Darla Erwin, Luke Eisenmann, Lynn Olmer, Brianne Bachman, and Darrel Bahns all donated whole blood. 

    Jeff Korus, Nancy Mohnsen, Ernst Cech, Andrew Rivera, Sheryl Johnson, and Laura Bahns all donated power reds. 

    Mrs. Hillen said “Thank you to all the donors who donated blood at our last drive. The FCCLA chapter, especially the senior scholarship recipients, appreciates your time and willingness to make a difference through blood donation”.

    Senior Cassandra Rayback said, “We thank everyone that came to donate blood. We appreciate all of the people that take time out of their day to donate. The next blood drive will be at the end of May and we hope to see more people there!”


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  • Senior Spotlight: Gabriel Pinkston


    On February 24, 2006, Gabriel Rose Pinkston made her grand debut in the world! She is the daughter of Amy and Jeremy MacDonald. 

    Gabe has 3 younger siblings: Lexis Gleason, 16, Zoey MacDonald, 14, and Jaxxyn MacDonald, 5. Her grandparents are Theron and Janette David Pinkston of Leigh, Nebraska. Her family wouldn’t be complete without her 3 dogs—Pepper, Buddy, and Dexter—and her one cat named Kirby. 

    Throughout high school Gabe has been involved in One-Act, speech, and band for 4 years, and choir for 3.5 years. She also has been a part of the Youth Advisory Committee for 1 year. While a part of choir, Gabe has earned the honor of the National Choral Award. 

    One of Gabe’s proudest high school accomplishments is placing 4th at State Speech her sophomore year. Her favorite memory from high school is of playing tug-of-war with all of her classmates during the last day of school.

    Outside of school you can find Gabe busy working at her part-time job at Dollar General in Humphrey. She also enjoys drawing on her tablet and taking her sisters out to eat in her free time.

    If Gabe were to win the lottery she said she would pay off her college tuition and set up bank accounts to accrue money for her sibling’s college educations and her parents' retirement.

    Gabe said she would go to Japan if she had the chance to travel anywhere in the world because she enjoys its snacks, architecture, and culture.

    Gabe’s favorite subject in school is English. Her favorite thing to watch on TV is Blue-Eyed Samurai or Arcane. Gabe’s favorite song is “Love Bites” by Halestorm. Her favorite restaurant is Red Lobster, and her favorite food is snow crab legs. 

    She says her biggest pet peeve is when people excessively crack their knuckles and interrupt her while she is speaking.  Her most embarrassing moment in school was when she was “scream singing” Elsa songs in practice during last year’s One-Act that were way out of her range before Mrs. Fischer realized it wasn’t a smart idea to have her sing them!

    Three goals in Gabe’s life are to go surfing, join a band, and stay in a retro arcade Airbnb.

    Gabe says one pf the people she admires most in life is her sister for being a strong, empathetic individual who hasn’t given up on anything even when the odds are against her. She is brave and inspiring to the end.

    Gabe’s future plans include attending the University of Nebraska-Kearney to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. In 10-15 years, Gabe sees herself working in a tattoo parlor as a tattoo artist and a piercer. 

    Before she graduates, Gabe leaves this advice to underclassmen: “Cherish the time you have with the people around you, especially your classmates.  Even though you might not all get along all the time, these are the people you shared your childhood with.  You may never experience that same kind of connection again.”

    Congratulations Gabe, and good luck to you in your future!




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  • 2024 Prom – Winter Wonderland

    Students and dates gathered on March 16, 2024, surrounded by snowflakes and winter trees for a prom in the theme of “Winter Wonderland.” The junior and senior classes as well as the sophomore servers from both Leigh and Clarkson High School came together for a night of dancing, fun, and winter enchantment at the Colfax County Fairgrounds. 

    The junior classes from both schools decorated, and Betty Mandel from Stitches and Petals in Dodge helped to create the winter spirit by letting the prom committee rent decor. 

    The night began at 4:45, when students met for group pictures of each class. At 6:00, dinner was served by the sophomore servers, and students, dates, and school staff sat down to share a meal. Grilled “Zion” burgers were served, courtesy of Chuck and Sue Folken, accompanied by soup that was prepared by A Full Plate from Stanton. Cinnamon rolls prepared by the prom committee were served for dessert. 

    Doors reopened for the Grand March to start at 7:00, where families and friends came to watch the Clarkson and Leigh schools show off their junior and senior classes, along with the sophomore servers. 

    Then, the night kicked off with the traditional parent-child dance. Students danced the night away in the wintry landscape, and the dance finally concluded at 11:00. 

    Shortly after, students were bussed to Hilltop Lanes & Event Center in Dodge, where students spent the night bowling, playing cornhole and card games, along with other fun activities. Students went head-to-head to compete for various prizes provided by the prom committee and junior/senior parents.

    The night came to a close with the junior and senior classes being awarded their prizes. Students’ names from Leigh and Clarkson were drawn, and each student received a prize of their choice.

    Senior attendee Macy Clausen said, “Prom this year was a really great time. It was really nice to see almost every high school student there and overall it was a good night!"


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  • Platte Valley Welcomes Local FFA Students

    On Friday March 15, the Leigh FFA chapter attended Platte Valley Day in Humphrey. Platte Valley Equipment in Humphrey held a Platte Valley Day and welcomed nearby schools’ FFA chapters to explore career options and learn about numerous career opportunities. 
    Platte Valley Equipment specializes in the selling and servicing of all John Deere agricultural equipment, both new and used. Members in attendance had the opportunity to participate in different activities that showed the technology upgrades being made by John Deere. 
    “It was a great day and I personally learned a lot and I know my fellow students learned a ton of new information as well,” senior Jordan Noonan said. “We learned not only about current day farming and agriculture, but how it was done in the past and how we grew. It was a fun day and I am thankful for the opportunity!”

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  • FFA Students Attend Livestock Judging Competitions

    Eisenmann and Kuester Earn Top JH Honors

    Leading up to FFA State Convention in April, Leigh FFA has been busily preparing for the many events they will be competing in. In addition, many junior high members have also been practicing for future competitions. 

    One of the main competitions Leigh FFA has been focusing on is Livestock Judging because back in October, Leigh FFA qualified their junior team for state.

    In addition to practices held at school, Leigh FFA recently competed in two Livestock Judging competitions. 

    The first was held at the Madison County Fairgrounds on March 14, and the second competition was the Cornhusker Livestock Judging Championships held at the York County Fairgrounds on March 19.

    At their first competition, Leigh FFA sent nine high school students to compete. The students judged eight classes of animals.

    Though the members competed hard, the team did not place in the top two and no students placed in the top 10.

    At their second competition in York, Leigh FFA sent 19 members between the high school and junior high to compete. 

    Once again, the students had to judge eight classes of livestock. The high school team gave two sets of reasons on classes, and the junior high team had to give one set. 

    Leigh FFA was able to take home many honors including first overall Open Class Team and fourth overall Junior High Team. Individual Honors include Wyatt Eisenmann earning top Junior High swine judge and reasons, and Avery Kuester earning top Junior High goat and sheep judge.

    7th Grader Wyatt Eisenman said, “The team did well, but I hope that we can do better next year in york if we go back.”


    Team Results

    1st Place Overall Team in High School Open Class Division – Kammy Held, Carmen Malena, Dylan Higby, Luke Eisenmann, Delanie Erwin, James Grotelueschen, Cody Jedlicka, Daphne Jedlicka, and Blake Loseke.


    4th Place Overall Team in Junior High Division – Avery Kuester, Wyatt Eisenmann, Tyce Larson, Layton Held, Gus Erwin, Easton Brabec, Sadie Brabec, Cade Hoesly, Caleb Settje, and Trenton Olson.


    Individual Results:

    High School: Kammy Held–6th, Carmen Malena–9th, Dylan Higby–15th, Luke Eisenmann–20th, Delanie Erwin–32nd, James Grotelueschen–34th, Cody Jedlicka–74th


    Junior High: Avery Kuester–13th, Wyatt Eisenmann–24th, Tyce Larson–31st, Layton Held–43rd



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  • Patriot BB Powers Through To Lincoln! Girls Lose OT Heartbreaker to Eventual C2 Runner-Up

    It’s post-season time for Patriot basketball, and the girls were looking to make four straight trips to Lincoln this year, and they succeeded!  

    After defeating Cross County, the #1 team in their sub-districts, the girls’ Patriot basketball team traveled to Hastings to battle against the St. Cecilia Bluehawks in the district final on February 23. 

    Despite the Bluehawks being ranked higher than them, the Patriots played hard and prevailed after a big night from senior Chloe Hanel and the rest of the team.  Hanel put up 30 points and 15 rebounds.  The Patriots only allowed double-digit points once through the four quarters, allowing 10 in the 4th, but before that the Bluehawks never got over 9. 

    The girls played a tough game, edging out a 39-32 win against St. Cecilia, punching their ticket to Lincoln for the Class C2 State tournament, and keeping St. Cecilia out of the state tournament for the first time in 12 years! 

    Head Coach Matt Murren said, “What a run the girls were able to put together as we headed into the postseason. Being able to go into sub-districts and knock off a highly ranked Cross County team in a physical game was a huge step for the team.  Heading to Hastings St. Cecilia for the sub-state game and executing on the defensive end the way we did was so much fun to be a part of. The girls showed they can play with anyone in the state and were playing their best basketball.”

    After this amazing win, the girls traveled to Lincoln for the first round of the state tournament. The Patriots faced a tough 27-1 Crofton Warriors team. The contest was neck and neck the whole game, before the Warriors were able to get the upper hand in overtime, taking it 38-32. 

    Although this loss knocked the Patriots out in the first round, it was an amazing season and they were able to take the eventual state runner-up to overtime in their final game.

    Head Coach Matt Murren said, “We knew playing Crofton at state was going to be a tough and physical game, and the girls were up to the challenge. They put together their best defensive game of the year and really limited Crofton offensively. Unfortunately, we ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard, but I couldn't have been prouder of how the girls left everything on the court. This team should be extremely proud of how much they accomplished and how well they were playing at the end of the year.”

    Gracie Eisenmann, one of two seniors on this year’s team, said, “It was super exciting being able to beat Hastings St. Cecilia in the district final and snapping their 12-year streak of going to state. It was also really exciting to make it back to the state tournament and have the opportunity at making a run in Lincoln. 

    “Unfortunately, the state tournament didn't end the way we would have liked but I'm super proud of my team for fighting till the end and pushing a top team to the brink. It has been a fun season and we were able to make huge strides from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. I had so much fun being a part of this team over the years and I'm thankful for everything basketball has taught me!”

    Junior Brynn Settje, who led the team at state with 20 points, said, “I thought the district finals went really well. We started off a little slow, but as the game went on we started to get a rhythm. The state game had an unfortunate outcome but we played our best game that we have played this season. We battled hard and played very well on defense. Our defensive energy allowed us to make some shots on the offensive side. Overall, I thought our season went very well. We started off slow in the beginning of the season, while we were still figuring out what everyone's role was. Once we settled in and knew what we needed to do, we started to play a lot better. Our team works very well together, and we are always having a fun time when we are around one another.”

    The girls’ finished the season ranked #5 in the Lincoln-Journal Star.  Congratulations on the Patriot girls on their 17-6 season and another trip to Lincoln!


    Patriots vs. St. Cecilia

    Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final

    Clarkson/Leigh 8 11 12 8 39

    St. Cecilia 9 5 8 10 32


    Stats - (Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals)

    Cadence Indra - 0, 1, 0, 1; Chloe Hanel - 30, 15, 1, 5; Ava Kasik - 3, 3, 1, 0; Gracie Eisenmann - 1, 2, 0, 0; Brynn Settje - 5, 0, 1, 1; Baylee Settje - 0, 2,0, 0;


    Patriots vs. Crofton

    Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT1 Final

    Crofton 7 7 7 9 8 38

    Clarkson/Leigh 10 5 4 11 2 32


    Stats - (Points, Rebounds, Assists, Steals)

    Cadence Indra – 1, 2, 0, 0; Chloe Hanel - 7, 6, 1, 3; Ava Kasik - 0, 1, 3, 1); Gracie Eisenmann - (0, 3, 0, 0); Brynn Settje - 20, 3, 1, 2; Baylee Settje - 4, 2, 0, 0;



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