The Lions Club recognized the final senior Students of the Month.
Lions Club Students of the Month for April are Nick Labat and Brienna Barnes. Students of the Month for May are Martina Nienhaus and Zach Rutscher.
St. Mary’s High School senior, Nick Labat, has enjoyed playing football, basketball, and baseball for the Knights during high school. He’s also served on the Student Council each year. Nick volunteers to help at the Church Festival each summer and also is a Mass Server. In the summers he works for Schwartz Farms.
Nick believes his strength in leadership will be helpful and important in life. He also thinks his belief in God will be key in as he goes on in life.
Nick said his grandpa, John Schueller, has been most influential in his life. “He stands brave and courageous. He served our country in the Marines and served our community as a police officer,” said Nick. “He will always put his family first as he loves us deeply.”
More about Nick Parents: Craig and Tina Labat
Plans following graduation: Nick plans to attend SDSU-Brookings.
Hobbies: Nick said he likes to golf, especially with his grandpa.
Sleepy Eye High School senior, Brienna Barnes, loves to dance, participating in Fall dance line, competitive dance line (captain since 9th grade) and Just for Kix throughout junior and senior high school. Brienna was also member of a FFA. Brienna works at Schutz Family Foods and for CRD advisors.
Brienna said, “I feel being a hard worker will show I am committed and try my hardest; staying positive helps me push myself; and being dependable will help me succeed as someone that can be trusted and relied on.”
Brienna said her dad is the greatest influence in her life. “He has taught me to always be kind, no matter what, and always use my manners; to do things to the best of my abilities or it’s not worth doing. That’s what he likes to live by and I like to live by it too,” she said. “My father is very supportive of everything I do and I know that I am loved.”
More about Brienna Parents: Jennifer Cleveland and Brady Barnes
Plans following graduation: Brienna plans to attend the Institute of Production and Recording. She would like to work the sound board at concerts and big events and be able to travel.
Hobbies: Brienna likes dancing and running, spending time with her family and listening to music.
Sleepy Eye High School senior, Martina Nienhaus, is busy with a number of school and community activities. She’s played volleyball and softball throughout high school and also belonged to FFA every year. Martina is a member of the Honor Society and participated in the 3-act play her junior and senior years. This year Martina served as senior class treasurer — a office she’s held for her 4-H club since 7th grade.
Martina’s involvement in FFA, 4-H, and her church youth group JAM, have kept her busy with many community service opportunities.
Martina works at Carl’s Corner and for Preferred Capital Management.
Martina feels her ability to get things done efficiently will help her succeed in life. “Being involved in as many things as I am, time management is a huge part of how I keep my life straight,” she said. “My optimism also keeps me going when I don’t think I can do or finish something.”
Martina says her grandmother has been the greatest influence and inspiration in her life. “She has pushed and gone through so many hardships and losses in her life, yet she still has a smile every time you see her,” Martina said. “She is my definition of perfect.”
More about Martina Parents: Wayne and Gina Nienhaus
Plans following graduation: Martina plans to attend SDSU-Brookings for Animal Science and Agriculture Business.
Hobbies: Martina likes sports, fishing, swimming, driving around and bonfires.
St. Mary’s High School senior, Zachary Rutscher, has enjoyed his involvement in sports throughout high school. A three-sport athlete he’s played football, basketball, and baseball. Zach is also a summer baseball assistant coach and umpire. He volunteers as a Mass Server.
Zach works as a custodian at Mark Thomas Company and Blethen Berens Law Office.
Zach said a strength the has is being a good teammate and always putting 100% into everything that he does. “This will help me succeed in life, and in the law enforcement, because my partner and everyone that I encounter will know that I will always do everything I can for them and that I will work hard to keep them safe no matter what is going on in the world,” he said.
Zach said the greatest influence in his life is his grandpa, Bob Paulson. “He has taught me to be generous with my time to support people in my community,” said Zach. “He is an EMT for the City of Sleepy Eye and is always concerned about others. He was a police officer for 31 years and this has influenced my desire to follow in his footsteps.”
More about Zach Parents: Steve and Susan Rutscher
Plans following graduation: Zach plans to attend Alexandria Technical College for Law Enforcement.
Hobbies: Zach enjoys playing and watching sports, spending time with his 4 siblings, parents and grandparents, getting together with friends and playing with his dog.