Students leaving Kingsland with generous support from community

Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

“Tuesday night, due to the generosity of local organizations and businesses, we gave away nearly $400,000 in scholarships. That’s a lot of money for a small community like ours,” stated Kingsland Superintendent Jim Hecimovich, addressing the audience during the 2019 Kingsland commencement ceremony last Friday evening, May 17.

The scholarship money was awarded to Kingsland students at the annual awards ceremony on May 14, just a few days prior to commencement.

Organizations that contributed hail from Spring Valley, Wykoff, Ostrander, Rochester, greater Fillmore County and beyond. The American Legion Auxiliary bestowed a scholarship upon Joshua Warren, and the American Legion Post recognized Warren and Rachel Hansen with their scholarships. Nora Jahn received the American Red Cross’s award, Hailey Westphal earned the Avery & Aiden Arneson Scholarship, Bloomfield Mutual Insurance thought well of Kendall Drury-DeBoer, Nolan Fetterly was given a scholarship from CFANS, Compeer Financial chose to honor Jahn and Jacob Welch and Zachary Queensland was given the Daughters of the American Revolution’s scholarship.

Also, Sydney Eickhoff was the recipient of the Dorothy Mulholland Memorial Scholarship – in honor of Kingsland teacher Scott Mulholland’s late wife, Hansen and Jahn garnered the Education MN-Kingsland scholarship, pig aficionado Jacob Welch was given the Fillmore County Pork Producers scholarship, Hunter Jorgensen will proceed to college on funds provided by First State Bank and Victoria Hershberger will continue her education with thanks in part to the Floyd & Lucille Berning-Prinsen Endowment. The Kingsland Athletic Boosters gave money to assist Lauren Buchholtz, Hershberger, Jahn, Reid Kruegel, Wyatt Pruter, Jenna Schmidt, Austin Stephas, Warren, Welch, Nick Wernimont and Bradyn Willford.

Kingsland Key Club and the Kiwanis Citizen of the Year scholarships were bestowed upon Molly Peshel, while the Kiwanis Club of Spring Valley distributed funds to Drury-DeBoer, the Kiwanis Spring Valley Designated District scholarship went to Schmidt, the Knights of Columbus chose to support Buchholtz and Hansen, Queensland received the Thauwald Family scholarship, MiEnergy Cooperative gave monies to Peshel, Schmidt and Megan Schultz, Jahn got the Nado J. Bernard III Scholarship, Eickhoff and Stephans will continue their educations courtesy of Charlie & Irene Reps, Welch will go on to appreciate the contributions of the Richard & Marjorie Hamlin Memorial fund, Queensland and Schmidt benefited from Minnwest Bank’s scholarships and Taylor Zimmerman will proceed to college using the SueAnn O’Groske Memorial.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) underpinned Eickhoff, Jorgensen, Jennifer Knutson, Wyatt Pruter and Warren, while the Wykoff Lions Club determined that Eickhoff was their candidate for this year’s scholarship. Hansen was given the Esther McCaulley Memorial and the Tootie Foster Memorial. Buchholtz and Zimmerman were appreciative of the Mayo Clinic awards they received, as were Greggory Hubka and Queensland of the Ostrander Lions Club awards. The Osterud Winter Trust was generous to numerous members of the class – Buchholtz, Drury-DeBoer, Eickhoff, Morgan Guy, Hansen, Victoria Hershberger, Stephanie Hershberger, Hubka, Jahn, Jorgensen, Knutson, Kruegel, Nagel, Peshel, Queensland, Schmidt, Schultz, Stephans, Warren, Welch, Wernimont, Westphal, Willford and Zimmerman.

A point of particular pride for Kingsland is the acceptance of Renee Lechner into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on a full scholarship. During the graduation ceremony held on Friday, May 17, Hecimovich asked Lechner to stand to be recognized by the audience for her achievement and intentions of entering the United States Army.

He also commended Wolf for his decision to enlist in the United States Air Force.