University Center awards

The following students were honored at the University Center-Rapid City during its annual awards program April 27.

Outstanding Black Hills State University Undergraduate Student: Clair Cecil; and nominees: Antonio Kelly, Allison Simpson, Ashley Rennie, Kathy Stewart-Martinson, Jamie Froseth, Evan Tauck, Robert Williams, Mark Quasney, Josh Kosola; Outstanding Northern State University Undergraduate Student: Alexandria Thompson; Outstanding South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Undergraduate Student: Luke Hawkins; Outstanding South Dakota State University Undergraduate Student: Kim Mattson; Outstanding SDSU Graduate Student: Michelle Cole; and nominees: Heather Campbell, Jonathan Elm, Jacob Seidel; Outstanding University of South Dakota Undergraduate Student: Karsi Griego; and nominees: Brittany Jones, MaryBeth Rogers; Outstanding Veteran Student: Mark Quasney; and nominees: Josh Kosola, Morgan Sellman; Director’s Award for Academic Achievement: James Vollmer; and nominees Mark Quasney, Courtney Roosendall, Ashley Rennie, Josh Kosola.


  • The following students from the local area won cash prizes in an essay contest coordinated by the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Division of Securities themed “How to Create Financial Independence by Understanding Five Principles of Investing.” Third place: Ridge Sandal, $3,500, Wall High School; $1,000 drawing: Abigail Ceremuga, Rapid City Stevens High School; and $750 drawing: Rachel Zacher, Belle Fourche High School. Teacher David Ermish of Wall High School won $300 for sponsoring the third-place winner.
  • Southwest Middle School sixth grader Renee Troiani was the grand prize winner in the Rotary District Four-Way Test Essay Contest. She received $200 and a 4-Way Test medallion.


  • Central High School student Cullen Knowles received a $2,000 scholarship for being named a South Dakota Student of Integrity by the Better Business Bureau Foundation.
  • Vaughn Vargas of Rapid City was awarded a $5,000 Udall Scholarship, a national program established by the U.S. Congress.
  • Pamela Getman of Hill City received an Alumni Medal for Scholarship in accounting during Dakota Wesleyan University’s Honors Sunday convocation.
  • The following students from the local area received 4-H Teens as Teachers scholarships based on the number of hours they spent teaching: Jade Downie of Rapid City; Tavis Burbank of Norris; Abby Keffeler of Piedmont; Chloe DeKraai, Katie Meirose, Kahlie Peterson, Malia Sauer and Errin Short, all of Sturgis; Casey Fairbanks, White River; Emilee Engel and Natalie Gronlund, both of Winner; and Katelyn Bryan, Witten.
  • Black Hills State University students Morgan Larson, Kennedy McClausland, Kristin Rath, Kylee Lerback, Shane O’Brien, Aaron Schone, Jayce Marks, Nick Olson, Maria Steckline, Kayla Marquardt, Jaylen Osborne, Amy Weiers, Colin Weinzirl, Michael Birkeland, Emma Crim, Hayley Hansen, Katelynne Blades, Mandi Decker, Genetie Hendrix, Paige Brink, Kylie Farrar, Alissa Humphrey-Iverson, Samantha Christensen, Jordan Frost and Alexandra Hurdel: Vucurevich Math and Science Scholarships


South Dakota School of Mines & Technology students Colter Dunagan, Rashyll Leonard and David Molash received Dave Bozied Internships and Dakotah Simpson received a Chris Bauer Engineering Internship to work at Sanford Lab for 10 weeks this summer.


Crazy Horse Memorial near Custer hosted two school groups as part of the Indian University of North America educational outreach program. Students in Samantha Slavinsky’s class at Crazy Horse School in Wanblee and Harold Pourier’s class at Santa Fe (N.M.) Indian School participated in several educational activities.


Northern State University’s Dominant 7, a 14-piece trumpet and rhythm section group, were invited to perform at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in King of Prussia, Pa. Dominant 7 members from the area are Calvin Cramer, Buffalo: trumpet; Tyler Goodgion, Rapid City: trumpet; Delayna LaBelle, Spearfish: trombone; and James “Cam” Abreu, Rapid City: drumset.


Allyson Digmann and Kenzi Meeks, both of Rapid City, performed at Chadron (Neb.) State College’s Concert Choir on April 13 at the Chadron Arts Center.


  • St. Thomas More High School student Nicholas Sieger of Rapid City was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar.
  • West Middle School May students of the month: Core 61: Aleeya Malik, Regan Salamun; Core 62: Brittany Sanchez Marquez, Rylie Stonecipher; 7th grade: Emily Barrett, Heather Joens, Reece Doering, Jacob Zens; 8th grade: Abigail Johannsen, Kaitlyn Stobart, Jayce Marsh, Brandon Thomas.
  • The following Meade School District employees will be honored at a reception on Wednesday, May 14. Retiring: Diane Goodhope, teacher, Sturgis Brown High School; Jolene Hanson, teacher, Piedmont Valley Elementary School; Judy Javersak, teacher, Sturgis Brown High School; Lynn McFarland, teacher, Sturgis Williams Middle School; Betty McGough, teacher, Piedmont Valley Elementary School; Audrey Schroeder, administrative assistant, Sturgis Brown High School activities office; Cindy Shetler, teacher, Piedmont Valley Elementary School; Kathi Thomson, paraprofessional, Sturgis Brown High School; and Paula Vukonich, teacher, Sturgis Williams Middle School. Lynn Heltibridle, food service worker at Sturgis Williams Middle School, retired earlier in the school year. Fifteen years of service: Marnie Colhoff, teacher, Piedmont Valley Elementary School; Jone Enright, custodian, rural schools; Diane Goodhope and Kristin Wheaton, both teachers at Sturgis Brown High School; Deb Kerstiens, assistant to the director of Special Services; and Anne Rochelle, teacher, Whitewood Elementary School. Twenty-year honorees: Cathie Anderson and Kerry Skinner, teachers at Sturgis Williams Middle School; Mary Cook, Linda Johnson and Julie Witcraft, teachers at Sturgis Elementary School; Kim Cunningham, teacher, Piedmont Valley Elementary School; Steve Keszler, teacher, Sturgis Brown High School; and Stacy Schuelke, teacher, Opal Elementary.Thirty-year honorees: Connie Berg, Kelly Emme and Marj Small, all teachers at Piedmont Valley Elementary School; Phyllis Erfman, teacher, Sturgis Elementary School; and Karen Speed, head administrative assistant, Whitewood Elementary School and rural schools.Thirty-five year honorees: Lon Harter, principal at Sturgis Williams Middle School; Deb Schnell, teacher at Sturgis Elementary; and Joyce Potter, custodian at Sturgis Brown High School.Teacher of the Year: Missy Urbaniak, teacher at the Atall School and nominees: Andrea Christensen, Piedmont Valley Elementary School; Shari Keffeler, Sturgis Elementary School; Sage Robinson-Miller, Sturgis Brown High School; and Kerry Skinner, Sturgis Williams Middle School.Professional Technical Support Staff of the Year: district social worker Ginger Johnson and nominees: Sheila Limbo, head administrative assistant, Sturgis Williams Middle School; Dede Long, administrative assistant, Buildings and Grounds; and Joan Wilson, paraprofessional, Piedmont Valley Elementary School.
  • Robert Lehmann of Rapid City was among the more than 1,000 St. Olaf College students who were recognized for academic achievement at the college's annual Honors Day convocation on May 2. Lehmann is an English and mathematics major.


From Minnesota State University, Mankato: Hot Springs: Randi Weiss, Bachelor of Science, psychology, Magna Cum Laude; Rapid City: Joshua Bucknall, Bachelor of Science, management, Cum Laude; Katie Forstner, Master of Science, communication disorders; Jason Fredrich, Bachelor of Science, electrical engineering, Summa Cum Laude; Brian Gilbert, Bachelor of Science, biomedical sciences, Magna Cum Laude; Jasmine Graper, Bachelor of Fine Arts, art, Summa Cum Laude; Spearfish: Danica Engesser, Bachelor of Science, communication disorders, Summa Cum Laude; Travis Langer, MA, Sport Management.


Kyle Kopren of Prairie City and Anne Petersen of Lemmon were nominated for the Alumni Association’s 2014 Outstanding Senior award at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D.

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