Schools and Students published Feb. 16, 2021

News about educational achievements among students from west central Minnesota.

Stock image of math symbols, drawings on a chalkboard

Norby to participate in state DYW program

WILLMAR — Xanarei Norby, Distinguished Young Woman of Kandiyohi County, will participate in the state finals conducted digitally and to be shown streaming on Feb. 26.

Norby attends Willmar Senior High School and is a lieutenant with the Willmar Police Explorers. She will perform a violin selection, from “Swan Lake” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for her talent.

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Xanarei Norby, Distinguished Young Woman of Kandiyohi County

As the Kandiyohi County Distinguished Young Woman, she received a $1,000 cash scholarship.

Participants in the state competition will compete for cash scholarships and the opportunity to represent the state as the Distinguished Young Woman of Minnesota at the national finals in June.


ALC Students of the Month

WILLMAR — Named Student of the Month for January at the Area Learning Center in Willmar were sophomores Steffani Vazquez Hernandez and Edgar Lopez.

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Edgar Lopez, Grade 10

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Steffani Vazquez Hernandez, Grade 10

Vazquez Hernandez’s favorite subject is science and Lopez’s favorite subject is math.

Emery places in VFW Voice of Democracy

DAWSON — Chantal Emery, of Dawson, was the winner of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy 2020-2021 in Dawson and received $500. The theme for the audio essay competition was “Is this the country the founders envisioned.” Her essay took first in the VFW 5th District competition and placed second in the Minnesota VFW state competition and won $1,000. The competition is open to all students in grades 9-12. Emery is homeschooled and the daughter of Steve and Sheila Emery of rural Montevideo.

University of North Dakota

The GPA for the honors designations are summa cum laude 3.90-4.0. Graduating at the end of fall semester with a bachelor's degree, unless otherwise noted, from the Grand Forks school were:

Cosmos: Nissa Peterson


Glenwood: Ashlyn Guggisberg, summa cum laude

Lake Lillian: Morgan Flann

Litchfield: Jaden Rudie, master's in forensic psychology

Paynesville: Amber Johnson

St. Cloud State University

The GPA for the honors designations are magna cum laude 3.50-3.74. Graduating at the end of fall semester with a bachelor's degree, unless otherwise noted, were:

Belgrade: Cassie Akerson, graduate certificate in educational administration

Paynesville: Brittany Mandelko, magna cum laude

Spicer: Sheniah Kallevig, magna cum laude; Samantha Mickelson


Willmar: Meckenzie Tinaglia, master’s in teaching English as a second language; Mark Wasson

Bismarck State College

Graduating at the end of fall semester from the Bismarck, North Dakota, school were:

Litchfield: Jarin Sprecher

Georgia Institute of Technology

Named to the fall semester honors list with a GPA of 4.0 at the Atlanta school was:

Willmar: Maite Marin-Mera

University of Mary

Named to the fall semester dean’s list with a GPA of 3.5 or higher at the Bismarck, N.D. school were:

Glenwood: Abigail Luetmer

Redwood Falls: Gabrielle Houle

University of Nebraska

Named to the fall semester dean’s list with a GPA of 3.6 or higher at the Lincoln, Nebraska, school were:

Willmar: Abigail Mathiasen, Tristen Reed

University of North Dakota

Named to the fall semester dean’s list with a GPA in the top 15 percent of the enrollment in each of the University’s degree-granting colleges and schools at the Grand Forks school were:

Benson: Riley Grube

Glenwood: Ashlyn Guggisberg, Eva Kimball

Granite Falls: Alison Ator

Grove City: Alyssa Vangstad

Kerkhoven: Joshua Peterson

Litchfield: Jadalyn Wagner

Madison: Brett Baldwin

Morris: Kylie Swanson

Olivia: John Remer

Redwood Falls: Alexa Steffl

Starbuck: Sydney Metz

Willmar: Ben Hisken, Ethan Rekedal, Nash Van Klompenburg

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at or phone 320-214-4341.
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