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Second-graders who earned Citizenship Awards were, front, from left: Peyton Church and Teshe Loer; back row, from left: Gracie Ames, Libby Hartman, Simon Kreklau, Hogan Jasicki, Avery Allred and Abigail Haman.

WDC K-4 students earn variety of honors

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Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary held its annual awards program on the last day of school, where students in grades kindergarten through 4 were recognized for academics, citizenship, reading, music, spelling and other school-related activities.

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Principal Louis Rutten served as masters of ceremonies for the awards program. To kick the program off, representatives from Wadena State Bank, Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank and First National Bank recognized students who contributed to savings accounts for being "good planners and savers."

Rutten then recognized the Veterans' Day poster winners. Second-place winners included Emily Lepinski, Katrina Moench, Maggie Hegarty, Corra Endres, Payton Rondesvedt and Johanna Brunsberg. First-place winners were Madelyn Gallant, Jaylee Richert-Nowakowski, Ally Pavek, Grace Gallant, Lauryn Gravelle and Chloe Kapphahn.

Art teacher Bethany Danielson presented a new award this year called the People's Choice Art Award. Fourth-grader Lauryn Gravelle received this award, which was voted on by students for best artwork.

Fourth-grade teachers Gena Sperling and Chelsey Weiss presented the fourth-grade Spelling

Bee winners to Madison Parker and Johanna Brunsberg.

Third-grade teacher/School Patrol advisor Jodee Finn acknowledged and commended this year's school patrol students for their hard work and dedication: Garrett Baron, Grant Baron, Anna Church, Lauryn Gravelle, Grace Gallant, Emma Ries, Johanna Brunsberg, Luke Ayers, Aidan Allred, Braeden Redfield, Connor Lind, Josh Dykhoff and Blu Lutze-Swaisgood. Finn also announced next year's School Patrol students; 12 were chosen out of a field of 23 candidates.

Media Specialist Loni Niles announced the Maud Hart Lovelace Award, which is a children's choice book award. Its purpose is to encourage recreational reading among school-age children. Students in grades 3-8 have the option of reading at least three books off their division list in order to be eligible to vote for the Maud Hart Lovelace Award.

This year's winners were Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea and Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. WDC had nine third-grade students and 26 fourth-graders participate this year: Aidan Allred, Jamie Barthel, Tyson Barthel, Destiny Berg, Johanna Brunsberg, Madison Carsten, Anna Church, Kylee Collins, Corra Endres, Koby Endres, Grace Gallant, Madelyn Gallant, Kendall Godel, Lauryn Gravelle, Ellie Hale, Lane Hoefs, T.J. Jasicki, Chloe Kapphahn, Carson Kern, Inga Lakey, Ashley Lepinski, Gilliana Lopez Arevalo, Eric Malone, Kelly Muckala, Anna Osberg, Madison Packer, Summer Pettit, Josephine Pinnella, Matthew Pugsley, Braeden Redfield, Emma Ries, Payton Rondestvedt, Mercedes Schulz, Ella Stroeing and Garrett Swanson.

WDC had two students, one in third grade and the other in fourth, who read every single book on the list, totaling 12 books -- Ashley Lepinski and Ella Stroeing. They received a gift certificate from "An Open Book" for their efforts.

Niles also recognized "Reading Counts" students, which is an important and fun reading program at WDC. In second grade, students begin participating in Scholastic's Reading Counts program, which tests their reading comprehension by asking students 10 questions based on the book they've read. Each book is assigned a number of points based on the difficulty and length of the book.

This year, students in third and fourth grade earned a total of over 10,000 points! Niles recognized 53 students who've read over 100 points: Aidan Allred, Kaitlyn Anderson, Luke Ayers, Jade Benning, Destiny Berg, Cole Berglund, Donovan Bricker, Josh Dykhoff, Zane Edwards, Koby Endres, Camille Fleming, Kendall Godel, Jace Griffis, Ellie Hale, Rhiannon Jenkins, T.J. Jasicki, Mason Jordan, Chloe Kapphahn, Carson Kern, Emily Lepinski, Eshetu Loer, Kaylin Lupkes, Kelly Muckala, Madison Packer, Ally Pavek, Hannah Plautz, Matthew Puglsey, Emma Ries, Nathan Settle, Garrett Swanson, Jenna Toftum, Sawyer Wedde, and Natasha West.

Students who earned 200 points in the Reading Counts program included: Madison Carsten, Anna Church, Grace Gallant, Lauryn Gravelle, Cecelia Lindquist, Gilliana Lopez Arevalo, Summer Pettit, Josephine Pinnella, Braeden Redfield, and Payton Rondestvedt.

The following students earned over 300 points in Reading Counts: 301 Jamie Barthel, 301 Kylee Collins, 302 Lily Adkins, 323 Anna Osberg, 333 Eric Malone, 382 Madelyn Gallant, 439 Corra Endres, 502 Lane Hoefs, 663 Johanna Brunsberg, 844 Ashley Lepinski, and 1,108 Ella Stroeing.

The Reading Counts bike drawing winners were: Nevaeh Sibbert and Gilliana Lopez Arevelo. Both students won brand-new bikes which were donated to WDC.

Rutten presented the Citizenship Awards to students in grades K-4. The criteria for this recognition is based on best behavior, kind to others, contribute to class and community, positive attitude, strength of character and courage to do what is right.

Kindergarten: Blake Sundheim, Charli Snyder, Ashley Pavek, Anna Fiemeyer, Jayden Doll, Cambrie Geiger, Conrad Reinke, Madalynn Reed, Evan Schmidt and Michaela Sneeden.

First grade: Kobe Snyder, Leah Osberg, Max Pichardo, Amsale Loer, Carson Davis, Aubrey Larson, Lance Connell, Cadie Leeseberg, Chloe Leeseberg and Cooper Ness.

Second grade: Teshe Loer, Gracie Ames, Simon Kreklau, Libby Hartman, Peyton Church, Avery Allred, Hogan Jasicki and Abigail Haman.

Third grade: Kaden Peterson, Madison Carsten, Isaac Hamann, Hailey Kircher, Dustin Perius and Natasha West.

Fourth grade: Carson Kern, Hannah Plautz, Anna Osberg, Gilliana Lopez Arevalo and Emma Ries.

Rutten presented President Obama's Educational Awards. Receiving "Outstanding Academic Achievement Awards" for most improved academically during the school year included, grade three: Jenna Toftum, Katerina Morlock, Janika Van Ourkerk, Noah Johnson, Simon Snyder, MJ Lunde, Charlize Pichardo, Kathryn Redning, Malayna Moren, Haylee Dickey, Katrina Moench, Reagan Goldie, and Levi Safford.

Grade four: Grant Baron, Braeden Redfield, Connor Lind, Ashley Lepinski, Camille Fleming, Destiny Berg, Garrett Baron, Madison Packer, Anna Osberg, Kendall Godel, Emma Ries and Kelly Muckala.

Receiving "Outstanding Academic Excellence Award" certificates in grade three included: Madison Carsten, Courtney Finn, Madelyn Gallant, Ella Stroeing, Lane Hoefs, Charles Bushinger, Jade Benning, Ellie Hale, Brandon Adams, Ally Pavek, Lily Adkins, Eshetu Loer, Isaac Hamann, Hailey Kircher, Paige Self, Inga Lakey, Mercedes Schulz, Kayla Meeks, Aiden Sutherland, Dylan Wirth, and Evan Lunde.

Those receiving "Outstanding Academic Excellence Award" certificates in grade four included: Payton Rondesvedt, Summer Pettit, Anna Church, Josh Dykhoff, Lauryn Gravelle, Cecilia Lindquist, Grace Gallant, Corra Endres, Jamie Barthel, Cole Berglund, Eric Malone, Johanna Brunsberg, Matthew Pugsley and Josephine Pinnella.

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