The Mineral Point Kiwanis Club honored its January Students of the Month at its meeting Tuesday, February 19 at the Pointer Cafe.
The students, who are members of the senior class, are selected for this honor through a voting process by staff at the high school, and their biographies are written by themselves.
Zula Flanary is the daughter of Sandra Peterson and Peter Flanary, each of whom are local artists. Her brother, Fulton, attends the University of San Francisco and is studying advertising.
Zula entered the Mineral Point School District in preschool. She was very shy, and her teachers always encouraged her to talk more. In third grade, through the school, Zula was offered speech therapy to correct a speech impediment. Zula fell into the statistics of voice, speech and language disorders. This disorder affects eight to nine percent of young children with no known cause. As a result, it took Zula years of practice to be comfortable talking to others. Today she is able to speak to public crowds quite frequently, and it is something she enjoys. This includes forensics, school-wide assemblies, monthly club meetings, and organized rallies. Mineral Point has always been a supportive place for Zula to grow and learn. Zula has participated in forensics since freshman year performing poetry, competing with her own original pieces. She has attended the state competition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been a silver medalist each year. This year, as one of the team’s captains, she has her eyes set on winning gold. Zula appreciates the help and encouragement of her forensic coaches Mrs. Kristin McCoy and Mrs. Kristin Staver.
For the past four years, Zula has also been a member of Future Business Leaders of America. Currently, she is serving as a chapter officer, a position in which she held respectively during her junior year. Last year, her competition group not only advanced to state but qualified to go on to nationals held in Baltimore, Maryland. Zula will again be competing at state this April in Green Bay.
Additionally, she is a Key Club officer and enjoys helping her community. Earlier this month, Zula competed at the Dane County Courthouse for Mock Trial as a third-year participant. These many organizations and clubs offered through Mineral Point High School have allowed Zula to get involved and appreciate her teachers, peers, and community.
Zula’s hobbies are cooking, writing, art, and hiking with her two dogs. Next fall Zula will attend The University of Wisconsin-Madison on a full scholarship to study in the College of Agriculture and Life Science. Zula has the goal of becoming a nutritionist and eventually opening her own health food store that promotes healthy living. Zula is very grateful she was able to grow up in this small historic, artistic, and agricultural town of Mineral Point.
“Zula has been quiet since joining elementary. I can recall her coming with her mom as a volunteer many years ago. One always knew she was highly observant and although she may not have had much to say, she was taking in a lot. Since then, I have seen Zula become a graceful, composed young woman with many talents. It has been fun watching you grow, Zula! Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month! Good Luck next year!” ~ Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher
“Even when I first met Zula her freshman year, I could tell that behind her sweet, shy, and quiet shell was a young woman who was incredibly mature, creative, and driven. One of my favorite memories of Zula was her part in the organization of a school walkout in conjunction with the national school walkout addressing school violence following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. There is certainly no doubt that she has a very clear passion for doing everything in her power to improve the world around her. Zula, you inspire change and greatness in those around you. Continue to lead by example and there are no limits to the positive impact that you will bring.” ~ Cindi Nothem, High School Math Teacher
“‘Art is an expression of how you feel. It’s a little piece of you. Your soul. Follow your own heart and don’t try to fit yourself in a box.’ – Unknown. Zula Flanary is a girl that has never tried to fit in box. She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I have gotten to know this quiet soul more and more over the last two years. The quality that I have found the most beautiful in Zula is her silent strength. She truly knows the power in silence and only speaking when it honestly adds quality to the conversation. She is wise beyond her years because of this. As Thoreau said, ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.’ I am beyond excited to see how that life unfolds for you, my dear girl!” ~ Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher
“While often quiet and shy, Zula has poise and confidence and embraces her individual style. She is thoughtful, polite, and caring and greets everyone with a smile. Zula has been an active FBLA member all four years in high school and an officer for the past two years. She has excelled in competition at the Regional and State level in FBLA and was member of a team that qualified and competed at National Leadership Conference in Baltimore last year. She and her team just recently qualified for and will compete at State Leadership Conference again this year. I am so pleased I have gotten to know Zula working with her as an FBLA officer and through our travels with FBLA. Congratulations, Zula and best wishes for a bright future!” ~ Kip Bakken, Business Teacher
Kaitlyn Kinch is the oldest of four girls and the daughter of Kevin and Andrea. Throughout her life, her parents continually supported Kaitlyn through athletics and academics. Her family lives on a small farm outside of Mineral Point where Kaitlyn and her sisters enjoy playing with the animals.
Kaitlyn also loves to stay active. She participates in volleyball, basketball, softball, is the yearbook editor-in-chief, a Blue Crew officer, and a two year National Honor Society member.
As for activities outside of school, Kaitlyn took part in the Mineral Point Youth Group. During this time, she went on two mission trips which taught her the importance of helping others in need and to not take anything for granted. Likewise, she was a helping hand for volunteer work through her church. This includes helping at community suppers, pasty sales, and raking leaves to name a few. In her free time, Kaitlyn prefers to travel to new places and be outdoors. Outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing are special to her, as she spends this time with her dad. Moments like these are very important to her and make her realize how important family is. Over the summers, Kaitlyn keeps very busy being involved in traveling, sports, working at The Pit Stop, and babysitting.
Kaitlyn plans to attend The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to pursue a degree in Communication Science and Disorders and to become a Speech Pathologist.
One of her mentors is her Yearbook Advisor, Kristin Staver. Mrs. Staver is always hard working and never fails to get the job done. She goes out of her way to help other students and is always kind. Mrs. Staver influenced Kaitlyn to work hard and stay kind.
“Kaitlyn has become an amazing young lady, just as she was when she was an elementary student. Kaitlyn has much success with friendships, young and old. It has been fun to watch her grown into a poised young woman and realize her own potential as a learner. Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month, Kaitlyn! Good Luck next year!” ~ Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher
“Kaitlyn always brought a positive attitude and friendly smile to my Geometry and Advanced Algebra classes. She was extremely hard working and motivated, and she encouraged those around her to work hard as well. Congratulations on this award, Kaitlyn. I can’t wait to see what the future holds and where your hard work will take you!” ~ Cindi Nothem, High School Math Teacher
“It would be hard to find another student that is as nice as Kaitlyn. When I am walking through the hallways at school and see Kaitlyn, I am always greeted with ‘Hi Mr. Wainwright!’ She is a hard-working, compassionate, and intelligent young woman and is the type of student that helps make Mineral Point better. Her attitude is contagious and she embraces all aspects of high school. I know she is ready for the next challenge and I am confident that she can and will succeed. The future is very bright for Kaitlyn!” ~ Mitch Wainwright, Interim Superintendent and High School Principal
“I had the pleasure of teaching Kaitlyn in the Graphic Design Class this year and learned how artistically talented she is. She constantly amazed me with her work and creativity. Her bubbly and easy-going personality was so great to have in the classroom. As a student, Kaitlyn always demonstrates mature communication skills. She has a love of learning and level of commitment necessary to succeed in college and beyond. Kaitlyn is academically gifted, hard working, and a compassionate young woman who uses her gifts to improve the lives of others. I am so proud of the beautiful person you have become. Enjoy every minute of your senior year.” ~ Lesley Macaulay, Middle/High School Art Teacher
“Former NBA Coach Pat Riley noted, ‘If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome any problem and will find you are ready for greater challenges.’ Miss Kaitlyn Kinch has always been the epitome of a person with a positive attitude striving to give her best effort. Over the past four years, Kaitlyn has truly been my right hand. She has grown and matured so much that she now gives me orders and deadlines to meet. Her compassion and patience for others make her a trusted role model among her peers. One of the coolest parts of my job is watching kids become young adults and seeing their dreams come true. I have no words for how much I will miss this young lady next year – I don’t have a clue as to how I will ever replace her; however, I can’t wait to see what her future holds. She is truly a one of a kind go-getter with no limits! Thank you for everything, sweet girl!” ~ Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher