Sage Shemak and Tessa Hanson

The Mineral Point Kiwanis Club honored its October Students of the Month at its meeting Tuesday, October 15 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.

Tessa Hanson

Tessa Hanson has been a part of the Mineral Point Community her entire life. She lives on the family dairy farm outside of Dodgeville with her mom and stepdad, AmyBeth and Kyle Levetzow, along with her brothers, Bo and Earl. Earl is in second grade at Dodgeville Elementary School and Bo is a Sophomore at Mineral Point High School. 

Tessa has been involved in many extracurricular activities throughout her high school career. She has participated in Key Club, Yearbook, and is a member of the National Honor Society. She was also chosen as a recipient for the Best Spanish Student Award her Junior year. Tessa has played varsity softball throughout her high school career, as well as varsity volleyball and basketball. She is also looking forward to being a wrestling manager for the upcoming season. During her time in these sports and activities she has been given the opportunities to create friendships and show leadership.

Next year, Tessa will be attending Viterbo University to pursue nursing. More specifically, she would like to be a surgical nurse. Tessa’s interest in the medical field comes from a rare knee injury she endured this past year called osteochondritis and the exceptional care she received by her medical team. Osteochondritis is when bone and cartilage break off creating a defect in the knee due to repetitive trauma. Tessa has gone through two knee surgeries in the past year, one of which was a partial femur bone transplant. During this time, the ability for Tessa to physically participate in the sports she loves has been sidelined while she heals and completes physical therapy to rebuild her strength. However, it has not stopped her from staying positive and supportive of her teammates. She is looking forward to being back on the field for softball season to finish out her Senior year. Through all of this, she has learned to make the most of every moment as you never know when something in your life will change in an instant. It has shown her the ability she has to continue to be successful in difficult times, her need to care for and give back to others, and the lessons she’s learned that will help her continue to be successful in her future education and life.

Tessa would like to congratulate Sage Shemak for being honored as Student of the Month as well, and wish her luck in her future. She is very deserving of this award. Tessa would also like to wish the best of luck to the rest of her classmates as they take on Senior year and prepare for their futures. Additionally, Tessa would like to thank her teachers, coaches, and other Mineral Point staff throughout her academic career as they have dedicated so much of their time to help her succeed to the best of her ability. In addition, she would like to thank the Mineral Point community as they are so supportive of the youth and youth programs. Lastly, Tessa would like to thank her family. They have been her biggest supporters through everything life has thrown at her and shaped her into the person she is today. She could not do it without them!

“Tessa is such a kind and mature young lady. I never was actually her teacher, but I can attest to her being a wonderful person on other levels! First of all, anyone who knows Tessa only has nice words to say about her. I also have hired Tessa to babysit my own children on multiple occasions. She has been wonderful to my children and they adore her. I was impressed at her ability to have a job during the summer (the pool) and still take on my babysitting jobs without hesitation (or multiple apologies when she wasn’t able to). She has an amazing work ethic in school and outside of school, which I know will continue to follow her into her future. Congratulations, Tessa!” ~ McKenzy Brown, 6th Grade Teacher

“One of the many aspects that I will remember about Tessa is her positive attitude.  I say this because after her knee injury, Tessa continued to support her teammates in a way that, at times, had to be extremely difficult.  The coaches and I really appreciate what she did for the basketball team last year and know that her ability to overcome this situation, have a positive outlook, and be resilient will translate to her future.  Best of luck with your future.” ~ Matt Austin, High School Principal

“I have had the pleasure of having Tessa in my Spanish class for the past four years and have enjoyed every minute!  Tessa is a hard worker and always strives to know not just ‘how’ but ‘why.’ She was a great leader on our trip to Costa Rica and I look forward to having her on our trip to Puerto Rico next summer.  It always makes me happy when my students excel, and I have to say that I was thrilled to hear that Tessa started speaking in Spanish, by accident, in the class she has after mine! She is making great strides!” ~ Jenny Wahlin, High School Spanish Teacher

Sage Shemak

Sage Shemak lives on a small dairy farm in Highland with her parents, Mark and Marnie. Both her parents are second-generation farmers. Sage grew up as an only child, helping with chores and caring for the animals on the farm. Sage attended Highland Schools up until the end of Freshman year. At the beginning of her Sophomore year, she open-enrolled to Mineral Point. This was a huge decision for her family, but it was felt necessary to provide the best opportunities in education, music, and theatre. In the last three years, she has met many incredible people that she can now call her friends and even family. While she hasn’t been a part of the Mineral Point community for long, she certainly feels right at home. 

Music has always been a major part of Sage’s life. At a very young age, some of her earliest memories include singing in front of family members and singing along with the radio. Her love of music always seemed to be a huge part of who Sage is. She has been playing the clarinet since fifth grade, as well as singing in choir since sixth grade. She would like to give a thank you to Ms. Ashley McHugh and Mr. Matt Nevers for always pushing her to grow in skill and depth as a musician. Throughout her middle and high school career, she has been to various solo and ensemble events, vocal festivals, and even a few music camps. One of her greatest honors was auditioning and being chosen as a member of the Wisconsin State Honors Project. Out of 1200 applicants throughout the state of Wisconsin, she was one of the few chosen to be a part of the Treble Choir. This is the first time someone from Mineral Point was able to get into this choir, and it was a huge honor. Sage’s love of music brought her to another favorite, her love for theatre.  Her involvement in theatre started with her 1st production in middle school of the musical “Annie.” Since middle school, she has performed in many productions such as “Hairspray,” “Bugsy Malone,” and “Beauty and The Beast.” But once she entered high school, she became part of larger productions like “Shrek,” “Once Upon A Mattress,” and currently “Les Miserables.” “Once Upon A Mattress” was special because she had been given her first lead role; it was very stressful but throughout it, she was able to grow to love theatre even more and improve her acting skills. She would like to thank Mr. Jason Smith for helping her grow her acting skills, and always helping whenever needed. 

Aside from Sage’s involvement in music and theatre, Sage is also the captain of the Dodge-Point Girls Soccer Team. Soccer is another huge part of Sage’s life. She has been playing ever since she was in fourth grade. In the beginning, she was able to meet people and make new friends. But gradually, the love of the sport grew. When she open-enrolled, she was very excited to join the high school team. During her time playing soccer, she has had many great role models from coaches to teammates. She hopes that she can be that for others, and strives to be the best that she can be. Other extracurricular activities include Key Club, Forensics, Future Business Leaders of America, and a member of the National Honor Society.  

Sage would like to give a huge congratulations to Tessa Hanson for also being honored as Student of the Month. She couldn’t think of anyone else more deserving and wishes her the best of luck wherever her future may take her. Next year, Sage will be attending Carroll University to pursue music therapy and continue her love of music. She is also deciding on a musical theatre or performance minor. She would like to take a moment to thank all the teachers, students, and coaches who have helped her become the person she is today. And lastly, her parents because they have done so much and sacrificed so much to help her.

“During my time with Sage as a student, she has developed as a musician rapidly, committed herself to experiencing musical opportunities around the state, and taken on multiple musical extra curricular activities locally. Sage regularly serves as a role model for her peers in her determination to improve, willingness to try new things, and thoughtfulness towards others. Last year, she earned the choral award of Musicianship for her awesome musical aptitude, performance, and literacy skills. The year before, Sage earned the choral award of Alto I Section Leader for her positive attitude, team mentality, and service as a resource for her section. In all of our community tours as an ensemble, I have always been able to rely on Sage to represent the school and program in a positive light. Sage has also represented the MPHS Vocal Program in varying choral festivals across the Midwest, including 2019 Wisconsin State Music Association State Honors Project, 2019 Dorian Festival, 2019 UW-Milwaukee Vocal Arts Festival, 2018 UW-Eau Claire Clearwater Honors Choir Festival, 2018 Driftless Honors Choir Festival, and 2017 UW-Platteville Honors Choir Festival. Just last year, she also competed in the Solo & Ensemble Competitions, earning first place twice at the state level.  I have also had the pleasure of working with Sage during the musical theatre productions after school. For her multiple roles in ‘Shrek,’ she earned the awards for Most Spirited and Best Harmonizer, and for her role as Winnifred in ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’ she earned the awards for Best Enthusiasm and Rookie Lead. This year, she will be performing the iconic role of Fantine in ‘Les Miserables.’ I have truly enjoyed witnessing her balance and grow within her multiple interests over the last few years, particularly her vocal music endeavors. Sage’s sweet personality, incredible work ethic, self-motivation, and consideration for others will take her far!” ~ Ashley McHugh, Middle/High School Choir Teacher

I have had the pleasure of coaching Sage the past three years. She is such a kind and thoughtful individual, while also being a really focused player.  Sage’s team rightly voted her captain for the coming season. She leads by example and holds herself accountable. Congratulations and continued success, Sage!” ~ Erik Bakken, Dodge-Point Soccer Coach

Talented, pleasant, and dependable are the first few words that come to mind when I think about Sage.  Sage is a one-of-a-kind student who has a positive vibe around her at all times, strives to excel in all curricular areas, and is a well-rounded individual.  These traits are one of the many reasons she has a bright future ahead of her. It was a pleasure to have taught you and good luck with the future.” ~ Matt Austin, High School Principal

“I have enjoyed watching Sage bloom since she transferred to MPHS.  She has taken full advantage of our numerous offerings in academic and extra curricular activities. The quiet, kind, and respectful young lady in class is an amazing force in song and on the stage!  What a talent! Sage, keep on being you and you will set the world on fire!” ~ Jenny Wahlin, High School Spanish teacher

“It has been a great pleasure working with Sage and Tessa throughout the last few years. They are kind and enthusiastic and both work hard to take their skills to the next level, continuously seeking support and coaching to do so.  This work ethic will take them far. I wish you both the best of luck in your future and look forward to seeing all you will accomplish.” ~ Kris McCoy, Middle/High School Librarian

Both Sage and Tessa deserve to be honored as Students of the Month. They study hard, ask questions when they don’t understand, work promptly and efficiently, and help their classmates when others don’t understand.” ~ Erin Sincox, High School Science Teacher