The Mineral Point Kiwanis Club honored its February Students of the Month at its meeting Tuesday, February 4 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.

Ben Basting

Ben Basting is the youngest child of Jeff and Brenda Basting. He has two older sisters, Jenna and Carey, who have both made a huge impact on him in his life. 

Outside of academics, Ben has been involved in many extracurricular activities throughout his high school career. Ben is the secretary-treasurer on Student Government and has been all four years. He is the president of Key Club, a Blue Crew officer, and is the treasurer of Future Business Leaders of America. Ben is also a member of the National Honor Society and Math Team. Ben has also worked at Point Foods since his freshman year of high school in the Deli/Bakery Department where he enjoys doing one of his favorite hobbies, cooking. 

Next year, Ben plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison to major in biochemistry while minoring in Spanish. After he has finished his bachelor’s degree, he hopes to get into medical school so he can become a doctor. 

At this time, Ben would like to congratulate Annie for also being nominated as Student of the Month. He wishes her luck on all of her future plans and would like to thank her for always being such a great friend. Finally, he would like to thank all the teachers at Mineral Point who have helped to guide and shape him into the student he is today. 

“Ben Basting is a great young man who has been helpful and kind since he was a young boy in kindergarten.  He always met challenges with a smile and accomplished his tasks with hard work and dedication. As I have watched Ben grow into a young man, I have noticed those same hard working qualities. Congratulations, Ben, on being Student of the Month and good luck in the future!” ~ Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher

“Ben has turned into an incredible young man who does well academically and is involved in many activities. He is extremely polite when he enters the office and is always lending a helping hand to others. Ben has really come out of his shell his senior year, becoming involved in the Homecoming festivities and showing how well-rounded of a student he can be. I believe Ben will be incredibly successful in his remaining months of high school and I wish him the best as he heads off to college in the fall.” ~ Janet Lawinger, High School Administrative Assistant

“Ben, congratulations on everything that you have accomplished to this point.  As a young man, you have displayed such a kind and caring attitude that will not be forgotten as you transition to the next step.  I appreciate how willing you are to go the extra mile to lend a hand, to help better our school, and to be a leader amongst your peers.  You are very deserving of the Student of the Month Award. Good luck with your future, as I am sure that you will do amazing things.” ~ Matt Austin, High School Principal

It has been a pleasure teaching Ben Spanish these past four years.  He started out as a shy freshman and has become a strong, independent and hardworking young man through the years.  Ben is always willing to lend a helping hand to others. Ben, I hope you have enjoyed Spanish these four years, because I’ve truly enjoyed having you in class!  I’m also really looking forward to the trip to Spain with you and the other students! Long live Triple B! (inside joke for Ben)” ~ Jenny Wahlin, High School Spanish Teacher

Ben has a twinkle in his eyes, a warm smile, and is a kind and generous young man.  He is eager to help others and serve his school and community. He is one of the first students in the building every day and his involvement in student government and student organizations keeps him here often beyond the normal day. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Ben as a leader in the classroom as well as through his active membership in FBLA all four years in high school where he currently serves as our FBLA treasurer. Ben’s leadership is an asset to our FBLA members and our entire student body. Best wishes with your future plans and congratulations!” ~ Kipalee Bakken, Middle/High School Business Teacher

“Ben, all of us teachers recognized your kindness and maturity from day one.  Please know that the constant smile on your face never goes unnoticed. I’m so lucky to have been able to get to know you more this year. Your artistic abilities have increased greatly; working on the pottery wheel and with ceramics have proven that when you put your mind to something, you accomplish it. You are such a great leader and should be so proud of the individual you’ve become.  I can’t wait to see what your future has in store for you. Enjoy every minute of your senior year.” ~ Lesley Macaulay, Middle/High School Art Teacher

“‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?’ – Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a question Ben will never have to ask himself because as long as I have known him, he is always doing for others. Ben, quite honestly, could be one of the most dependable young men with whom I have worked. Besides being one of my prized English students, Ben has gone the extra mile serving as a Blue Crew officer this year. Most importantly, his work on the Pointer Council for the past four years has been incomparable. This year he is serving as the council communications director and school board liaison. His attention to detail, time management, and follow-through have made him one of the best leaders. In addition to all of this, Ben is unbelievably sincere and kind. I am honored to have had Ben in my life and cannot wait to watch his future shine!” ~ Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher

Annie Wilbanks

Annie Wilbanks was born in Miami, Oklahoma, and is the youngest daughter of the late John Wilbanks and Terri Schaaf. She lived in Oklahoma for the first three years of her life. She then moved to rural Wisconsin. Mineral Point has been the only school district she has attended throughout her life, and she is grateful for the opportunities it has given her.

Annie is very active at MPHS. She is a current officer for Blue Crew, a two-year member of the National Honor Society, a member of FBLA, a member of Key Club, and a three-year football cheerleader where she was named a captain her senior year.

This fall, she will continue her academic career at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She plans on majoring in English Education with the hope of becoming a teacher. Since September of her senior year, Annie has been working with the Mineral Point Middle School English classes. She is thankful for this opportunity because it has given her valuable skills that she will carry with her as she pursues her academics and career in the future. 

During her time at Mineral Point High School, Annie’s English teacher and cheerleading coach, Mrs. Kristin Staver, has greatly influenced her education. She would like to say thank you to Mrs. Staver for everything she has done for her throughout her time at Mineral Point High School.

Finally, Annie would like to congratulate Ben Basting. There is nobody more deserving of this honor than him. She would also like to thank the teachers of Mineral Point High School and Kiwanis for being selected and honored as the Student of the Month.

Annie Wilbanks was a sweet, shy student in kindergarten.  I remember her little sweet smile well. She would shy away from controversy and always choose kindness. I recall her happiness always found her humming a little song as she played in the playhouse.  I’m certain Annie’s hardworking attitude will bring her much success in the future! Congratulations, Annie, on being Student of the Month! Good luck in the future!” ~ Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher

Annie is a wonderful addition to my middle school English classroom.  She has an uncanny ability to make connections with younger students, and they truly value her feedback.  She is going to make a phenomenal teacher.” ~ Michelle Rielly, Middle School English Teacher

“Annie has grown into such a beautiful young lady over the years. She has been a football cheerleader throughout high school and is respected among her teachers and peers. Annie is always smiling and has such a pleasant manner about her. She has been spending some of her class time working with middle school students, which helps her prepare to go to college and become a teacher.  Annie has a really bright future ahead of her and I wish her much success.” ~ Janet Lawinger, High School Administrative Assistant

Annie is passionate about her education and takes pride in everything she does.  She is patient, empathetic, and kind to everyone. Annie is a strong communicator and a great listener to her friends. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Annie not only as a student in my classroom, but also as a valued FBLA member for the past two years, and as a senior leader in my advisory group this year. She is a role model and leader by example for our underclassmen and will make a great teacher! Congratulations and good luck to you!” ~ Kipalee Bakken, Middle/High School Business Teacher

“Annie is such a wonderful example for underclassmen to look up to as she is kind, hard working, and always has a smile on her face.  As she completes her senior year, I want to take a moment to say ‘Thank You’ for everything that you do. One thing about Annie that stands out to me is the excitement that she displays when she gets to go down and work with the middle school English class.  I am so excited for you as you continue down the teaching path because I believe that you have found your passion. Best wishes.” ~ Matt Austin, High School Principal

Awesome Annie!  That’s what comes to mind first when thinking about how to describe Annie.  That, and how mad I was when she didn’t take Spanish this year! Just kidding, Annie!  In truth, I was sad because Annie is very talented and has a natural ability for language.  Annie plans to be an English teacher in the future which is a perfect fit for her. Best of luck to you, my dear!” ~ Jenny Wahlin, High School Spanish Teacher

“‘We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty’ – Maya Angelou. I am so thankful I have had the pleasure of watching Miss Annie Wilbanks change over the last four years. She has gone from a sweet, observant, yet quietly passionate little girl to a kind, outgoing leader always willing to do whatever it takes to make MPHS the best place to be. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Annie in the English and Multimedia classrooms. It was an extra bonus to have her a football cheerleading captain and Blue Crew officer. Annie is a special girl who is destined for great things. I am so happy that I could be a small part of setting her on this path. Selfishly, I am so sad to see her go but am so excited to see what is to come for this young lady who is beautiful inside and out!” ~ Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher