The Mineral Point Kiwanis Club honored its December Students of the Month at a virtual meeting Tuesday, December 1. The Kiwanis Club is meeting via Zoom during the pandemic.

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.

Grant Lee

Grant Lee is the son of Skip and Brenda Lee, and the first of two children. His younger sister, Morgan Lee, is currently a freshman in high school. Grant wants to thank his parents for being wonderful role models throughout his life, and being someone he could always count on to be there for him, and help develop him into a better person.

Grant is always busy studying for that next test, or being away at a swim practice. He is very dedicated to his academic and swim performance. He participates in extracurriculars such as band and forensics. Grant holds leadership positions such as section leader in the band, a leader of his forensics group, and a leader on his swim team. In addition, Grant is a proud member of the National Honor Society.

In terms of work experience, Grant works as a tour guide, maintenance man, cleaner, and cashier all at Pendarvis Historic Site. He is very grateful to be employed there because it has taught him outstanding communication skills that are implemented in everyday conversations. Also, he is employed at Vinger’s Pizzeria in Darlington where he takes phone orders, operates the cash register, and takes pizzas out to the customers, ensuring they have the best experience possible.

Next year, Grant will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and will be majoring in Accounting with a minor in Business and Finance. In addition Grant is proud to say that he will also be swimming for the Blugolds swim team come 2021!

Grant wants to thank all of the teachers and staff for continuing to do their very best during these trying times, and continuing to give a high quality education. Grant especially wants to thank Mrs. Kristin Staver, Mrs. Jenny Wahlin, and Mr. Matt Nevers for going above and beyond, not just in the classroom, but outside of class helping him develop into a better person, and teaching him life lessons that will not be forgotten. 

Grant wants to congratulate Rita Wilson on receiving Student of the Month honors; she has always worked hard in class and is very deserving. Grant also wants to give a big thank you to the Kiwanis organization, and the teachers, for choosing him as Student of the Month.

One of the cutest memories of Grant from elementary school was when he came into the office and said ‘My dad is going to kill me!’ with the sentence being long and strung out. I don’t even remember what it was about, but I chuckle everytime I think of it. From that point on, I knew he was a little boy who had the utmost respect for not only his parents, but for everyone around him. Grant continued to grow into a caring person who is nothing but kind, intelligent, and from what I’ve heard, he is an amazing swimmer who has competed in multiple events over the years. Grant is also a good musician, being part of the band since 5th grade. Grant is going to be one of those kids who succeeds in everything he does, which is why I know he has a great future ahead of him. Good luck, Grant, in all you do!” ~ Janet Lawinger, High School Administrative Assistant

“Grant Lee came to kindergarten as a tall, confident boy and this seems to have followed him throughout his time at Mineral Point Schools.  Grant was a leader among his peers and had the confidence of a natural born taskmaster. He always had a smile to light up the room and could make someone’s day better.  As I have watched Grant grow into a fine young man, I see those same qualities. Congratulations, Grant, on becoming Student of the Month!  Have a wonderful senior year!  I’m sure you are looking forward to a bright future!  Good Luck next year!” ~ Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher

“Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month. Your leadership in our school has grown tremendously and is greatly appreciated. I’ve always been able to count on you going out of your way to say hi in the hallway and asking me how my day is going.  It’s the little things such as your kindness that can make a difference in someone’s day.  You have a great future ahead of you; I hope you can enjoy the last few months of your senior year.” ~ Lesley Macaulay, Middle/High School Art Teacher

Grant Lee makes his presence known in a room.  He is kind, polite, energetic, and engaged in class discussions.  His honesty, sincerity, and determination are assets. It has been great fun watching you grow and mature over the years!  Best of luck and congratulations, Grant!” ~ Kip Bakken, Middle/High School Business Teacher

“Congratulations on your selection as the Student of the Month for December.  You have a natural talent as a leader and your ability to work diligently, be reliable, and your overall positive outlook are going to help you immensely at the next level.  Thank you for your commitment to making Mineral Point a better place and for being a positive role model for your peers and underclassmen.  It has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to get to know you.  Best wishes.” ~ Matt Austin, High School Principal 

“‘The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.’ This quote by American author Brian Herbert fits Mr. Grant Lee perfectly. Grant is one of the most special students I have had the pleasure to teach and coach in my thirty years of teaching. He is the kind of student that makes me know why I have done this job for so many years. He has taught me as much as I have taught him. His enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge is contagious and makes me want to up my game everyday. I really struggle to find the words to express how awesome this young man truly is. I am so excited to watch his life unfold – I know one thing for sure – it will be extraordinary because he will settle for and deserves nothing less!” ~ Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson would like to begin by thanking Kiwanis for selecting her; she would also like to congratulate Grant Lee for his achievement. 

Rita is the daughter of Greg and Carrie Wilson. Greg works as a veterinarian in Mineral Point and Carrie is a nurse. Rita has three sisters, Stephanie, Hope, and Ella. 

Throughout her academic career, Rita has strived to be as involved as possible. She has taken part in Future Business Leaders of America, FFA, math team, band, choir, musical theater, and soccer. She hopes to become a captain this coming soccer season. She has also founded the Pointer Alliance, the school’s LGBT+ organization, which strives to educate students and staff. She has spent the last three years working with the school and students to grow this club and spread information. 

Rita has volunteered in the community through both school clubs and the Mineral Point Churches’ Youth Group. She has volunteered for roadside clean up, community meals, and gift drives. Every summer, the Youth Group spends a week volunteering in large cities; they have packed meals, volunteered at nursing homes, and sorted donations. Outside of school Rita works as a cashier at Walmart and as a farm hand on a local hay farm during the summer. She has been at Walmart for over a year, and had her farm job for four years. She also has experience as a dishwasher, and babysitter. 

In her spare time, Rita enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music. After graduation Rita plans to pursue a bachelors in physics with the goal of working towards a graduate degree in astrophysics. She has not decided where she will attend college, but is very excited for the future. 

Rita would like to thank her teachers for all their hard work this year, especially with the trying circumstances. She would like to give special thanks to Mr. Matt Nevers, Ms. Ashley McHugh, Mrs. Cindi Nothem, and Mr. Jason Smith for their support, both inside and outside of school. She would also like to thank her family for supporting her. Finally, she would like to thank Kiwanis again for this honor.

Although Rita is a quiet young lady, she speaks volumes when it comes to her academics. She is an intelligent young lady who is always kind and considerate when she comes into the office. She is also the main reason why I purchase from the school fundraisers as she consistently makes sure the office staff has been asked. Rita is also very musically inclined, performing both in band, choir, and in the musicals. Rita is the type of girl who is going to go out, set a goal, and work as hard as she can to achieve it. Best wishes to you throughout the rest of your senior year and beyond.” ~ Janet Lawinger, High School Administrative Assistant

“Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month.  You have come so far in the past four years, not only with your artistic talent, but your leadership skills as well.  Your individuality and sense of humor are what draw people toward you. Never stop being daring and wild-hearted; you have so many possibilities ahead of you.  I truly believe your future will be bright, successful, and whatever you want it to be.  Thanks for the memories.” ~ Lesley Macaulay, Middle/High School Art Teacher

“To describe Rita one could use the words: gifted, thorough, thoughtful, and polite.  Rita, you have been an excellent role model for those around you and are very deserving of this selection. Your determination and confident approach will serve you well and help you reach your future goals.  Thank you for all that you have done for Pointer Nation.  You have an extremely bright future ahead of you; best of luck.” ~ Matt Austin, High School Principal

“Rita is a very driven individual who has shown passion for beginning the school’s first GSA, the Pointer Alliance.  She has shown leadership within this role by taking charge of beginning and carrying out initiatives all while she is largely involved in other activities and clubs within the school.  Rita is a compassionate individual who wants others to have the opportunity to feel comfortable being themselves and also works to push systems to be more inclusive and forward thinking.  I have very much enjoyed getting to know Rita these past few years, and know she will continue after high school to push forward with innovative ideas.” ~ Katelyn Oellerich, School Psychologist 

“Rita Wilson is a strong and confident person with a kind heart.  She is straightforward, honest, and hard working. She has been a valued FBLA member throughout her time in high school. I don’t think she has ever missed a meeting! She qualified for FBLA State Leadership Conference last year with her graphic design project and I can’t wait to see how she does this year!  Congratulations and best wishes, Rita!” ~ Kip Bakken, Middle/High School Business Teacher

“Rita Wilson has demonstrated terrific dedication to the music department. She has developed as a performer over the course of her high school career, shown great initiation in musical and community projects, and participated in many of the musical extra curricular activities our district offers. Rita has always served as a model in her willingness to try new things, ability to form and share opinions and interdisciplinary connections, and patience with others. Over the last two years, she earned the choral award of Leadership for her positive attitude and group mentality, and Most Improved for her efforts and growth in her individual craft. In all of our local tours as an ensemble, I have witnessed Rita’s genuine care for our community members. Rita has also represented the MPHS Vocal Program in varying choral festivals, including the 2019 and 2017 UW-Platteville Honors Choir Festivals, and the 2020, 2019, and 2018 SWAL Honors Choir Festivals. I have also enjoyed working with Rita within our musical theatre productions. For her role as the Big Bad Wolf in Shrek the Musical, she earned the award for Best Work Ethic, and in her role as the Nightingale in Once Upon a Mattress, she nearly stole the show with her humor and wit delivery. This past year, she earned the awards for Most Flexible Staging and Best & Longest Death in the difficult role of Gavroche in Les Misérables. Rita has always shown wonderful character study and commitment to the onstage drama, and has never partaken in offstage drama! I look forward to her new musical challenges this year in her varying roles for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, while also balancing her other interests and work! I have really enjoyed and appreciated Rita’s lyrical analysis, deep emotional connection, teamwork, and daily enthusiasm in class, onstage, and within all of her interests and commitments. She has certainly left a footprint in our school, community, and music department. Rita’s deep curiosity, unique personality, sense of responsibility, and thoughtfulness towards others will surely take her far in all of her future pursuits!” ~ Ashley McHugh, Middle/High School Choir Teacher