The Mineral Point Kiwanis Club honored its March Students of the Month at a virtual meeting Tuesday, March 1.
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.
Estelle “Ellie” Janetka is the only child of Ingrid Berg and Robert Janetka. Ellie was born in Winfield, Illinois, on August 6th, 2004. She moved to Mineral Point in 2015.
Ellie has been involved in many activities throughout middle and high school. She is an avid participant in the music department and has been part of the band and choir since sixth grade. She has played for the Mineral Point marching and pep band throughout high school. Ellie enjoyed performing in the musical for three years and was extremely proud to portray the tragic role of the Hungarian-speaking character, Katalin, earlier this school year in the production ‘Chicago: High School Edition.’
In addition to music, Ellie enjoys the challenge of improving her public speaking skills with FFA leadership development events and forensics. Some of her other interests include learning about other languages and cultures, which motivated her to study German online during her senior year. Ellie’s passion for languages also led her to restart the MPHS Spanish club, and she hopes the club will foster a spirit of adventure in students to someday travel to a Spanish-speaking country.
When she’s not in school, Ellie spends her free time working on her artwork and takes lessons from local artist, Richard Molinski. Ellie is deeply involved in her church community at St. Mary and St. Paul’s parish. She sings for the church choir and has been teaching music to the religious ed students. Ellie also enjoys using her artistic talents in service of the community by singing Christmas carols on December gallery nights, designing program covers for the school music concerts, and making cards for members of the community.
Ellie is planning to attend the University of Wyoming after high school and study zoology there. She hopes to use her degree to travel the world, working in the field of wildlife conservation.
Ellie would like to thank her teachers and friends for allowing her to become the person she is today. She would particularly like to thank Ms. Ashley McHugh, Mr. Matt Nevers, and Mr. Jason Smith for four wonderful years in the music department and three amazing years of musical theater, and Caleb Mitchell for giving her the opportunity and guidance to teach music. Finally, Ellie would like to congratulate her friend and fellow student of the month, Lexi Kinch.
“Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month, Ellie! Although you were not in our schools when you were in kindergarten, I have watched you grow as you have become a great student at Mineral Point Schools! You carry yourself with posture and grace at school and at church, where I enjoy hearing you sing! Have a wonderful time as you finish high school and move on to exciting college years!” ~ Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher
“I’ve only known Ellie since she enrolled in middle school in 2015. Although she seems to me to have a quiet personality, her academic and musical performance speaks loudly of the type of person she is. Ellie is very polite when she comes into the office and always seems to be on target to complete her next goal. I’m sure she will continue to enjoy the rest of her high school year, looking forward to pursuing her career in Zoology and Wildlife Conservation at the University of Wyoming. I can only see good things coming her way. Congratulations on being selected Student of the Month. I’m sure this will be just one of the many things to be proud of.” ~ Janet Lawinger, High School Administrative Assistant
“Ellie, congratulations on your selection as the Student of the Month for March. As a young individual, you are such a thoughtful, kind, and respectful person and have been a wonderful role model for those around you. Remember to always believe in yourself as you are very talented in many areas. I can’t wait to see what your future holds and have no doubt that you will be successful in any endeavor you choose to pursue. Thank you for being a part of Pointer Nation and best wishes for your future.” ~ Matt Austin, High School Principal
“Ellie, it has been a great pleasure getting to know you. I am inspired by your creative mind and free spirit, and I look forward to seeing where your future leads. I think you will have great stories to tell and I look forward to reading your future poetry. It has been a true pleasure to work with you in forensics. Your ability to put things together, develop a deep understanding, practice, and apply feedback is a joy to see. Best of luck in all you do!” ~ Kris McCoy, Middle/High School Librarian
“‘Fly your own route. Show your true colors. Be your own person.’ This motivational poster sums up Ellie’s personality and attitude perfectly. I have absolutely loved this confident, go for it quality of hers. She is never afraid to share her thoughts and opinions and always does it with grace and respect for others. She has a genuine care for others, a thirst for knowledge, and a curiosity about life that ensures her a successful future. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to see you continue to bloom.” ~ Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher
“Ellie Janetka has been dedicated to the music department throughout her high school career. She has taken on awesome musical projects that better both her own abilities and the musical experience of her community, and she participated in nearly all musical extra curricular activities that our district offers. Ellie has always served as a role model for her peers in her determination to improve and prioritize group goals, willingness to try new things, and patience with others. In all of our community tours as an ensemble, I have witnessed Ellie’s compassion and connection with community members. Ellie has also represented the MPHS Vocal Program in varying choral festivals across the Midwest, including 2022 UW-Milwaukee’s Vocal Arts Festival, 2019 and 2020 SWAL Honors Choir Festival, 2018 UW-Platteville Honors Choir Festival, and at the Gundry House’s Holiday Event in 2018. She was also nominated for 2022 Dorian Choral Festival. I have truly enjoyed working with Ellie within the Musical Theatre Club as well. For her role in ‘Les Misérables,’ she earned the Most Consistent Cast Member and Rose to the Challenge awards; for her role in ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ she earned the award for Most Improved Actress, and for her role as Katalin Hunyak in ‘Chicago,’ she earned awards for Most Tragic Onstage and Best Foreign Language Delivery. I have come to appreciate her genuineness and multi-faceted interests over the last few years, and can attest to her sweet personality. Ellie’s optimism, well-roundedness, creativity, and consideration of others will surely guarantee her success in her future pursuits!” ~ Ashley McHugh, Middle/High School Choir Teacher
Lexi Kinch is the second oldest child of Kevin and Andrea Kinch. Lexi was born in Dodgeville in 2003. She has one older sister, Kaitlyn, as well as two younger sisters, Macy and Austyn.
Lexi has participated in many activities in her academic career. She has participated in wrestling and football cheer all four years of her high school career and has been captain of each team for one year. Lexi has also had the privilege of being class president her freshman and senior year and being student body president her senior year. Taking part in student government has allowed Lexi to become a better leader for her peers, and Lexi enjoys helping her community and giving back through the student government. Lexi has taken part in many more clubs such as Key Club, FFA, Future Business Leaders of America, Spanish Club, and Blue Crew. Lexi had the honor of being inducted into the National Honor Society last year.
Lexi has enjoyed being a part of Mineral Point Softball since middle school. She enjoys pushing herself to become a better person on and off the field. Her greatest memory was hitting a homerun during their SWAL matchup with Iowa-Grant. Lexi will always keep her memories with her teammates close at heart and can’t wait for the season to start again.
Outside of school, Lexi enjoyed working at Red’s Supper Club in Cuba City last summer where she worked as a waitress. She has also enjoyed working at the BP Pit Stop over the years. Lexi has also enjoyed taking part in countless community service activities as well as participating in Youth Group the past couple summers.
After high school, Lexi plans to attend UW-Whitewater and receive her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. Lexi then plans to attend UW-Madison for graduate school. She wishes to use her degree in Biochemistry to become a medical researcher, specializing in cancer research.
Lexi would like to give a huge thank you to the Mineral Point Unified School District for teaching her valuable life skills that have helped her unlock her potential. She would also like to thank her community for supporting her over the years, especially for standing beside her these past few months. Lastly, she would like to give a big thank you to her family for always standing beside her and pushing to become the best version of herself and also congratulate Ellie on receiving this honor.
“Lexi, I recall your sweet demeanor and helpfulness when you were a little kindergartner! I was so lucky to have you in my class. You were always so kind to your peers and would step right in to help others. Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month! Your perseverance throughout your school years, especially this one, shows you can conquer anything! When something seems too tall, simply recall all the help you have given others and take a turn to lean on them for a little while. You are an amazing young lady and I look forward to watching you enter the world with the strength and resolve you have so graciously exemplified! Best Wishes for the future!” ~ Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher
“I’ve known Lexi since she was in elementary school. She has been one of those girls who is always willing to put her best foot forward and make the best of everything. Lexi enjoys academics and strives to do her best no matter what comes her way. She is an excellent cheerleader supporting both the football team and wrestlers. She is also looking forward to this Spring for her favorite sport of softball. She has done a great job throughout her senior year, focusing on her studies and remaining involved in extracurricular activities, all while putting her health first. Congratulations on being selected Student of the Month. I look forward to watching you thrive at UW-Whitewater. You go girl!” ~ Janet Lawinger, High School Administrative Assistant
“One could use many different words to describe Lexi, such as brave, kind, thoughtful, and determined, but the word that stands out the most to me is positive. Her approach throughout high school and this past year have shown us all that having a positive attitude can help us battle through anything. Furthermore, she is always pleasant to be around and has been a great student and leader amongst her peers. Thank you for being you. Congratulations on your selection as Student of the Month and best of luck with your future.” ~ Matt Austin, High School Principal
“Lexi Kinch radiates joy wherever she is. Each day she is full of enthusiasm and always has a super positive attitude. She is a true ray of sunshine and always brought that into the classroom. She is destined to do great things and I am honored that I was able to teach her.” ~ Deb Molle, 3rd Grade Teacher
“How quickly the years have gone by. I have enjoyed watching you grow up over the years. You do everything with a smile and always care so much about others. I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to see what your future holds. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments throughout your school career!” ~ Morgan Burris, Pre K Teacher
“Lexi, congratulations on being Student of the Month! It has been a great pleasure working with you as a teacher, librarian, and adviser. You have made my job in all of these areas easy with your determination, work ethic, spunk, and always smiling personality. I am so proud of how you have taken on all of the challenges sent your way over the last couple of years. Each of us can learn something from you and your can-do spirit. Thank you for your leadership and always being there to support your peers, school, and community. You make the world a nicer place!” ~ Kris McCoy, Middle/High School Librarian
“‘Hard work spotlights the character in people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all’ – Sam Ewing. I found out during the first month of Miss Lexi Kinch’s freshman year that she was a person who turns up her sleeves. Lexi has always been the first to volunteer and the last to leave the job. She gives 110% and does it with a smile. Her outgoing, positive attitude coupled with her work ethic will absolutely take her down the road to a bright future. I can’t imagine not having her in a football cheer uniform next year – she has truly been my go-to girl for the past four years. I will miss you dearly, Sweet Girl but am so excited to see where life takes you!” ~ Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher
(Janetka photo by Stephanie Wilson; Kinch photo by Candid Touch Photography)