The Mineral Point Kiwanis Club honored its January Students of the Month at its meeting Tuesday, January 3.

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.

Maddix Jackson

Maddix Jackson is the youngest son of Ted Jackson and Jane Kohlbeck. He was born in Dodgeville in July 2005. He has two older siblings, Taylor and Caden Jackson. 

Maddix’s educational journey began at Iowa-Grant Elementary School until he moved to the Mineral Point Unified School District going into 4th grade. While he prioritizes his academics, Maddix has become involved in school clubs such as the Math Team, Future Business Leaders of America, and Skills USA. 

In addition, Maddix takes pride in his volunteer activities around the community. In his free time, he enjoys working with elementary and middle school students and student-athletes to help them advance themselves in academics and athletics. He also likes to spend time preserving his environment by picking up trash on local highways and in parks. 

Throughout his schooling, Maddix has participated in athletics, becoming one of the most significant parts of his life. Basketball, specifically, caught Maddix’s attention since he first joined the team in first grade. He dedicates time year-round to improving himself for the benefit of his team. He is currently in his final season of high school basketball, so he spends much of his time in the gym before and after school.

After Maddix graduates from Mineral Point High School, he plans on studying computer science but is still determining what university he plans on attending. 

Maddix would like to show his appreciation to all the people who have contributed to his life. This starts with his family, who have always supported whatever he was ambitious for. Also, he would like to thank all of his teachers, but specifically his basketball coach, Mr. Dan Burreson, for truly believing in him and sacrificing his own time to benefit Maddix, whether it was pushing him in practice or showing up to school at six in the morning to let him shoot before school starts. He would also like to extend his gratitude towards Kiwanis and all the individuals who organized this event and their dedication to their community. 

Finally, Maddix would like to congratulate his fellow January Student of the Month and close friend, Mackenzie Ripp, for receiving this honor. 

“Maddix Jackson is a friendly and caring young man. Although I didn’t get the opportunity to teach Maddix myself, I have had the opportunity to observe him interact with others. He is kind, friendly, and helpful. It has been a pleasure watching him mature in academics and athletics. Congratulations, Maddix, on becoming Student of the Month! Enjoy your last semester at MPHS!  Good luck next year!” ~ Mrs. Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher

“Maddix, congratulations on your selection as Student of the Month for January.  One of the many qualities I appreciate about you is the way you put others first.  You have a very bright future ahead of yourself, as you are driven to succeed and are willing to tackle any challenge you face.  Throughout your high school career, I have seen you continue to develop as a student, leader, role model, and mentor for those around you.  Best wishes.”  ~ Mr. Matt Austin, High School Principal

“Maddix has always been an enthusiastic student willing to go the extra mile to do the best job he possibly can.  Along with that he is always more than willing to help others in any way that he can to help them succeed. As a basketball player, Maddix always puts forth his best effort and is a student of the game.” ~ Mr. Dan Burreson, High School Social Studies Teacher and Head Boys Basketball Coach

“American businessman Allen Klein noted, ‘Throughout history, great leaders have known the power of humor.’ When I think of Maddix, the first thing that comes to mind is his ability to always bring humor into any situation. His smile literally lights up the room! This quality, coupled with his drive to succeed, will definitely open future doors for this young man. I wish him all the best and can’t wait to see what the future holds!” ~ Mrs. Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher

“Congratulations, Maddix, on being chosen as a Student of the Month!  You are funny, kind, and so smart!  I have enjoyed getting to know you this year as you have navigated the college application process with ease.  You have been reliable and trustworthy, following through on each intricate step and detail.  You have asked great questions and your wit and humor are one of my favorite things about you.  ‘Bo’ and I will certainly miss your lunch hour visits next year, but I am confident you are ready for the next step in your life, of which I have no doubt will be successful given the resourcefulness you have shown this year.  Again, congratulations, Maddix and best wishes.” ~ Mrs. Erika Brunson, Middle/High School Counselor

Mackenzie Ripp

Mackenzie Ripp is the daughter of Michelle and Roger Ripp. She was born in Madison in 2005. She has two older sisters, Amanda and Jackie, and one younger brother, Cole. 

Mackenzie started her educational journey at Ms. Julie’s 3-year-old program. Since preschool, she has attended the Mineral Point Unified School District. She is a current member of Spanish Club and has participated in volleyball and softball. Mackenzie has also been a County Line 4-H Club member for ten years. She takes pride in exhibiting her creations at the Iowa County Fair each year and has received numerous awards throughout her years of participation.

Volleyball has been a huge part of Mackenzie’s life, starting at nine years old when she joined club volleyball. She quickly fell in love with the sport and sacrificed other sports to focus on volleyball. Throughout her career, she has helped her teams win two gold medals at Badger Regionals and one bronze medal at Nationals. Mackenzie is currently playing for the Madison Elite Volleyball Club, where her team travels throughout the Midwest to compete against other teams at a high level.

Another passion for Mackenzie is volunteering. She has volunteered in various activities through 4-H. Her favorite is the Food Fight, which she leads. Mackenzie has also volunteered for SWCAP for their annual Gala and devoted many summers to their Food Pantry and Thrift Store. 

In Mackenzie’s free time, she greatly enjoys working at Lucky Cow, babysitting, spending time with friends and family, playing with her dog Bo, creating art, reading, and watching movies. She loves going to the lake in the summer, and in the winter, she loves getting ready for the holidays. 

After high school, Mackenzie will be attending Marian University to study Sonography and play volleyball at the collegiate level. 

Mackenzie would like to thank her teachers for giving her this honor today and helping her achieve her educational goals. She would like to extend special thank yous to Mr. Tom Steger for unlocking her passion for the human body, Mr. Dalton Miles for his endless compassion and kindness, Mrs. Jenny Wahlin for her continuous support, and Mrs. Erika Brunson for opening doors for our senior class that we never thought possible. She would also like to thank the Kiwanis for organizing this luncheon and all their work in our community. Finally, Mackenzie would like to congratulate her friend and fellow Student of the Month, Maddix Jackson. 

“Mackenzie Ripp came to school a quiet little blonde with a big smile. She was friendly and had fun with her close pals from the school bus. Soon after, Mackenzie was often seen with a book in tow. Fast forward to today as Mackenzie prepares to graduate, still a great student with many interests. Keep up the good work, Mackenzie! Your work ethic will be a bonus as you enter into the next phase of your journey! Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month! Best wishes next year!” ~ Mrs. Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher

“I have truly enjoyed having Mackenzie in class the past four years.  Through the difficulties learning a language over zoom and then with masks on, she has been a hard worker all the way!  Mackenzie has recently been designing and painting a mural around the Spanish classroom door.  It is modeled after the animated movie ‘Encanto’ and we are looking forward to seeing it completed soon!  Kenz, you are a wonderful, kind, and hardworking young woman.  Keep being you; go out and make the world great!” ~ Mrs. Jenny Wahlin, High School Spanish Teacher

“Mackenzie, it has been a pleasure being a part of your education as your advisory teacher throughout the years. You are a great example of a quiet leader with your few words but excellent work ethic. I am so proud of how you manage your learning and always get the job done. I will miss watching you on the volleyball court and having you in advisory next year. I wish you the best of luck as you continue on to the next level of learning. Stay curious and be open to all of the amazing opportunities that will be coming your way. Congratulations on being a January Student of the Month!” ~ Mrs. Kris McCoy, Middle/High School Librarian

“Mackenzie is a bright young lady with a bright future ahead.  She is driven and knows what she wants out of life.  I have had the pleasure of coaching her for the past three years.  She is well rounded, works through adversity, and will advocate for herself.  Those that she lets in and gets close to are the lucky few.  I was able to witness that with some of her teammates on road trips!  She is a great friend, and a sweet soul.  Congratulations, Mackenzie!” ~ Mrs. Kari Kabat, Middle School Math Teacher and Head Volleyball Coach

“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.  Look where you’re at, ready to go out in the world with this beautiful and creative mind that will do wonderful things.  You have worked so hard to become the person you are now; please do not give up on your talent.  You have such a kind heart and truly believe that wherever your future takes you, you will be successful.  Thanks for all the memories.” ~ Mrs. Lesley Macaulay, Middle/High School Art Teacher

“One of my favorite motivational posters reads, ‘Work hard in silence – let success make the noise.’ Mackenzie has always been a young lady of few words; likewise, she has always been a young lady that puts hard work at the forefront of everything she does. I loved being able to crack that quiet shell of hers when she was an 8th grader on my volleyball team. Our opposite personalities truly created a bond. Mackenzie’s drive and determination will take her to great places in the future. I am super excited to see her future unfold!” ~ Mrs. Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher

“Congratulations Mackenzie on being selected as a Student of the Month!  You have such a quiet humility that I really admire.  Never boastful with your many talents; just kind, resourceful and responsible.  You took on the college application process with ease – creating a goal and following through on the many steps needed to reach that goal.  Surely, you are ready for the next step in your life and the responsibilities that will come with it.  Thank you for making MPHS a better place – we will definitely miss you next year, but are excited to see what your future holds.  Again, congratulations, Mackenzie and best wishes!” ~ Mrs. Erika Brunson, Middle/High School Counselor

“Congratulations Mackenzie on being selected as Student of the Month.  As you have navigated your high school career, you have learned how to use your talents to the highest level.  If I were to describe Mackenzie, I would use the words talented, driven, and dependable.  To me, these qualities are going to aid in your success and help you reach your goals.  Thank you for being a positive example for underclassmen and your community.   Your future is bright and I am sure that you will accomplish amazing things.” ~ Mr. Matt Austin, High School Principal

(Jackson photo by Ann Gorgen, Ripp photo by Lifka Bennett)