The Mineral Point Kiwanis Club honored its February Students of the Month at its meeting Tuesday, February 7.
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.
Gena Byrnes is the eldest child of Mallory and Chris McGuire. She has two younger brothers – Cooper, an eighth grader, and Finn, a third grader in Mineral Point.
Gena was raised in Mineral Point and has been attending school here since preschool. She is currently a member of the Mineral Point chapter of the National Honor Society, as well as a leading member of the music department.
Gena does not participate in any sports at Mineral Point but represents the district through her love of music instead. Gena has been in numerous vocal and instrumental festivals and competitions and has even won awards at state levels for her vocal performances. Gena has also been a member of the theater department at Mineral Point High School for a number of years, taking on roles such as Cousin Itt in the ‘Addams Family,’ Grantaire in ‘Les Mis,’ Mrs. Potts in ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ Mama Morton in ‘Chicago,’ and most recently the Drowsy Chaperone in ‘The Drowsy Chaperone.’
Gena enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She delights in watching Disney movies and snuggling with her two dogs and two cats. Gena is also a babysitter over the summer and loves spending time with the children she babysits.
After high school, Gena will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to study pre-medicine. She hopes to eventually have a career as a pediatric neurologist.
Gena would like to thank the many teachers and other adults who have helped her reach this point. It is because of all of these wonderful individuals that Gena has reached such a monumental achievement as this. She would also like to congratulate her classmate Carson Kroll on receiving this honor.
“Gena Byrnes came to kindergarten summer school many years ago. One of the first things we recall her saying was ‘My phalanges are dirty! I need to wash them.’ We knew then that Gena was going to keep us on our toes! Gena is sweet and kind. It has been a pleasure watching her grow into a mature young woman. She has a beautiful singing voice and seems happy when singing. I am extremely proud of how she met her health challenges with fortitude and kept going, even when things were a struggle. Congratulations, Gena, on becoming February’s Student of the Month! Keep up the good work! Have fun the rest of your Senior year!” ~ Mrs. Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher
“Gena is a kind, confident, and courageous person who gives her all to the academic and extracurricular activities she participates in. She is a determined and genuine individual whom I admire for her strength of character. You’ve grown and matured so much through the years. I am proud of you, Gena! Congratulations as February Student of the Month!” ~ Mrs. Kip Bakken, Middle/High School Business Teacher
“Gena Byrnes has been extremely dedicated to the music department throughout her middle and high school career. She has participated in nearly all musical extra curricular activities that our district offers. Gena has always served as a role model for her peers in her determination to improve, professionalism, and zeal for new challenges. I have truly enjoyed working with Gena within the Musical Theatre Club in particular. For her role in ‘Les Misérables’ she earned the Most Expressive and Best Harmonizer awards, for her role in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ she earned the award for Incredible Vocal Delivery, and for her role in ‘Chicago’ she earned the award for Boss Lady Onstage. I greatly appreciated her leading role as the title character in this year’s production of ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ for which she earned the awards for Professional Grade Leadership and Most Valuable Player. This year, she is taking so many academic courses in preparation for her plans after graduation that she has taken choir class independently, but this has not stopped her from participating in choir tours, solo competitions, and vocal festivals around the midwest. Her ability to balance so many interests and commitments has always amazed me, and especially so during her Senior year. I have come to appreciate her genuineness and leadership qualities over the last few years, and can attest to her caring personality. Gena’s optimism, well-roundedness, creativity, and consideration of others will surely guarantee her success in her future pursuits!” ~ Mrs. Ashley Calderon-McHugh, Middle/High School Choir Teacher
“Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month. You are so deserving of this award and should be so proud of yourself. The obstacles you have had to overcome are unbelievable and you did everything with such grace. Gena, you are so talented, smart, and hardworking and I can’t wait to see what you do with all those skills. I truly believe your future will be bright, successful, and whatever you want it to be. Thanks for the memories.” ~ Mrs. Lesley Macaulay, Middle/High School Art Teacher
“When I think of adjectives to describe Gena Byrnes, I think of resilient and advocate. Gena is such an asset to our school. She advocates for herself, for others, and for student opportunities that are vital to our school and community. She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes and loves. Gena is also an outstanding student. She has aspirations of becoming a doctor and is currently taking high levels of math and science to help prepare herself for that future. She is also taking our CAPP courses, which are UW-Oshkosh courses taught at MPHS. Finally, Gena is resilient. She has met obstacles and overcame them. She has a growth mindset and maturity that is really unique to someone her age. I admire her strength and know she is ready for her future. Congratulations, Gena, and best of luck!” ~ Mrs. Erika Brunson, Middle/High School Counselor
“Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, ‘Perseverance is a great element of success.’ Miss Gena Brynes is the epitome of perseverance. Since getting to know Gena as an eighth-grade volleyball player, she has shown more perseverance than most do in a lifetime. Along with her grit, drive, and intelligence, Gena could be one of the sweetest and most considerate young ladies I have known. She is the first to lend a helping hand and make everyone feel included. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her in forensics and listening to her beautiful insight in the classroom. It is without a doubt that Gena’s future is bright! I wish you all the best, sweet girl!” ~ Mrs. Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher
Carson Kroll is the oldest child of Troy and Becca Kroll. He has two younger siblings, Ella (a Sophomore) and Chloe (in 6th grade), both in the Mineral Point Unified School district. He’s grown up living outside of Mineral Point his entire life.
Carson is an active member in FFA, holding positions on the leadership team as Reporter, Sentinel, and currently as Secretary. He’s been on Student Council since 6th grade and is a current member of the National Honor Society. In addition, he’s an active member of Skills USA, Future Business Leaders of America, and MP Blue Crew. Carson was privileged to be named as Mineral Point’s Prom King last year as well.
Sports have been part of Carson’s life since he was little. He’s been wrestling since he was five years old and is a member of the MPHS wrestling team/family. In addition, he’s been a member of the Trap Team since 6th grade. Bottom line, Carson’s true passion is golf. From the time the weather allows, Carson can be found on the golf course. He was named MVP for his Junior year and is excited to join his teammates this year for another successful year.
Outside of school, Carson has been employed at Dodge Point Country Club for the last four years and currently works at Triple P. After high school, Carson will be attending Southwest Technical College in their Electrical Power Distribution program.
Carson would like to congratulate Genevieve on being named February Student of the Month. He would like to thank his teachers, and especially Mrs. Erika Brunson, for all her guidance this year. Mineral Point is lucky to have each of them. Carson would also like to thank his parents, grandparents, family and friends for helping him be the person he is today. He would like to give a special shout out to his Grandpa Tim for always being there for him.
“Carson Kroll had a quiet demeanor in elementary school. He has always had a way of moving about unnoticed. He continues to be a discreet young man. However, when you talk with him, he shares his deep and mature thought process and has many great ideas to share on the subject at hand. Carson is a fine young man and I appreciate his kindness towards others. I congratulate him on being named February’s Student of the Month! Carson, have a great Senior year! Your dedication and hard work will pay off as you continue into the future! Best wishes!” ~ Mrs. Jill McGuire, Kindergarten Teacher
“Carson is one of the most respectful, polite, and kind students I’ve had the pleasure of knowing at Mineral Point High School. He is genuine, compassionate, and welcoming to all his peers and adults. He has a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and gives his all to do his best in everything he does. He pushes himself and is willing to step out of his comfort zone to tackle challenges. Congratulations, CK, as February Student of the Month!” ~ Mrs. Kip Bakken, Middle/High School Business Teacher
“Congratulations on being named Student of the Month. It’s been so fun watching you grow throughout your school years. From the moment you were in preschool, I knew your kindness, determination, and passion for the things you love would help you grow into the wonderful young man you are. Keep working hard; you have an amazing future in front of you!” ~ Mrs. Morgan Burris, 4K Teacher
“Author Douglas Adams wrote, ‘To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.’ Carson Kroll is genuinely one of the most sincere young men I have known. He is the first to volunteer and the last to leave the job. I swear there is not a mean bone in this young man’s body. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate your loyalty, dedication, and attitude. You have been a priceless right hand to me in so many ways. I wish you all the best and can’t begin to tell you how much I will miss you next year!” ~ Mrs. Kristin Staver, High School English Teacher
“Congratulations on becoming Student of the Month. You are an incredible young man and thrive in everything you take on. You should be so proud of the leader you’ve become and I can’t wait to see where your future takes you. I know I can always count on you brightening my day when meeting you in the hallways with your big smile and saying hello. Enjoy every minute you have left in high school; it goes too fast.” ~ Mrs. Lesley Macaulay, Middle/High School Art Teacher
“In the spring of 2018, we hired Carson Kroll to our maintenance staff at Dodge Point Country Club. By going above and beyond what is asked of the required workload, Carson set himself apart from all other employees. While this note could be devoted to listing several qualities that Carson possesses, two that stand out are loyalty and respect. Carson’s respect and sincere love for his hometown reminds me a lot of what our highly respected Coach Scott Schmitz has meant to the town of Mineral Point. Although there is a significant age difference between the two, the same principles are seen throughout their daily lives when discussing how they react towards the future success of the town. This is apparent by how Carson conducts himself, wise beyond his years while at work and throughout all his daily activities. I believe these are very hard traits to find in our younger generation today. I have had the pleasure of being Carson’s boss and golf/wrestling coach, and his work ethic is second to none. Witnessing the dedication that Carson puts forth in his schoolwork, extra curricular activities, and his job has shaped him to be an outstanding person.” ~ Mr. Cory Sokol, Head Golf Coach
“Carson Kroll is one of the kindest, genuine, and most helpful young people I have met. He truly and wholeheartedly cares for others. He makes our school and community better through his kindness and generosity. Carson understands and lives compassion, and it is in his small gestures that you feel the difference – his simple, yet consistent acts of smiling and greeting everyone changes the dynamic and feeling of our school. Carson is currently taking some early college credit courses to get him a head start on his future career as a lineman and has been exceeding in them. We will miss the light Carson brings to our school next year, but are confident that he will meet his goals. Congratulations, Carson, and best of luck!” ~ Mrs. Erika Brunson, Middle/High School Counselor
“American Author John C. Maxwell states, ‘A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way,’ and I see Carson Kroll as exactly that, a leader. Whether it be in the classroom, on the golf course or wrestling mat, or in the Pointer Media studio, Carson leads by example and pushes all members of each organization to work to their highest potential. Carson is also a very kind and generous young man. Two summers ago, Carson agreed to give golf lessons to my son, and I couldn’t think of a better person that I would want my son to be spending time with and learning from. Carson – thank you for your commitment and dedication to making MPHS and the entire Mineral Point Community the best it can be! Congratulations on this incredibly deserved honor!” ~ Mrs. Cindi Nothem, High School Math Teacher
(Byrnes photo by Tonya Backes, Kroll photo by Andrea Kinch)