Rotary lauds student achievements; Malanaphy, Kowles named honorary Paul Harris FellowsHudson Rotarians invited 160 senior students and parents to breakfast early Wednesday then sent them back to school with awards, recognition and words of encouragement to continue the quest for learning throughout their lives.
Hudson Rotarians invited 160 senior students and parents to breakfast early Wednesday then sent them back to school with awards, recognition and words of encouragement to continue the quest for learning throughout their lives.
"Congratulations!" said Daybreak Rotary president Annette Cook. "And know that you'll always have supporters back here in Hudson."
Rotarians from Hudson's two clubs presented a total of $8,500 in cash scholarships to six individuals for various achievements during their high school years.
Savanna Krassau and Victor Yang, $1,500 each for Academic Excellence scholarships
Brooke Brokaw, $1,500 for the Community Involvement scholarship
Alexandra Willi, $1,500 Global Awareness scholarship
Kelsey Robertson, $1,500 Most Improved Academic scholarship
David Hernandez, $1,000 STRIVE scholarship.
Although not all were present, 160 Hudson High School students were recognized in Wednesday's program for academic achievement. Each was awarded either the gold-, silver- or bronze "H" pins or medallions while three earned the "H" letter. The designations represent four-, three-, two- and one year, respectively, of a student achieving 10.0 or better cumulative grade point average. Those with cumulative GPAs of 11.0 or better received silver medallions and those with 12.0 received gold medallions.
Members of Hudson Daybreak Rotary also used the annual Honors Breakfast to award two honorary Paul Harris Fellow distinctions to community members who've had lasting, positive influence on many students.
Rotary International established the award to honor Harris -- Rotary's founder -- and makes one available to clubs each time its members achieve another $1,000 benchmark in giving to the Rotary Foundation.
Hudson resident Liz Malanaphy received a Paul Harris Award from Daybreak member Roy Sjoberg, who lauded her work with Destination Imagination, helping to establish the ReWear program in Hudson, enabling students to complete service projects at the Twin Cities People Serving People center and more.
Malanaphy said she was humbled by the honor and said she's pleased to be able to simply "watch students empower themselves to figure it out."
Daybreak Rotarian Garth Christensen presented the second Paul Harris Fellow award to Adam Kowles, math teacher and head football coach at Hudson High School.
Although some might find Kowles deserving for his coaching prowess that helped Hudson defeat Raider football rival Menomonie Indians each of the past four years, Christensen said Kowles' recognition was for his role in helping Daybreak Rotary achieve its motto of "Enhancing opportunities for youth and creating a better community for all."
Kowles is an important ally in helping Daybreak Rotary achieve many of the goals identified by The Search Institute's developmental assets program, which Daybreak adopted as a long-term project some 20 years ago, said Christensen.
Many times, Kowles has identified students who were struggling in math and helped tutor him or her to success or recognized and encouraged students who might not otherwise attract the attention of the head football coach.
Kowles thanked Rotary for the distinction, noting that he was "overwhelmed" and felt privileged to be teaching in the Hudson School District.
Noting that the District has many staffers who "stand for what's good and what's right, it's an honor to be a part of this community and to be (associated) with young people who do so well at what they do."
Guest speaker during the hour-long program was Dr. Elizabeth Andre, assistant professor of Environmental and Outdoor Education at Northland College in Ashland.
Andre told students, parents and Rotarians that struggled a bit getting started on her educational journey as her grandfather, a highly-educated nuclear engineer, very much wanted to see her pursue a scientific career like his.
Instead, she chose to pursue undergraduate studies in Latin American Studies and Spanish at Iowa State University. Later, she earned a Master of Arts degree from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia with help from a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar award. She also holds a Ph.D from the University of Minnesota.
Her broad-based education, coupled with her love for the outdoors, resulted in her participation with noted adventurers Will Steger of Ely and Sir Richard Branson, on a four-month long dogsled expedition to Baffin Island in the Arctic Circle in 2007. Andre and others joined three Inuit hunters on a 1200-mile, four-month-long dogsled expedition across the Canadian Arctic’s Baffin Island. The expedition traveled with Inuit dog teams over traditional hunting paths, up frozen rivers, through steep-sided fjords, over glaciers and ice caps, and across the sea ice to reach some of the most remote Inuit villages of the world.
Using a satellite uplink, the regularly posted video, images and observations to a web site so students and others interested could follow their adventures.
The team's core mission was to learn about the Inuit’s experience with climate change. The assembled images, sounds and stories were to illustrate the dramatic climate-related changes happening in the Arctic: starving polar bears, retreating pack ice, melting glaciers, disrupted hunting and traveling, and the unraveling of a traditional way of life.
Andre admitted she began the expedition with a pre-determined notion that global-warming was causing irreparable harm to the Inuit people and their way of life.
In fact, when she had a chance to visit directly with Inuit elders, they indicated they'd been adapting to one change or another for decades; in fact, they were worried about how civilization in warmer, southern climate would adapt.
While expedition members flew in high-tech gear, ate conventional foods and dressed in synthetic clothing, their Inuit hosts used sealskin ropes, bound sleds together with bone fixtures, wore clothing made of caribou hide and seal skin and dined on arctic char and caribou meat.
"They're so local," Andre observed, causing her to reflect on whether our modern society couldn't emulate some of those values by consuming locally-produced foods, live in walk able neighborhoods, patronize farmer's markets, etc.
"It was my liberal arts education that allowed me to reflect" and develop critical thinking skills.
Andre told students they can "do anything you want" with a liberal arts degree.