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Congratulations WHS juniors (from left) Sebastian Lausterer, Lauren Kavan, Madison Masek, Sydney Stuchlik, and Tessa Gatewood (not pictured: Sam DuBois and Melody Vasa): named 2020 Pinnacle Bank/Midland University Outstanding High School Leaders Award winners!

7 WHS juniors named among Pinnacle Bank's 2020 'Outstanding High School Leaders"

DuBois/Gatewood/Kavan/Lausterer/Masek/Stuchlik/Vasa recognized for leadership ability and achievement; each awarded $25,000 renewable scholarship to Midland University

Pinnacle Bank and Midland University recently announced the winners of the 2020 Pinnacle Bank/Midland University Outstanding High School Leaders Award. The award is presented to Nebraska high school juniors to acknowledge leadership ability and achievement, skills vital to future endeavors, and desired qualities at Pinnacle Bank and Midland University.

Seven Wahoo High School juniors were selected to receive the award. Each honoree completed an application that included writing essays and securing teacher recommendations that supported his or her bid to be named an award winner. Congratulations to Sam DuBois, Tessa Gatewood, Lauren Kavan, Sebastian Lausterer, Madison Masek, Sydney Stuchlik, and Melody Vasa.

Sam DuBois, when writing about the definition of an effective leader, stated, "I feel like the best leader is chosen by their peers. A person can be a good leader by self-nomination, but it is much harder to do. A leader can only be only as effective as the people they're leading want them to be.”

Each winner was asked to discuss two or three values that he or she felt that effective leaders possess.

Sydney Stuchlik identified empathy as a key value.

“Empathy is important when being a leader. One must be able to put him or herself in others' shoes and be vulnerable when being a leader,” Stuchlik commented.

Melody Vasa agreed that empathy is an important quality for a leader to possess.

"I care so much about other people and I can help them through their problems with my empathy a lot of the time,” Vasa stated.

Finally, each winner identified people who contributed to his or her development as a leader.

Madison Masek gleaned some of her leadership skills from American author, speaker, and pastor John C. Maxwell.

“Your attitude towards failure determines your attitude after failure," wrote Maxwell. Masek wrote in her essay, ”I live by this quote. I know that if I have a bad attitude towards something, I am never going to reach the goals I have in mind.”

Each award winner will receive a renewable $25,000 scholarship to Midland University, which could ultimately become a $100,000 educational prize!

“Pinnacle Bank and Midland University have to be commended for their commitment to fostering leadership growth in our youth,” said Wahoo Public Schools Counselor John Harris. “Our postsecondary schools give large scholarships to those students who can run fast or score exceptionally well on a standardized test. In my opinion, it is equally important to the development of our nation that we identify and reward students who demonstrate great leadership potential. Then, as is done with scholars and athletes, nurture that development in college.”

Congratulations, leaders!

7 WHS juniors named among Pinnacle Bank's 2020 'Outstanding High School Leaders"

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