2014 Students of the Year

May 26, 2014 Staff

Ivan Thomas

Arapahoe Charter High School

The Student of the Year award for Arapahoe Charter High School went to Ivan Thomas, 19, of Riverton. Thomas graduates this spring and said he wants to attend Central Wyoming College to study facilities maintenance.

He plans to put his scholarship toward his education at CWC.

Thomas said he was excited to be graduating and said his family and the staff at Arapahoe Charter supported him throughout his education.

He has worked for two years as a custodian for Fremont County School District 38 and said he likes the job.

"It keeps me busy," he said.

Thomas thinks studying facilities management at CWC will help him further his career in that field.

-- Written by staff writer Eric Blom

Daryon Baumberger

Central Wyoming College

The Student of the Year from Central Wyoming College competed in national competitions in April as part of the school's new forensics team.

Daryon Baumberger, 18, was recruited from Lead-Deadwood, S.D., to join the group, led by CWC forensics director Josh House. As a freshman this year, she was one of three finalists at a national forensics tournament in Arizona which included students from 85 other colleges and universities.

Baumberger has contributed to the community on campus as well: She worked as a resident assistant this year and took on hours in the CWC mailroom -- all in addition to completing about 18 credits this semester.

"I'm very busy," she said, adding that she enjoys her work as an RA. "It's been awesome. I'm such a people person anyway, so that makes it easy and fun to have that job. ... It's just my personality."

House called Baumberger "relentlessly upbeat and friendly."

"Especially for someone who's had as much competitive success as she has, it can be easy to let that go to your head, and it doesn't for her," he said.

He said he is looking forward to watching her grow as a leader.

Baumberger plans to return to CWC next year then transfer to a school in Arizona or California where she will continue competing in speech and debate. In the future she wants to go into public relations, marketing or advertising.

CWC public information officer Carolyn Aanestad coordinates Student of the Year submissions for the school.

-- Written by staff writer Katie Roenigk

Ronald 'RJ' Bowstring

St. Stephen's Indian High School

This year, staff from St. Stephen's Indian High School agreed senior Ronald "RJ" Bowstring best fit the title of Student of the Year. His excellent attendance, good behavior, and hard work made him deserving of the nomination, said guidance counselor Jamie Lockhart.

Bowstring also was nominated by his peers to be homecoming king and prom king.

"His grades were exceptional," Lockhart said. "It was his wanting to be here and putting forth the effort."

She added that Bowstring was involved in all of the dual credit courses the high school offered in collaboration with Central Wyoming College. Bowstring said he enjoyed the program and looked forward to attending CWC and eventually WyoTech in Laramie to major in auto mechanics.

The courses helped him gain his certification in the electrical principals program, which was divided into phases that also helped him complete general education courses.

Overall, Lockhart described Bowstring as a respectful student who did what he was asked to do and treated his teachers and peers well.

"His personality makes him stand out," she said.

Bowstring said he was surprised to find out he was selected as student of the year from the group of seven graduating seniors. He said basketball and football were what he would miss most from high school..

Lockhart said the staff was happy to select Bowstring, and they expect him to continue to work hard in the future.

-- Written by staff writer Alejandra Silva

Brittiany L. Isis

Wyoming Indian High School

Brittiany L. Isis, 19, of Ethete, is Wyoming Indian High School's Student of the Year for 2014.

She said she was proud to be graduating this spring after fighting to catch up with her school-mates.

On Sept. 22, 2011, a vicious dog attack sent Isis to the hospital for three and a half weeks. She suffered from more than 180 bites, she said.

Going back to class after the long hospital stay was tough, but Isis stuck with it.

"I never gave up school. I continued with my education," she said.

Her mother, Albertina Isis, beamed as she agreed.

"She worked really had to catch up on her classes and in her sports when she was out of school," Albertina Isis said.

Throughout high school, Brittiany Isis played guitar and clarinet, sang and competed in the discus throw. She said she plans to pursue her love of music by studying the subject at Central Wyoming College in the fall. First though, she hopes to work this summer and earn money for her education.

-- Written by staff writer Eric Blom

Nelson White III

Fort Washakie High School

Faculty members at Fort Washakie High School selected Nelson White III as this year's Student of the Year.

"It is a great honor for me to be chosen," White said.

Fort Washakie High School counselor Scott Polson said White is outgoing, friendly and always has a positive attitude.

"In addition, his attendance and academics this year are better than most," Polson said. "He is actively planning to attend college, which makes him a great candidate for the scholarship."

White was involved with the student council throughout high school, and he plans to attend Central Wyoming College to pursue his general education degree. He said he is interested in culinary arts.

-- Written by staff writer Kelli Ameling

Casey Winger

Lander Valley High School

Lander Valley High School picked Casey Winger as this year's Student of the Year.

"It's really a huge honor to be among the students and selected (by the staff)," Winger said.

LVHS registrar Veronica Hitshew said Winger deserved the honor.

"He works hard and goes above and beyond," Hitshew said. "He is a great kid and great asset."

Winger participated in golf, basketball, soccer, FFA and Spanish club. Winger said he plans to attend the University of Wyoming and major in architectural engineering.

-- Written by staff writer Kelli Ameling

Charles Oldman

Wind River High School

Teachers and staff at Wind River High School tapped Charles Oldman as this year's Student of the Year.

"It felt good to be honored," Oldman said.

Wind River High School secretary Kathy Pince said Oldman is a respectful, hard-working student.

"He deserves it for all sorts of reasons," Pince said. "It is a good example for the younger students."

Oldman kept busy in high school with wrestling, football and National Honor Society.

He plans to get his associate degree from Central Wyoming College then attend the University of Wyoming to get a degree in physical education.

-- Written by staff writer Kelli Ameling

Brytan Spoonhunter

Riverton High School

Riverton High School Student of the Year Brytan Spoonhunter has been a runner all his life.

"Ever since I can remember," he said, "I just like to run."

The senior has been a member of the RHS track team for four years, and he was nominated for the Student of the Year award by coach Tawn Gopp.

"The biggest thing that makes him stand out is he's just really dedicated and kind of rose to be a team leader," Gopp said. "He sets a good example for the other kids. He's always here, he's always positive, and he works hard. He's one of the hardest workers I have on the team."

Spoonhunter doesn't always come in first place, but Gopp said the teen will run until he passes out.

"Literally," Gopp said. "He has the ability to push the envelope clear to the edge. ... He's been an honor to coach, and we're going to miss him next year."

Spoonhunter plans to continue running when he joins the U.S. Marine Corps next month.

"I'm hoping to join the Marines track team if I'm permitted, (so) I'll be able to run every day and keep my miles up and my speed up," Spoonhunter said.

He is a little nervous about leaving home, but he said he always has wanted to be in the military. Plus, he said he wants to make his family and community proud.

"A lot of people believe in me," Spoonhunter said. "One day they'll see me in my dress blues with my team behind my back. I'll show them what small town people can do outside in the world."

Spoonhunter also participates in several clubs at RHS.

Nancy Weber coordinates the Student of the Year selection for RHS.

-- Written by staff writer Katie Roenigk

Sterling Baker

Dubois High School

Sterling Baker is familiar with the championship podium, and he continues to stay on top with the recent honor of Dubois High School Student of the Year.

Since middle school, the graduating senior has excelled at football, wrestling, and track and field, and he is easily in the discussion as the best overall athlete in Wyoming this year.

Baker is an excellent student, and in spite of his formidable athletic skills, he is immune to the self-centered attitude common in athletes his age.

Baker is a two-time Class 2-A state wrestling champion and holds a Ron Thon Invitational gold medal. As a football player, he was Fremont County's Player of the Year in 2013, played on two state championship teams and one runner-up state championship team, and is one of only two Wyoming players selected to play in the Can Am Bowl, which features Canadian and American 6-man football all-stars.

Baker is an accomplished hurdler and discus thrower, a rare combination in track and field.

-- Written by staff writer Randy Tucker

Tarisha Parrish

Shoshoni High School

Tarisha Parrish was chosen as this year's Shoshoni High School Student of the Year.

"It was a great honor because I have worked so hard through my high school career to get to where I am," Parrish said.

Shoshoni High School math teacher Bob Zent said Parrish is a sound student -- academically, socially and behaviorally.

"When she messes up, she asks where she went wrong," Zent said. "To me, that is more important."

Parrish participated in basketball, target, National Honor Society and being the manager of the football team.

Parrish said she plans to attend Central Wyoming College to receive her associate degree then transfer to a university. She is interested in science and math.

-- Written by staff writer Kelli Ameling

Students of the Year receive a $500 scholarship from The Ranger.

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