Hastings Area Rotary Club Students of the Month

Posted 2/16/22

By Bruce Karnick [email protected] With increased caution around COVID protocols in January, the Hastings Area Rotary Club chose not to meet in person for the month. That meant delaying the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Hastings Area Rotary Club Students of the Month


By Bruce Karnick

[email protected]

With increased caution around COVID protocols in January, the Hastings Area Rotary Club chose not to meet in person for the month. That meant delaying the Student of the Month meeting for the January selection to February. After all, one of the fun parts for all involved is treating the student, their parents and the teacher that nominated them to breakfast. Rotary was not going to just skip the January student. The group simply celebrated both months together.

Kari Jaeger nominated Kyra Smallidge. ““Kyra is one of the most motivated and mature students I know. Her view of the world is broad, and she is always looking for ways to use her abilities to help others. This varies from volunteering in the memory care department at a local nursing home to planning pep fests and school dances through Student Council. Kyra is a mature and thoughtful student. The students participated in three graded discussions each week in my college literature class. Kyra participated openly, honestly, and extensively. She consistently demonstrated confidence and a willingness to use her voice and explore ideas. Kyra has an open-minded personality and cooperative spirit, making her a delight to be around. Additionally, Kyra knows how to disagree without being disagreeable. She speaks honestly and considerately, and she challenges her classmates with questions and without judgment.

“Kyra’s integrity not only makes her a great person, but it also makes her an excellent leader because her peers and advisors admire and respect her. She demonstrated her commitment and leadership talents as a Link Crew mentor for 10 freshmen. Additionally, she was selected to attend an eightweek internship for peer educators and uses her training as an HHS peer helper in the counseling department. Kyra is known throughout the school, even by teachers who have never had her in class, simply by the leadership roles she plays. She looks for opportunities to stretch herself, and—as a result—she stretches those around her as well.”

Smallidge plans on majoring in marketing and is looking at the University of Kansas, Cal Poly or University of Wisconsin- Madison. Her time in Hastings High School has been filled with many volunteering options from being a peer helper where she supports younger student to an internship with Reclaim where she received eight weeks of training covering topics around boundary setting power dynamics, sexual harassment and bystander intervention.

“The knowledge that I gained through this internship has helped me assist those in need to create a more inclusive environment,” added Smallidge Brady Zak was nominated by Paul Olson and Marissa Welch. This is what they had to say about Zak. “He is extremely passionate about Raider athletics and will do whatever he can to help out. Brady also plays tennis in the spring and does a great job showing leadership through his work ethic and determination. It is incredibly gratifying to work with Brady on the court, as he is the epitome of when a coach says ‘jump,’ Brady says ‘how high,’ or maybe ‘how far.’ That’s the fun thing about Brady. You don’t always know what you will get, but you do know that you will get his all!!

“We know this to be true of him in the classroom and throughout the high school halls. The smiles that Brady puts on others’ faces throughout the day tell you just how much he is loved in the building! We think Brady would be an excellent choice for the Rotary Student of the Month as he does exemplify service above self.”

Congratulations to both Brady Zak and Kyra Smallidge on being selected as the Rotary Student of the Month.

The Hastings Rotary is a non-profit community service organization that funds a variety of service projects in the Hastings area.

Rotary is an international service organization of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem solvers working to make our communities and the world a better place. It’s a group of local professionals and residents who meet weekly to build a stronger Hastings community through the strong principles of Rotary International.

The diverse membership includes those from local businesses, government, education, healthcare, media and nonprofits among other organizations.

A few of our other activities of significant local impact by the club include:

•Raised in excess of $500,000 to build the beautiful pavilion as the foundation to the Hastings riverfront redevelopment.

•Refurbished the Vermillion Falls River bridge and adopted the bike path system throughout Hastings and provides all of the signage.

•Provides high school scholarships and awards student of the month.

•Established and operates Hastings Rotary Fishing, each year taking more than 900 seniors out on the Saint Croix River for fishing and boating excursions.

Rotary meets once a week, 7:30 a.m. on Thursday’s at Green Mill of Hastings. Interested in learning more about Rotary? Email [email protected]