Excellence in Youth | 2018

By TIFFANY STOIBER Hub Staff Writer KEARNEY —At the begin- ning of her high school career, Emma Johnson was convinced she wanted to be a veterinar- ian. “I took a biology class and I really loved that and the anat- omy and stuff, and studying everything about animals,” Johnson, 17, said. “I also used to show horses, so I really wanted to make a career based on that.” However, her stepdad, Jake Weiers, encouraged her to take a graphic design course in high school. It wasn’t even on her radar. But then, she fell in love with it. “Just the people in there and the environment really is what I fell in love with,” she said. “And working with clients and developing a whole marketing scheme for different projects and stuff is really fun.” After taking her first design course, Johnson went on in Kearney High School design courses to learn how to design logos, craft social media con- tent and brand everything so it Kearney Hub Excellence in Youth The annual salute to Hub Territory’s outstanding young people May 9, 2018 G radua t i o ■ Profiles of out- standing students from each school can be found on pages 6 to 16. ■ List of graduates from Hub Territory high schools, see pages 22 to 25. ■ List of scholar- ships awarded to area graduates, see pages 26 to 32. ■ Following is a list of schools that partic- ipated in this year’s Excellence in Youth: Alma Amherst Ansley Arapahoe Axtell Bertrand Broken Bow Callaway Cozad Elm Creek Elwood Eustis-Farnam Franklin Gibbon Holdrege Kearney Catholic Kearney High Lexington Litchfield Loomis Loup City Minden Overton Pleasanton Ravenna Shelton Southern Valley Sumner-Eddyville Miller Wilcox-Hildreth Wood River A look inside To our readers Guidance counsel- ors from Hub Territory schools were asked to submit information for Excellence in Youth. It was at the discre- tion of each school to submit student infor- mation. Some schools chose not to submit the various pieces of information requested. Ashley Bebensee, Kearney Hub WILCOX-HILDRETH senior Garrett Ortgiesen plans to keep the 1953 Massey-Harris tractor he restored and to show it at the state fair and in pa- rades. The tractor was the first that Ortgiesen restored, and he hopes to find another project in the future. Family legacy restored By ASHLEY BEBENSEE Hub Staff Writer WILCOX — The 1953 Massey-Harris trac- tor retailed for $1,468 when Garret Ortgiesen’s great-grandfather, LaVern Ortgiesen, purchased it brand new in Lexington. It was used by members of the Ortgiesen family for many years before the rear axle locked up. “It sat before I was born so it was around 20 years ago when it locked up, and so then it sat out in the yard in the corner and then it got put in the shed ... until last year, until I finally decided I wanted to restore it because I got tired of looking at it,” said Garrett, a senior at Wilcox-Hildreth Public School. Through his membership in FFA, Garrett, the son of Chad and Cara Ortgiesen, earned a grant through Titan Tire Corp. to pay for a full set of tires for an antique project. Garrett began restoring the tractor in Jan- uary 2017, and it took him a year to finish the job. “I had to do a lot of mechanical work to do it. I ended up redoing the whole electrical system in it. I had to retake out the whole rear left axle and rebuild a brake on it and put that all back together,” he explained. The only guide Garrett had was the original tractor Garrett Ortgiesen, courtesy THIS 1953 MASSEY HARRIS tractor had been in Garrett Ortgiesen’s family since his great-grandfather purchased it new. The tractor had been out of commission for more than 20 years before Garrett decided to restore it. He had never taken on an endeavor quite like this, and it took a year to finish the job. Garrett Ortgiesen, courtesy THE GUIDE GARRETT had while restoring the 1953 tractor was the original manual. His grandfather mentored him through the process. One of the biggest challenges was hunting for parts for the machine. Garret Ortgiesen GARRETT ORTGIESEN Parents: Chad and Cara Ortgiesen Hometown: Wilcox High School: Wilcox-Hildreth Public Schools College: University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study agricultural engineering High School Activ- ities: FFA, basketball, cross country, track, FCA and National Honor Society Ortgiesen fully restores his great-grandfather’s tractor Natural path to design Gabrielle Onate, courtesy EMMA JOHNSON, a graduating senior at Kear- ney High School, will attend Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia next fall. Emma Johnson, courtesy GRADUATING SE- NIOR Emma Johnson has designed a variety of logos and other graphics as a part of the Bearcat Design in- ternship program. The logos are examples of her work. ORTGIESEN, PAGE 2 Johnson planned to become vet, but found love of art her true passion JOHNSON, PAGE 2