National Honor Society

The National Honor Society held inducted new members and offered its seniors an opportunity to recognize their most influential K-W staff member last Wednesday evening.

Through NHS advisor Richard Kincaid’s guidance, this event has become one of the best feel-good moments of the school year. Every year, starting in 2007, senior members are allowed to recognize their most influential staff person. Teachers, substitute teachers, school secretaries and lunchroom staff have been identified as instrumental in helping a student at K-W.

Many presenters talked about how difficult it was to select only one influential person during their K-W school career. Common themes about those chosen by students were how the staff members went above and beyond to help them, taking an interest in students outside of theclassroom, and how these role models have impacted students’ lives.

The humorous anecdotes told by students are always an enjoyable part of their presentations.

The most influential staff members and NHS students who nominated them for 2021 are:

Amy Belcher — Sierra Belcher

William Miller— Sierra Belcher and Hayden Poquette

Claire Larson — Caroline Doehling and Brianna Ryan

Dan Rechtzigel — Kristin Finley

Rich Kincaid — Hailey Lerfald and Logan Meyers

Karen Davidson — Michael Pliscott

Whitney Bartholome — Aisha Ramirez

Doug Thompson — Thomas Sturgis

Scott Van Epps — Daniel Van Epps

Stephanie Schumacher and Claire Larson — Katie Van Epps.

Fight song

On a recent “Inside the Lair,” the last trivia question for this school year concerned the topic of school fight songs. The current K-W song uses the “Minnesota Rouser” tune, and the Wanamingo school song used “On, Wisconsin!” What was unique about the Kenyon High School song?

The words and music were composed by a Kenyon High School staff member, Gertrude Schultz, and were first used during the 1940-41 school year.

In 1938, Superintendent Lokensgard hired Schultz, a native of Waseca, to teach typing, shorthand, bookkeeping and be the school accompanist. In the class of 1942 Kenyon High School “Bomb,” she is also given credit as the composer of the fight song.

Starting in the 1920s, the “Minnesota Rouser,” with a few word changes, was the Kenyon High School song. Schultz apparently felt this was too common and returned to teach in the fall of 1940 with a piece that she had composed exclusively for Kenyon High School.

The words she wrote were:

“Fight, fight, fight for old Kenyon High,

Vikings bold will do it or die,

Fight for fame and win this game,

For dear old Kenyon High-RAH, RAH, RAH,

Fight, fight, fight, for gold and maroon,

March to victory,

Fight for fame and win this game,

For dear old Kenyon High!”

The tune was not written for a college or university school song but uniquely written just as the fight song of Kenyon High.

During the 1940-41 school year, two school songs were used to represent KHS. Starting in 1941 and for the next 50 years, the KHS school song was “Fight Song” until establishing the K-W schools when the school song tune again followed the “Minnesota Rouser,” with the words composed by a group of community members.

Schultz resigned her teaching position at the end of the 1942 school year when she married Archie Dalbotten, of Kenyon. Their daughter, Mary, lives in the Dalbotten house in the Southern Heights region of Kenyon and verified some of the information about the song her mother wrote.

Jill Berg was one of two people who correctly answered the trivia question. By her admission, she consulted with others who confirmed her answer. The other person used a variety of different sources.

The ironic thing is neither Ms. Berg nor the other person is a graduate of Kenyon High School, and both knew the correct answer.

Zach Dohrmann

Every week, usually on Tuesday, The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a column titled Prep Athletes of the Week. I always read the short paragraphs about the achievements of the high school athletes from the metro area to find out what they accomplished and look for a familiar name.

Last week there was an announcement of the Farmington pitcher, Zach Dohrmann, who missed pitching a perfect game and later in the afternoon hit a hole in one while playing golf.

I heard through the grapevine that this young man’s grandparents lived in Kenyon. Zach is Karen and Steve Alger’s grandson.

According to Alger, Zach is a lanky 6-foot-4-inch pitcher who spends considerable time working on his baseball skills with a pitching coach during the off-season. He also plays basketball for the Tigers.

With a fastball of 88 miles per hour against Lakeville North, Dohrmann struck out 14 and had a perfect game through six innings. In the top of seventh, the first batter for North hit a triple and eventually scored their only run in the five to one win for Farmington.

After the game, Dohrmann and some teammates went to play golf at the Summit course in Cannon Falls. While playing the eighth hole, he hit his first hole-in-one. Alger said Zach enjoys playing Summit and does so frequently.

While coming close to perfection in one athletic event, he demonstrated it in another all in the same day.

End of the school year

Starting in late April and continuing through graduation on June 6, many events are scheduled for K-W schools.

Two events that have occurred this year that did not last school year are the NHS induction ceremony and prom. Both of these are exciting and fun for students, staff and parents.

During the preceding year, the last event held before the pandemic shut down was the presentation by the K-W Theater of “The Crucible.” This year, with great anticipation, people are looking forward to seeing “Beauty and the Beast.”

This year, we have watched the K-W athletes play softball, baseball and perform in track and field.

In the coming weeks, people are looking forward to listening to the spring concerts of the high school band and choir and the middle school band and choir. In addition, there is a concert by the Knight Vibez and the Chamber Choir.

The Kenyon veterans groups are planning a more traditional Memorial Day observance with the K-W band, possibly providing music for the program at the cemetery.

K-W students and staff are diligently following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols needed to make all of these events a reality, hopefully.

Kevin Anderson is a guest columnist for The Kenyon Leader.

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