Katie Leidenfrost and Lance Otremba have been named as the first Pierz Students of the Month for the 2021-2022 school year. They were chosen by the faculty committee at Pierz Healy High School, recognizing their high academic standards, leadership qualities and participation in extracurricular activities.
Leidenfrost is the daughter of Tom and Joyce Leidenfrost. She has three siblings, Andy, Michael and Sophie.
Leidenfrost serves as the Student Council president, is a member of the Minnesota Honor Society, is a Peer Helper, is involved in WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) and the Big Brother Big Sister program, plays volleyball (captain), as well as basketball and track.
Favorite activities include sports for Leidenfrost because, “I have met so many new friends from being in sports and have made many great memories,” she said.
It’s no wonder that her favorite high school memory has to do with sports: “My most memorable experience was when we beat Cathedral in volleyball,” she said.
Sports is also a part of what Leidenfrost considers her greatest accomplishment — becoming a four-sport athlete her junior year by joining cross-country.
Her mother is Leidenfrost’s role model.
“She showed me how important it is to be kind to everyone and always give 110%,” Leidenfrost said.
Physical education teacher and basketball coach Matt Poepping, described Leidenfrost as a “great student.”
“Her work ethic is second to none in the weight room,” he said. “She always has a positive attitude and a smile on her face.”
He described her as “a great role model for our younger athletes and students.”
The young woman who said her friends would describe her as “kind, friendly and outgoing,” will miss those friends and the bus rides to sporting events, football games, track meets and being close with her classmates and teachers when she heads to college. Plans are to major in physical therapy, although where hasn’t been determined.
Otremba is the son of Bob and Tina Otremba and has an older sister, Lydia, and two younger sisters, Marissa and Miranda.
Involved in football, Otremba was part of the 2019 state championship team. He was also successful in golf, as a two-time All-Conference player and was a state competitor in spring 2021.
He is also a member of the Minnesota Honor Society as president, is the bass section leader in band and is his class treasurer.
Knowledge Bowl, Peer Helping, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jazz Band, Pit Band and WEB, round out Otremba’s high school activities.
With a plethora of choices, Otremba chose football as his favorite activity.
“It is such a team sport and it takes everyone going 100% to succeed. Playing Pierz football has taught me how to be self-disciplined and has also created many memorable moments,” he said.
As for the many memories he’s made, Otremba said his favorite was getting crowned homecoming king and going out to eat in a limo.
Otremba chose his Grandpa Bernie as his role model.
“I look up to the way he followed Christ through his life of integrity,” Otremba said. “I also admire his work ethic and how he kept pushing when things got hard.”
Otremba may take after his grandfather, as he considers his great accomplishment as improving in all of his sports, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
“Lance is an excellent choice for Student of the Month,” said Activities Director Dave Rocheleau. “He excels in the classroom, as well as the activities he is in. He is a true Pioneer, playing with a lot of heart and is a tremendous leader showing great compassion and leadership for his fellow teammates.”
Described as really motivated and self-disciplined, Otremba will miss seeing his classmates every day and playing spikeball during Pioneer time, when he heads to college.
His plans are to pursue a physical therapy degree, but hasn’t decided just where yet.
As Students of the Month, Leidenfrost and Otremba are eligible for $1,500 scholarships from Farmers and Merchants State Bank, sponsors of the Students of the Month program in Pierz.