Ten area students will be among the approximately 250 high school sophomores participating in the 85th annual Sophomore Pilgrimage on Tuesday.
The event, sponsored by the General Federation of Women's Clubs of Missouri (GFWC-MO), is designed to allow students to observe the Legislature in session, tour the Capitol, Governor's Mansion and Supreme Court Building, and meet state legislators. The students will also be guests at a luncheon at the First United Methodist Church where several officials will speak on current issues and civic responsibilities.
A sophomore from each high school in the state is selected by the faculty to attend the event. Selection is based on the student's demonstrated citizenship, scholarship and qualities of courage, service and honor. The student selected must also be scholastically in the top quarter of the sophomore class.
The GFWC Diana's Club is sponsoring the following students chosen from the local area high schools:
Kaydi Alderman, daughter of Steve and Dana Alderman, of Eugene, is a sophomore at Cole County R-5 High School and currently ranked No. 3 in her class. She serves as a representative in Student Council and is junior reporter for Eugene's FFA. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Alderman received a varsity letter in softball, basketball and track. In basketball and softball, she received All Conference and All District Honors and made it to state in track. Sports are one of her many interests and she loves spending time with her family. After high school, she plans to attend college where she can play basketball and major in sports management.
Madalynn Berkey is the daughter and Matt and Kristine Berkey, of Jefferson City, and is a sophomore at Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City. She participates in cross country, Quiz Bowl, Student Ambassadors, Journalism Club, Library Squad, Classics Club, Liferunners, the spring musical and Z Club where she serves as vice president. She is dedicated to her academics and has worked hard to maintain a 4.0 grade average throughout her freshman and sophomore years. Outside of school she is involved with Reading Buddies, a summer program geared toward helping young children read more proficiently and worked as a soccer referee for the YMCA since she was 12. In addition, Berkey is involved in parish, plans and coordinates the summer vacation bible school program, and helps as an altar server at cantor weekend masses.
Lexi Buechter is the daughter of Rebecca and Brian Buechter, of Jefferson City. She is a sophomore at Blair Oaks High School in Wardsville. Buechter is active in art club, archery and color guard. She is the vice president of American Sign Language Club. She enjoys reading, writing and archery. She was on the "A" Honor Roll last year and received a department award in English. Buechter wants to attend a four-year college after high school to become a teacher.
Leah Groene is the daughter of Jason and Amy Groene, of Koeltztown, and is a sophomore at Fatima High School in Westphalia. Leah is actively involved in SADD, RAK (Random Acts of Kindness), Book Club, Spanish Club and FCCLA where she holds the office of community service representative. In addition, she is a member of the Fatima cheer squad and wants to attend college and major in physical therapy.
Shalynn Jones is the daughter of Christal and Jason Jones of Chamois, and is a sophomore at Linn High School. She is involved in 4-H Happy Helpers (Teen Exchange, Leadership and Club), FFA, RAK, Drama Club, Knowledge Bowl and WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering). Jones plans to attend a four-year college and major in agriculture, then attend the University of Missouri veterinary program. She is also interested in politics and would like to run for an office one day.
Hunter Kistner is the son of Ann and Stephen Kistner, of Fulton, and is a sophomore at South Callaway in Mokane. He is active in band, baseball, football, Academic Bowl, STUCO, Fine Arts Club, the Athletic Association, Bulldog Nation and the Spanish Club. After high school, he plans to go to the University of Missouri and wants to teach history.
Claire Lewis is the daughter of Dan and Emily Lewis, of Centertown, and is a sophomore at Jefferson City High School. She plans to go to Missouri State University and get a bachelor's degree in biology. Afterward, Lewis wants to attend the University of Missouri Law School in hopes of becoming an environmental lawyer. Currently, she participates in the Jefferson City High School speech and debate team and school's dance team. She takes ballet lessons at Capital Ritz Dance Center and tries to be outdoors as much as possible.
Baileigh Morris is the daughter of Ty and Kerri Morris, of Jefferson City, and is a sophomore at Calvary Lutheran High School. She is involved in cross country, track, scholar bowl, Key Club, Future Teachers of America and student government. Morris has earned all-state honors in track and was state qualifier in track, cross country and scholar bowl, and has received academic all-state in track and cross country. She is the treasurer of Future Teachers of America and a representative in student government. She received the 2019 VFW Patriotic Youth Award and the Outstanding Youth Leadership Award from the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce. She plans to major in either nutrition or fitness management at an undecided school.
Nolan Schroer is the son of Ben and Debbie Schroer, of Russellville, and is a sophomore at Russellville High School. He is on the high school baseball team, a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the high school band. Upon graduating high school, Schroer want to pursue a career in computer programming or engineering.
MaKayla Wolfmeier is the daughter of Jason and Marci Watson, of Fulton, and is a sophomore at New Bloomfield High School. She is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and pep club. She is on the "A" Honor Roll and an academic all-star athlete. Wolfmeier plans on attending college to become a labor and delivery nurse.