Learning leadership

Kyanne Derr was finalist for Distinguished Student Award

Kyanne Derr, a junior at Glenburn High School, was a state finalist for the North Dakota Activities Association/Farmers Union Insurance Distinguished Student Award. Submitted Photo

Glenburn High School junior Kyanne Derr is a girl on the go and that is just the way she likes it.

“There’s not a lot of down time,” said Derr, who was one of six state finalists for the North Dakota High School Activities Association/Farmers Union Insurance Distinguished Student Award this month.

The award honors students who are the “backbone” of interscholastic activities, not necessarily the leader of them. Student recipients strengthen the activity for other participants, their school and their community.

Derr plays club volleyball and serves as the team captain and also plays softball. She is a member of the Glenburn school council and serves on the school’s suicide prevention group, Sources of Strength, which puts an emphasis on sources of positivity in the lives of students as a way to help them.

Music is a huge passion for Derr, who hopes to major in music education when she goes away to college and who would like to be a music teacher.

“”I am in choir but my main focus is instrumental,” she said. “I play the saxophone. I started on tenor (saxophone) but play a lot of soprano (saxophone) now.”

She participates in honor bands and music festivals and plans to attend a couple of music camps this summer, one at Minot State and one at the International Music Camp, which she has attended since the summer after she was in fifth grade.

Serving as a team captain has also helped her in other areas, she said, particularly leadership.

“I think being involved in so many things has helped me get to know how to work better with different people,” said Derr.

Her parents, Larry and Donanne Derr, both of whom are employed at the school and coach, have led by example. Her dad is the high school principal and high school activities director and head boys basketball coach for Glenburn. Her mom teaches third grade for Glenburn. Her parents always encouraged her to be involved in different activities.

“I was in the gym almost as much as I was home, I think,” said Derr, who is the eldest of four children.

Attending a small school also meant there were always opportunities to be involved in a lot of different activities.

Other finalists for the award were Sophie Lind, Mandan, Alexis Roehl, Grand Forks Central and Keaton Nelsen, Leeds. Michael Hall, a junior at Kindred High School, was the winner of the award and Annah Greenmyer, North Sargent, was the runner up.

Other nominees from area schools were Payton Heger, Underwood, Brenden Bergquist, Turtle Lake-Mercer, Payton Smith, Carrington, Theodore Allmaras, New Rockford-Sheyenne, Gavin Miller, North Star at Cando, Emily Eback, Devils Lake, Shadlynn Severance, Parshall, Corina Pabian, Lewis and Clark-Berthold, Abigail Hickel, Ray, Trent Hunskor, Newburg, Emma Arstein, Rolette, London Andel, Bottineau, Caitlyn Davis, Dunseith, Maria Blessum, Rugby, Kyley Lauf, Des Lacs-Burlington, and Mindee Boyce, Nedrose.

(Prairie Profile is a weekly feature profiling interesting people in our region. We welcome suggestions from our readers. Call Editor Mike Sasser at 857-1959 or Regional Editor Eloise Ogden at 857-1944. Either can be reached at 1-800-735-3229. You also can send e-mail suggestions to msasser@minotdailynews.com.)