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Jacob Baum, son of Stephanie and Christopher Baum, is an eighth grader at Pound Middle School. An honor roll student, Jacob was nominated for having a positive attitude, strong leadership skills and work ethic, and taking pride in his school work. “He is friendly to everyone at school,” officials wrote. “We’re so proud of him!” Jacob plays saxophone in the school band. In athletics, he played basketball on Pound’s A team and on a YMCA Spirit team, as well as YMCA Spirit soccer and Cal Ripken baseball. He volunteers as a group leader for a pre-kindergarten Sunday school class and Vacation Bible School at Horizons Community Church, where he is completing confirmation classes. He enjoys gaming with friends.
Patrick Gutierrez, son of Jennifer and Juan Carlos Gutierrez, is an eighth grader at St. Joseph School. “Patrick is a kind, caring young man,” school officials wrote. “He is responsible in the classroom and a hard worker. He is respectful and friendly to all.” Patrick is a Student Council member, a student academic mentor and a member of a champion Quiz Bowl team at St. Joseph. In sports, he has played soccer for eight years and enjoys cross country running. He also enjoys reading, electrical engineering-related projects and physics. His religious activities include being an altar server.
Michael Longs, son of Mallory Munger, is a seventh grader at Lux Middle School. “Michael is a very attentive and focused student who shows respect and kindness to peers and adults,” school officials wrote. “Teachers appreciate him in their classes because he is tuned in and participating, adding positivity and a strong work ethic to the class atmosphere. He is seen as a leader, working well with others and helping when and where he can.” Michael has been honored with a school WOW award and an Hour of Code award, which involved learning computer code and interacting with technology at Nebraska Innovation Campus. He has volunteered for Meals on Wheels and participated in several political marches. In sports, he has received many trophies for team championships in baseball and basketball.
Ivanna Ramos Berrios, daughter of Chasterle Berrios Torres and Edwin Ramos Carreras, is an eighth grader at Schoo Middle School. “Ivanna has a huge heart,” school officials wrote. “She constantly looks after other students and goes out of her way to be helpful to other students as well as adults. She also pushes herself academically.” Ivanna has played for Volleyball Club Nebraska (VCN) since first grade and received her team’s Most Valuable Player award. Her civic activities include volunteering at Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach. She plans to pursue a career in which she can help people and be an advocate for the underdog. She enjoys cooking and babysitting.