Student of the month: Emma Sperfslage


MHS junior Emma Sperfslage is Student of the Month for November. She was nominated for her leadership skills, especially when it comes to NHS. Sperfslage is also heavily involved in athletics, such as softball. (Express file photo)
By: 
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Each month, Monticello High School nominates a student who exhibits positive behavior, as part of an initiative called PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). The students support the school’s characteristics of Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Safety, and Integrity.

     Despite the current pandemic, MHS junior Emma Sperfslage works hard to make sure she and her fellow National Honor Society members have a great year.

     Sperfslage was named Student of the Month for November, having been nominated by MHS science teacher Kayla Schockemoehl. She was nominated “for her outstanding work as an officer on NHS and going above and beyond to coordinate meetings, fundraisers, creating the NHS Instagram (account), and (her) willingness to get involved in the community. She is an outstanding leader,” boasted Schockemoehl.

     Sperfslage admitted she had no clue she was even nominated for the honor. She found out via her online PE class when her teacher informed her of the news.

     “I also heard about it from being the paper,” said Sperfslage of the monthly ad in the Express. “I was so surprised; it’s such an honor. I totally didn’t expect this with everyone online (the last two weeks). Something like this isn’t really in the front of your mind right now.”

     Schockemoehl was Sperfslage’s biology teacher during her sophomore year, and the NHS advisor this year.

     Sperfslage is treasurer of the MHS NHS group.

     “I’m in charge of fundraisers,” she said of her biggest role of the job of being an officer. “I was the only junior officer elected, which is crazy.”

     As a junior, this is Sperfslage’s first year in NHS. She explained when one applies for NHS, they have to list all of the advanced classes they’re taking, their GPA, how many Silver Service hours they have, and what they’ve done to obtain those hours. It takes 300 hours to earn the Silver Service Cord for graduation; Sperfslage is already at 290 with another year of high school to go.

     “When I started high school, I planned for 100 hours a year,” said Sperfslage.

     Aside from fundraising, she also takes charge of budgeting for NHS and working with the other officers to plan meetings and set their agendas.

     MHS NHS held a virtual induction ceremony earlier this fall due to COVID-19. Sperfslage assisted in the making of the ceremony slideshow by contacting the members for their biographies and a photo.

     NHS meets every two weeks, whether virtual or online. Typically about 40 members take part.

     “It’s definitely been a challenge,” noted Sperfslage coordinating everyone’s schedules to meet as a group.

     With no social media presence, in mid-October, Sperfslage chose to create the group’s Instagram account, explaining the majority of their members are active on Instagram than any other platform. The account is used to keep everyone informed about meetings and events.

     “More kids check Instagram than Facebook,” Sperfslage said.

     While COVID makes it hard to host in-person fundraisers right now, NHS has been selling Panther spirit bracelets to help raise some money to purchase induction pins for the members.

     They also give back to the community by making Thanksgiving cards for the residents at the nursing home.

     “We came up with a lot of ideas,” said Sperfslage, “but we can’t do much in the community with COVID.”

     Aside from her community engagement through NHS, Sperfslage is also heavily involved in her church (Sacred Heart) and working in the concession stands for youth sporting events.

     Mrs. Schockemoehl also made mention of Sperfslage’s leadership skills. Sperfslage said it’s very important for her to stay organized.

     “From a young age, I never liked it when everyone would talk at once; I like to take charge (of the situation).

     “If you asked my two younger siblings, they’d probably say I’m bossy,” joked Sperfslage.

     The key to Sperfslage’s organization and leadership are to-do lists.

     Aside from NHS, Sperfslage is also involved in BPA, Forte, choir, bowling, volleyball, and softball.

     She enjoys school because she can socialize with her friends, and prefers physically being in school for that hands-on approach to learning.

     “It’s more interactive and you can ask your teachers questions and talk with them in-person,” she said.

     Her favorite subject is English because she’s always enjoyed writing.

     As if she’s not busy enough, Sperfslage also works for Bipsy & Bopsy Boutique in Monticello, and helps her grandfather at his insurance business as an office secretary.

     She also enjoys hanging out with friends, going to movies, and shopping.

     Sperfslage is the daughter of Ryan and Kayla Sperfslage of Monticello.

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