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December 2022 Student of the Month

Ashley Knettel

Ashley is the daughter of Paul and Alissa Knettel. Ashley says her parents have played a large role in her life and has made her who she is, “My parents have always encouraged me to try my best at anything I accomplish, and they’ll be proud of me no matter what. My parents remind me of this refresher on the daily, which I truly believe is what fuels me to try my best every day. With my family, I enjoy having family dinners, hanging out at our cabin, and sitting down to complete a puzzle with one another.”

At Royalton High School, Ashley is involved in a variety of activities, multiple sports to numerous clubs and groups and has enjoyed many of them. “At school I am involved in volleyball, softball, speech, Minnesota Honors Society, and YES Club. I enjoy volleyball and softball because I love the exciting feeling of being a part of a great play and cheering on my teammates when they do the same. I also enjoy speech because it has pushed me out of my comfort zone to try a new activity while having fun and making memories with my teammates. I enjoy the Minnesota Honors Society because I am able to make a difference in the community with my closest friends by running our school’s blood drive and participating in our City-Wide Cleanup. Lastly, I enjoy YES Club, because I have been able to participate in many environmentally friendly projects to better the Earth and our school.”

When it comes to her classes Ashley says her favorite class was College Human Biology. “My favorite high school class I’ve ever taken is CIS Human Biology. I have always had a fascination with human anatomy and this course dives very deep into such complex information that I find very interesting. This class stands out to me as a student because I have the opportunity to dissect pig fetuses and sheep hearts to strengthen my learning about biological anatomy. I would suggest other students to take this class if you’re interested in pursuing an occupation in medical science, because you will retain a great deal of valuable information that will stick with you!

As for a favorite teacher in high school Ashley says Ms. Alyssa Gerads rises to the top of her list “My favorite teacher throughout high school years has been Mrs. Gerads. Not only is Mrs. Gerads a very intelligent and organized teacher, she also radiates such positive energy to her students with her bubbly and friendly personality. Mrs. Gerads has made my biology and CIS human biology courses important to me because she exposed my love to learn about science with her great teaching methods. Mrs. Gerads inspires me because she obtained her master’s degree at such a young age, which has made me want to work as hard as her to acquire my own someday.”

When asked what her favorite high school memory was, she had one that stands above all others and that was 2022 Prom.  “My favorite high school memory was definitely my junior prom. My junior prom was such a blast because I had a great date and best friends who also love to sing and dance to our favorite songs and we had so much fun while doing it. I can proudly say the missing voice and sore muscles from singing and dancing all night long was definitely worth it. Besides that, the dinner was delicious and the whole day had a great vibe.”

Ashely’s best event/activity she was involved in that stood at Royalton High school has been speech, “The activity that stands out the most to me that I am involved in is speech. Speech has pushed me out of my comfort zone immensely with performing and talking in front of crowds and judges. After my first season of speech last year, I believe I am more comfortable with presenting in front of a classroom, my social skills have greatly improved, and I have made incredible friendships with my teammates and speakers from other schools as well.”

When asked what she plans to do next year and where she sees herself in 10 years, Ashley had this to say “I plan to further my education at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to study nutrition. After earning my Bachelor of Science degree, my dream is to attend school once again to obtain my master’s degree to become a registered dietitian. Over the past few years, nutrition has sparked my interest because I’ve realized how important it is to consume the right foods to properly fuel your body and prevent diseases. In 10 years, I hope that I reached all my academic goals, to be settled down, and to have an occupation I thoroughly enjoy. These goals are important to me because if I succeed in these goals, I know I will have a very successful and happy life ahead of me.”

Finally, Ashley’s advice to high school freshmen is, “Slow down, you're doing fine, you can’t be everything you want to be before your time.” This advice is actually a lyric from Billy Joel’s “Vienna”. When life and school become too much to handle some days, I believe it’s important to remind ourselves to destress by taking life day-by-day, and how success doesn't come easy, take your time and it will all be worth it in the end.

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