Students of the Month Winter 2022
Rotarian Steve Conlin (far left) proudly announced the Eagan High School Students
of the Month during the Dec. 7 meeting which included Sophia Juntilla (left),
Ryan Lenertz (right) and Nikitha Ganesan (far right). Photo by Rotarian Leif Hagen.
Eagan Rotary Honors Three Eagan High School
Students of the Month

By Sherie Wallace
The Rotary Club of Eagan awarded Sophia Juntilla, Ryan Lenertz, and Nikitha Banesan for their volunteer efforts in the community as well as their academic, athletic, and artistic accomplishments. School counselors and teachers select one student for each month who demonstrate a strong work ethic, considerate attitude toward others, and leadership at school and in the community.
“Our community is nurturing young people who not only are serious academics but also show compassion and caring for others as volunteers. Rotary recites a Four Way Test that emphasizes truth, fairness and acting for the greater good,” said Steve Conlin, Realtor with Edina Realty and presenter for the Student of the Month committee. “These students will go beyond Eagan to display these values making them excellent civic ambassadors for Eagan.”

Student of the Month for September is Sophia Juntilla who volunteered with the Red Cross Blood Drive, Feed My Starving Children and engaged students with disabilities in fun activities. She plans to continue volunteering in these areas after her graduation. Juntilla is graduating with honors while taking Advance Placement (AP) classes in Physics, Language, Calculus and Statistics and has been on the high school honor roll each year. She won an AP Scholarship award in 2021. Juntilla has been active in soccer over the past ten years.   She plans to go to a four-year university after graduation.

Ryan Lenertz is the Student of the Month for October and participated in high school volunteer activities such as assisting new students in the Link program, a leader with Students Against Destructive Decisions, team manager for girls hockey and participating in fundraisers for non-profit programs. “When you volunteer you realize the positive influence you can have on others and the experience teaches you to put others before yourself,” said Lenertz. Academically he was recognized as an outstanding student by the National Honor Society and as an AP Scholar with Honors. Lenertz has been active in Soccer, Table Tennis, Adopt a Garden at his church, and tutoring his peers in math and science. He plans to attend a four-year university and study finance.

“Volunteering is important to a teenager because it teaches the importance of service. As a teen I realized that I could make meaningful changes (as a volunteer),” said Nikitha Ganesan, the November Student of the Month. “Interact Club is always finding ways to help our community and the best part is volunteering with people that also love to help.” Ganesan is a three-year member of Interact Club (high school extension of Eagan Rotary). She has been involved with community gardens and Veteran appreciation. She has volunteered to conduct science demonstrations at the Science Museum of Minnesota and transcribe documents at the Smithsonian Transcription Center. Academically she has been on the honor roll throughout high school and is a National Honor Society member. She has won awards in competitions as an accomplished ice skater and pianist. Ganesan plans to major in chemistry or statistics in college.