As of Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Margaret Totten and Daisy Dolan, both Hood River Valley High School seniors, have been selected as the Elks October Students of the Month. Both were presented checks for $100 in recognition of their volunteer efforts in the community and their achievements at school during last week’s Lodge meeting.
Totten is a skilled mathematician. Her math skills are especially useful in her role on a FTC (First Tech Challenge) robotics team Steelhead. She competes at robotics challenges, and volunteers. She has logged many hours mentoring younger aspiring engineers in robotics as well, including teaching classes at Chenowith and Dry Hollow elementary schools the basics of building and programming. She’s helped at all levels of robotics, including public relations and community outreach. This is her most meaningful community service, because she believes that getting children involved in STEM earlier will help them stay on the STEM path. Totten understands the importance of encouraging girls in particular to have the confidence to use their skills to compete.
Totten’s service to her hometown is broad and deep. She helps at freshman orientation, and serves as Student Ambassador at Hood River Valley High. Both groups rely on upperclassmen to mentor and welcome new students. She has packed boxes for the local Christmas Project, participated in Community Work Day and donated her salary to the school, raised money for The Fight Club, HRV’s Relay for Life team, and volunteered at Battle of the Books competitions. Totten is an athlete as well, participating in track and field and soccer during her tenure at HRVHS. She also holds various jobs, including yard work and babysitting.
Totten is the daughter of Anne Zuehlke and Anthony Totten. She has a twin sister, Morgan, who also attends HRVHS. Totten plans to apply to several colleges, including Linfield, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Puget Sound, Gonzaga, Illinois Institute of Technology, and her first-choice school, Northwestern University. Totten recognizes that her hometown made her who she is, and believes that community service is just a way to give back to her hometown.
Dolan is also a well-rounded student-citizen. She ably balances a rigorous academic schedule with being a three-sport athlete, something of a rarity nowadays. Dolan leads the girls’ cross country team at HRV, and recently was crowned District Champion. She is on the Nordic ski team in the winter, and plays lacrosse in the spring. In addition to these school sports, she crews for a local sailing team on the weekends. She has served as team captain for all three school sports.
Dolan’s volunteer work also demonstrates variety, ranging from 4-H small animals to numerous sports-focused events. She works with the Valley Critters 4-H Club to assist with judging of cavy showers after being a club member for years, and she organized and led the now annual Tour De Coop, a tour of local chicken coops. Dolan has helped at many races, including the Mighty Milers races at local elementary schools, the Columbia River Gorge Marathon, and the Vampire Race. She has worked at youth camps for lacrosse, fundraisers for cross country and the Nordic team, and at a stand-up paddle board clinic for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization.
Dolan is a member of the National Honor Society, the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association (CGWA) Windsurfing A team, the Excelsior Robotics Team, the JET Paddle Team, and Valley Critters 4-H club. She also has worked at Big Winds as a kids camp instructor and as a junior girls lacrosse official. Dolan was honored by her senior classmates when she was chosen as one of this year’s homecoming princesses. Dolan’s favorite community service experience has been sharing her love of animals with the folks at the senior center.
Dolan is the daughter of Joe and Juliana Dolan, also known locally for their service to this community. She has one sister, Delia, who attends college at Western Washington University. Dolan plans to attend college next year, and will be applying to Montana State University, Oregon State University, and Western Washington State University. Her top choice schools are MSU and OSU. She values service to her community because it has shown her that there is a wider community out there and one person’s service can make it better.
The Elks Lodge would like to congratulate these two outstanding students. It is our honor to recognize them for their contributions to the community.