March Students of the Month: Elks honor Muenzer, Peterson

Natasha Muenzer and Finn Peterson, seniors at Hood River Valley High School, are Elks Students of the Month for March.


Natasha Muenzer

Muenzer is the daughter of Chad and Sarah Muenzer. She has a brother, Chad, who attends HRVHS, and a sister, Sierra, who attends Mid Valley Elementary. She is a National Honor Society member and has had a rigorous course load, taking honors English, science, medical biology, statistics, AP chemistry, advanced algebra, and trigonometry, Writing 121/122 and AP Spanish. She is an excellent student who has high academic standards for herself and yet makes time to participate in extra-curricular and community activities, said an Elks press release.

Muenzer played basketball for HRV for two years and has played softball since her freshman year. She has been a 4-H member since 2010, managing and maintaining records for animals and helping at 4-H youth camps and a Kids Livestock Clinic. She has been an FFA member since 2013 and has received the Discovery Award, Greenhand Award, Chapter Degree, State Degree, and was awarded FFA Student of the month. In 2015 and 2017, she attended the National FFA Convention.

She is also an active member of the Leos Club. She has enjoyed being a regular participant in the annual Lions Follies since 2015 because, as she says, it’s fun and it raises money for a good cause.

Muenzer has also sold balloons and worked concessions at the Blossom Fest, trick or treated for donations of canned food, organized Christmas baskets for the Christmas Project, painted animal pens and cleaned the pig barn at the Hood River County Fair, and volunteered her time at a local farm, bucking hay and cleaning barns.

Muenzer is no stranger to hard work and when she isn’t volunteering, she’s working at Ahi’s Catering where she sets tables, prepares food, and does clean up. She also works at NCS Orchards in Parkdale as a field manager, where her duties include managing irrigation, driving tractor, driving a hay tedder and a hay bailer. Muenzer is self-employed as well, putting her expertise with animals to use as she manages the nutritional intake for 11 ewes and three sows, distributes medications as necessary, assists in births of lambs and piglets, and manages animal facilities.

Muenzer will be attending Washington State University in the fall, majoring in agriculture or possibly agriculture food security.


Finn Peterson

Peterson is the son of Robin and Ken Peterson. He is a National Honor Society member and has had a rigorous course load at HRV, taking numerous honors and AP courses. He is an excellent student who has high academic standards for himself, yet makes time to participate in extra-curricular and community activities, said an Elks press release.

Peterson has participated in cross country running and Nordic skiing at HRV for the past three years and was varsity captain on both teams this year. He is also the president of the National Arts Honor Society at HRV and has been a force behind many of the group’s activities.

Peterson is a runner and much of his community service reflects that interest. He has served as a counselor for local youth running camps, including the middle school camp put on at HRV. He volunteers at local running events with his cross country team and works with youth sailors during summer community events. He worked to clean up the Indian Creek trail for the cross country team’s use, and has represented the National Arts Honor Society at their annual arts assembly.

Peterson has a unique talent: animation and video production. He is one of the school’s premiere media creators, and the backbone of HRV’s multi-media program. He designs, films, and edits many school promotional videos. He has livestreamed events for school and community groups, and at the age of 17, found paid work doing what he loves: he was hired by Lakewood Creative Company out of Los Angeles as an animator and videographer, and he shoots, edits, and animates commercial and music videos for artists including DNCE, XCC, and Grace Mitchell. This is pretty impressive for a kid who’s not even out of high school, said the Elks press release. Peterson also busses at Solstice Café and Pizzeria, and hosts at Divot’s restaurant, where he’s received commendations on his hard work and diligence.

Peterson’s most meaningful community service has been helping out at youth cross country camps, because he loves to see the future recruits.

He plans to attend Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, as well as freelance work as a creator.

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