Emilee Ziegner and Sophie Oswald, both Hood River Valley High School seniors, have been selected as January Students of the Month by the Hood River Elks Lodge. Each received a check for $100 at a recent Lodge meeting.

They are the eighth and ninth students selected among the 18 who will get together at the Elks Lodge for an end-of-the-year banquet in their honor on June 2.


Emilee is a very active and involved young lady. She is busy at school with student government, OSSOM, (Oregon Student Safety on the Move), membership in the National Honor Society, a member of the Link Day Crew, Girls Camp youth leader and helped with Homecoming events and activities.

Emilee received an “Excellence in Academics” award in 2011 and 2012 and has taken many advanced placement and honors classes. She is also a member of the Challenge Day Club, Asian Club, Fight Club, her church Youth Group, HRVHS Lock-In, Luau and Prom committee and is active in her church’s early morning seminary group.

In 2012 she was the number-one tennis player and the MVP for the HRV girls varsity tennis team. She was also a partner on the best doubles team for HRV.

Emilee has participated in two high school musicals, “Les Miserables” and “Avalon,” which were performed for the community.

Her volunteer work includes a number of different things including community service with Wishram Elementary school where she helped paint classrooms and weeded flower beds. She also worked at Whitson Elementary school where she helped paint different areas of the school.

Emilee did work in Vancouver where they stenciled the parking lot and did landscape work. She has done volunteer work with the Hood River County Christmas Project assisting low-income families, working with FISH food bank gathering food and monetary donations and working with Heart of Hospice, visiting the elderly, talking with them and bringing them treats.

Emilee has walked to support the annual Crop Walk and helped with the Latter-Day Saints’ blood drive.

Emilee is the daughter of Luis and Lisa Ziegner and she has an older brother, Joshua, younger brother, Scottie, and younger sister, Jordan.

This fall Emilee will attend a yet- undetermined four-year university, (possibly Utah State or BYU), and major in elementary education with a minor in Spanish. She would like to be a bilingual elementary education teacher. In her free time Emilee enjoys singing, playing tennis, playing the piano, playing board games, watching movies, swimming, reading and stargazing.


Sophie Oswald keeps herself busy at school and is actively involved in the community. She has taken many of the honors and advanced placement classes offered at the high school. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Leaders for Tomorrow and the Spanish Club.

This past year she was the captain of a Relay for Life team and was in charge of organizing funds, recruiting team members and running the team booth. She is also the vice chair of community relations in Challenge Day Club.

Athletically, Sophie has played basketball and tennis all four years in high school and her freshman year she also played volleyball. She is a member of the Chamber Singers at HRVHS and also sang with a group called Voci, an adult choir that performs in the spring and fall.

She has also been involved with the fall musicals, starting out as a techie backstage and slowly gaining roles as a singer. These include “Guys and Dolls,” “Les Misérables,” “Avalon” and “Legally Blonde.”

Sophie is heavily involved with Leos, the youth arm of the Lions organization and has been co-president her junior and senior year. She has spent many hours with programs such as “Hit-and-Run Santa,” buying gifts and giving them to needy families, working at Sternwheeler Days and helping park cars at the county fair. They also sell concessions at Movies in the Park to benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters and volunteer at FISH food bank once a month. On the first Saturday of each month Leos collect cans and bottles and then donate the profits to charity.

Sophie is also quite involved with a Robotics Club at high school, called Magnum. They participate in FTC competition and made it to the world championships last year. They have also gone into the classroom and taught younger third-grade students how to program robots.

Sophie is the daughter of Jeannie and Hugo Oswald and she has two younger sisters, Abby and Claire. This fall she would like to start her undergraduate work at Gonzaga University, Case Western Reserve University or Oregon State Honors College. She would like to become a doctor or a bio-engineer.

Her outside interests include photography, reading, stand-up paddle-boarding, hiking and swimming.


The Elks Lodge congratulates both of these students for their work in the community, the classroom and in other activities. They are great examples of young people giving time and effort for others.

— Submitted by George Johnson, Elks Lodge member

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