January Students of the Month

Scoop Staff

Freshman Lauren VandenbergSeventh grade: Lauren Vandenberg is the daughter of John and Linda Vandenberg of David City. She is the youngest of her three other siblings: Nolan, Dana, and Colin. Lauren participates in activities inside and outside of school such as volleyball, basketball, track, soccer, and swimming. When she’s not in school, Lauren said she enjoys spending her free time with friends.

When Lauren found out she was Student of the Month she said she was very excited. Lauren said she shows her leadership skills by encouraging others to get good grades, work hard, and stay involved in school activities.

  • What is your favorite memory in the snow growing up? When I was growing up, I would go outside, make a little fort, and then have towels as a bed for rabbits that pass by.
  • What is your favorite attire during the cold, winter season? My favorite winter attire would have to be my Columbia winter coat that can turn into a single jacket.


Eighth grade: Clayton Denker is the son of Chad and Chantel Denker of David City. Clayton has two younger brothers: Caden and Cohen. Clayton is involved in football, wrestling, basketball, track, and plays percussion in band. He sees himself as a hard worker that isn’t afraid to take the extra mile to succeed, but he also said he takes time to hang out with friends outside of school.

When told he was Student of the Month, Clayton said he was surprised, but knew he was chosen because of his good character, responsibility, and ability to get homework done on time.

“If somebody’s having trouble, I’ll take the lead and see what I can do to help,” Clayton said.

  • What is your favorite memory in the snow growing up? Playing outside in the snow for a while, then coming back in for hot chocolate. With marshmallows.
  • What is your favorite attire during the cold, winter season? Sweatpants and a sweatshirt.


Freshman: Laurel Ockander is the daughter of Jarod and Sara Ockander of David City. Activities Laurel is involved in include FFA, where she serves as Reporter, 4-H, One-Act, Speech, Band, and Job’s Daughters. When not at school or running from activity to activity, Laurel enjoys spending time with her sheep or attending livestock shows.

Laurel thinks she was chosen for Student of the Month because she is an extrovert, positive, sociable, and considerate girl.

“Inside the classroom I help others with work. I always try to look on the bright side and take part in classroom discussions. Outside the classroom, I help others in organizations with competitions and dedicate time for others’ and my own success,” Laurel said.

Laurel would like to thank her teachers and peers for giving her this honor and recognition.

  • What is your favorite memory in the snow growing up? I always enjoyed going to the city park with my friends and family to go sledding, or sliding down the slide right after it snows.
  • What is your favorite attire during the cold, winter season? During the winter I commonly wear lots of soft and fluffy sweatshirts or sweaters with each outfit.


Sophomore: Cole Martinez is the son of Carol Martinez and George Martinez and brother to Kylee Martinez. Cole is involved in FCCLA, band, and participates in 4-H outside of school. He likes to spend his free time outside of school at home or hanging out with friends.

Cole feels he is a good person because he is enthusiastic and a hard worker. When he has a special interest in something, Cole invests much of his time and energy into that project. He always gives everything he does 100% effort. Overcoming many insecurities and challenges, Cole feels he is a leader due to developing from a shy person to a charismatic adult. He always tries to participate and get the most out of an activity or lesson that he can in class. Cole believes he was considered Student of the Month because teachers must have noticed his abilities as not only a student, but also as a leader in FCCLA.

  • What is your favorite memory in the snow growing up? My favorite memory in the snow growing up would have to be going sledding at the park with all of my friends.
  • What is your favorite attire during the cold, winter season? Definitely a button down shirt, a sweater, and a nice pair of jeans.


Junior: Josh Sturgeon is the son of Robert and Donna Sturgeon of David City. He has one older brother, Jared, a cat named Poppy, and two dogs named Lilo and Bosley. Josh likes to stay engaged in school by participating in the One-Act production. He loves to keep busy outside of school with his hobbies including kayaking, fishing, archery, painting, and drawing. He also occupies a job at the local Ace Hardware in David City.

Josh said he likes to maintain a positive attitude while also keeping his grades up. He spends his free time on his computer playing games and surfing the Internet. Some exceptional qualities he said he possesses are his kindness, respect for others, and especially his humor.

“When I first saw I was Student of the Month I was like, ‘Oh cool, look at that,’ and I forgot about it until I heard my name on the announcements,” Josh said. “I like to be funny to keep myself in a good mood and hope that others find it funny, too.”

  • What is your favorite memory in the snow growing up? After the blizzard in 2007 there were huge snowdrifts that I would sled down.
  • What is your favorite attire during the cold, winter season? Hoodies, because they are comfy and they have a built-in hat.


Senior: Morgan Ruth is the daughter of Judd and Lisa Ruth of Rising City. Morgan has one brother, Nick Ruth, who is currently a freshman at David City High School. Sports and activities Morgan enjoys staying involved in include cross country, basketball, Yearbook, and Wellness Council. Outside of school, Morgan is either on the basketball court during practice or at home doing homework.

First finding out she was Student of the Month, Morgan said she was really surprised because she didn’t think she would get it and she knows there are other people who could obtain the honor as well. Morgan thinks she was considered Student of the Month because she feels teachers have noticed her hard work in all her activities and studies. Morgan tries to be a leader inside the classroom by helping people understand things if they need help and outside the classroom by working hard during basketball and showing the underclassmen how to play at their best potential.

  • What is your favorite memory in the snow growing up? Trying to make snow tunnels with my brother when we had big drifts in the yard. Also, playing with my dogs in the snow was fun, too.
  • What is your favorite attire during the cold, winter season? I’d probably say leggings, sweaters, scarves, and boots. It’s a cute way to dress for the winter and still stay warm.