Dave Kriz

Sep 11 2017

Youth Salute 2017 Recap


As a part of our involvement in youth and leadership, Hills Bank sponsored the Youth Salute Leadership Awards for the 23rd year on September 10th. The purpose of this program is to recognize high school seniors for academic excellence, leadership, and service to their school and community. Youth Salute is a part of a national recognition program coordinated by the National Council on Youth Leadership. Almost 300 students from 16 area high schools including City HighClear Creek AmanaEnglish ValleysHighlandIowa MennoniteIowa ValleyLisbonLone TreeMid-PrairieMount VernonReginaSolonWashington (IA)West BranchWest High, and Williamsburg were honored for their academic achievement and leadership contributions. Students were selected by their high school faculty to receive the prestigious award.

Samuel Smith

Samuel Smith


Nina Elkadi

Nina Elkadi from West High and Samuel Smith from Highland, were recognized as the Outstanding Youth Leaders. Each will receive the opportunity to attend the National Council on Youth Leadership Town Meeting on Tomorrow, an event that brings together youth leaders with diverse backgrounds from across the nation. The students will gather in St. Louis at Washington University in October. Runner-up Outstanding Youth Leaders were Chris Grice from Mt Vernon and Khushi Kapoor from West High.

Other local leadership award winners included Kat Armstrong (West High), Noah Bishop (Solon), Morgan Brinning (Washington),  Emma Brustkern (West High), Brandon Burkhardt (West High), Nathan Butler (Highland),  Jacob Clark (Regina), Mary Crompton (Regina), Erik Eden (Lone Tree), Braydon Fisher (English Valleys), Stone Grell (Clear Creek Amana), Brooke Goodman (West High), Maya Hall (Mid-Prairie), Autumn Higdon (English Valleys), Bihotza James-Lejarcegui (City High), Victor Kalil (City High), Madison Luneckas (West Branch), Margaret Lynott (Mt Vernon), Gabriel McCormick (City High), Nathan Meyer (Regina), Sarah Nacos (Washington), Sarah Nunez (City High),  Grace Pisarik (Mt Vernon), Meredith Raber (Washington), Ethan Seylar (West High), Samalya Thenuwara (West High), Alyssa Woodward (Clear Creek Amana), Wingel Xue (West High), and Nicole Zuber (Williamsburg).

This year’s ceremony included an inspiring address from Craig Schroeder. Craig shared the story of his son, Austin “Flash” Schroeder who would have turned 18 in August and been a Senior at West High in Iowa City. He highlighted Austin’s positive attitude, never-give-up effort, and the inspiration he provides to so many to “Win The Day!” To many, Austin became a bona fide Super Hero. The Schroeders are proud that Austin’s memory is being preserved by his stories, and his desire to help other young persons with cancer is being realized through their FIGHT WITH FLASH FOUNDATION.

The 2017 Youth Salute participant photo bios will be on display throughout these Hills Bank locations:

  • September 11 – 18: 2621 Muscatine Ave, Iowa City
  • September 18 – 25: 1401 S Gilbert St, Iowa City
  • September 25 – October 2: 201 S Clinton St, Iowa City
  • October 2 – October 9: 131 E Main St, Hills
  • October 9 – 23: 1009 2nd St, Coralville
  • October 16 – 23: 720 1st Ave SE, Mount Vernon
  • October 23 – October 30: 120 5th St, Kalona
  • October 30 – November 6: 590 W Forevergreen Rd, North Liberty
  • October 30 – November 6: 229 8th Ave, Wellman
  • November 6 – 17: 2481 Hwy 92 E, Washington

Hills Bank is proud of the many outstanding students we’ve seen come through this program. Below is a list of the Outstanding Youth Leaders from the previous 11 years.

• Michael Moonjely (West High)
• Lucia Wagner (City High)

• Sonali Durham (City High)
• Myles Young (City High)

• Eric McDonald (City High)
• Hannah Twitchell (West High)

• Cassidy Bringle (City High)
• Blake Oetting (West High)

• Sarah Fischer (West Branch)
• Kieran Green (City High)

• Christopher Drew (West High)
• Jessica Ziniel (Regina)

• Taylor A. Fulton (Iowa Mennonite)
• Bryan Martin (City High)

• Young Seol (West High)
• Sonya Zhu (West High)

• Lena Conner (West High)
• Nick Williams (Regina)

• Emily Adair (Solon)
• Madison Adams (West High)

• Josh Lipman (West High)
• Alyssa Levitz & Carly Levitz (West High)

Dave Kriz

About Dave Kriz

Dave Kriz is Vice President, Youth and Education Director for Hills Bank. He has been at Hills Bank since 2001. As a former teacher, Dave is active in youth and education programs that Hills Bank sponsors. Each year, Dave also organizes the Youth Salute program that recognizes outstanding high school seniors in our surrounding communities. Dave can be reached at dave_kriz@hillsbank.com.

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