Crookston Rotary Club honors Students of the Month for February and March

Times Report
Crookston Times

    Crookston Rotary Club recently honored Crookston High School and University of Minnesota Crookston students for their Student of the Month program which awards monthly scholarships. Those who received recognition include CHS seniors Cameron Weiland and Linnea French, and UMN Crookston  junior Karlie Brekken and senior Grace Guyette.


    Cameron, whose parents are Ben and Melissa, plans to attend Minnesota State University Moorhead and major in Psychology and Criminal Justice.

    His work experience includes being an employee at Hardware Hank and working on the family farm. Hobbies are hanging with friends and watching movies.


    Linnea, whose parents are Rae and George, plans to attend Concordia College in Moorhead and major in Biochemistry.

    Her hobbies include reading, social events and drawing.


    Karlie, whose parents are Robin and Karen of Crookston, had a grandfather that attended UMN Crookston when it was the School of Agriculture.

    Karlie is majoring in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and wants to be a teacher in the surrounding area. She is currently a school aide at Washington Elementary School in Crookston and a counselor at Bluewater Bible Camp in the summer.

    Hobbies of hers include playing piano with George French at UMN Crookston and learning guitar.

    Plans after graduation include getting a job that she enjoys and to be happy.

    “Thank you for selecting me for this award!” Brekken told the club. “It’s an honor.”


    Grace is a senior at UMN Crookston majoring in Natural Resources Management. She grew up on a farm and always had a passion for nature, but says it “took some time” before deciding to pursue it.

    “I had a bit of a unique start,” Grace explained. “I went to nursing school and got my licensure, and worked as a nurse for a while before finding it wasn’t for me. I had visited UMC prior to starting nursing school, but decided to stay closer to home. Fast forward 7 years and a lot of age and wisdom later and I found myself back at UMC finally pursuing the degree I should’ve gone for all along.”

    “Phil Baird was the main reason I chose to come to UMC, but once I got here I realized UMC and the community of Crookston were so welcoming it has become my home away from home,” she added.

    “In the meantime, I attended Central Lakes College and received an Associate’s Degree in Natural Resource Technology where I graduated with high honors in May 2020,” Grace continued.

    Her mom has worked as a paraprofessional for 25 years and helped on the farm in the summer. Her dad is a contractor and owns his own building/remodeling business out of Osakis. Her brother is a pre-cast welder and helps set up large concrete buildings across the country.

    For her career goals, once Grace obtains her B.S. in NatR Management, she hopes to find a job with a soil and water conservation district doing ecological restoration or soil and water quality work.

    “I’d love to work with farmers and ranchers to come up with ways to maintain their land while still allowing them to use it,” she noted.

    Grace says for her work experience, she’s worked in “a lot of different fields.” Most prominently she was a pediatric nurse.

    “Children have incredible resilience I’d like to emulate someday!” she said.

    She also worked as a paraprofessional at the public school where she spent her time for several years plus she worked at an active military base in Little Falls, Minnesota for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources doing wildlife management work.

    “I recently accepted a position here in Crookston working with Laura Bell through UMC over the summer,” she added.

    As far as hobbies, Grace loves being outdoors and enjoys hiking, running, riding horse, and other fun outdoor adventures.

    “My mom, Bev, and my dog, Hershey, are great adventure companions,” said Grace.

    Plans for after graduation? Grace said her goal is to find a job working for a soil and water conservation district and to promote the health of the environment through excellent technical work, but also education and outreach.

    “Once I’ve gained some experience in the field, I will be looking into obtaining a master’s degree in Natural Resources Management or a similar field,” she noted.

Rotary Club Secretary and Past President Krista Proulx with CHS senior Cameron Weiland
UMN Crookston senior Grace Guyette and Rotary President Bob Magsam
Rotary Club Secretary and Past President Krista Proulx with UMN Crookston junior Karlie Brekken
Rotary Club Secretary and Past President Krista Proulx with CHS senior Linnea French