Three members from Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 were among the recipients of 2016 Community Builder awards presented by the Burnsville City Council on Oct. 18.
The awards have been presented annually since 1998 to recognize individuals, groups or businesses that have made contributions that build community, performed outstanding acts of bravery, or made a lasting impact on the quality of life in the City of Burnsville.
“Each year, we get more and more nominations for this prestigious recognition,” said Mayor Elizabeth Kautz. “This year, I am proud to present 10 Community Builder Awards."
Among the recipients were Tyrese Leverty, a student leader at Burnsville High School; Christian Kibler, coordinator of the Burnsville Youth Collaborative, and Sean Lenhardt, mentor for the Burnsville High School Robotics Team.
Read more about them, below. Each is pictured with Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and Councilmembers, from left, Bill Coughlin, Dan Kealey, Mary Sherry and Suzanne Nguyen.
Tyrese Leverty, a senior at Burnsville High School, has been a leader in preparing his classmates for the historic changes and increased opportunities happening now at Burnsville High School as a result of Vision One91.
As an active member of #BurnsvilleStrong, Tyrese had already been involved in building a strong school community. However, he saw an additional need to help his classmates become more aware and prepared for the changes coming from Vision One91.
Tyrese wanted to share information and support his classmates throughout the transition and construction project. He wanted to get them excited about the new possibilities that would be available.
Tyrese recruited other interested students to form a Vision One91 subcommittee of #BurnsvilleStrong. They researched Vision One91, and had meetings with architects to discuss upcoming changes to the school building.
The group also met with Principal Dave Helke and Superintendent Joe Gothard, and toured the construction site while following the progress.
Along the way, Tyrese and his fellow subcommittee members found various ways to inform their classmates and the community about Vision One91. For example, they used social media to disseminate information and organized a scavenger hunt to get students to see the construction progress.
Tyrese has been the catalyst for the Vision One91 group and has demonstrated vision and initiative. He would be the first to say that other students should also be credited, but Tyrese is the one who got the effort moving and has kept it going.
Christian Kibler spends his time mentoring students. As the Burnsville Youth Collaborative Coordinator, he works hard to give students who have limited opportunities the chance to participate in things they may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.
In his role, he coordinates the after-school program for Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191, which is an important part of the new Burnsville Youth Collaborative.
He is a great role model for children, giving them the confidence they need to thrive. He does more for these children then they even realize. The best part of all is that his hard work and dedication come from a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of youth.
Christian works hard to build up his community by building up the confidence and desire for success of Burnsville’s future generations.
Sean Lenhardt is dedicated to the sport of robotics in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. Because of his work, many local students have, and continue to gain, life-long experiences and advantages.
Sean currently serves as the lead mentor for the Burnsville High School robotics team. He donates hundreds of hours of time to not only maintaining the current team, but envisioning the possibilities of what this team, and Burnsville Robotics, can become in the future. That includes traveling with the team to compete in several annual events in and out of state.
In addition, Sean has also begun mentoring both elementary and junior-high level robotics teams. He also initiated a partnership with District 191 Community Education to create a summer program for elementary students to learn robotics and to participate in the fall competition season.
Sean's initiative and vision have created a lasting impression on many children who have been given challenges, and risen to overcome them while doing so in a fun, creative and collaborative environment.
For more information on this year’s winners visit www.burnsville.org/communitybuilder.