Alumni Spotlight: Viki Kneis
Today we are proud to highlight former Husky Viki Kneis, Hillsdale class of 2010. Currently a graduating senior at Henderson High School, Viki's many accomplishments include both academic and athletic success.
Despite her busy schedule, Viki has found seemingly endless time to give back to her community. For the past 4 seasons, spanning two years, Viki has volunteered as coach of Hillsdale's Girls on the Run team. Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a YMCA-based program that integrates running and fitness with a curriculum fostering confidence, leadership, and service. Viki's impact on the GOTR participants and their families is clear, and is best reflected by their accolades. Hannah Guidotti, current Hillsdale fifth grader and 1st place GOTR runner in this Spring's GOTR 5K, says that Viki "taught me to be brave, kind, and humble -- and silly." According to Nancy Franks, mother of current Hillsdale fourth grader Avery, "Vicki is an awesome coach and someone that Avery really looked up to. She is encouraging, motivating and a such a positive role model!"
Viki hasn't stopped giving back to Hillsdale since she was a student here. Her impact on our community has been far-reaching. According to Hillsdale school prinicipal, Mrs. Julianne Pecorella, "Viki has been a positive role model for Hillsdale students since I have known her. She volunteers here regularly, not only for Girls on the Run, but for other PTO events including our Bingo Nights, Winter Carnivals, Fall Festivals and community service projects.
"I have witnessed her build relationships with our students and encourage them. Last year at Hauling for Hillsdale [a PTO-sponsored running event], one of our third graders had lagged behind the group and was alone on the last lap. Viki ran alongside her, coached and encouraged her to complete the run. This is typical for Viki. She is compassionate, caring and supportive. Students and staff look up to her. We will all benefit from her grace, kindness and giving heart."
Speaking of her years at Hillsdale, Viki says, "As I graduate now, I reflect on the six years I spent at Hillsdale, which came with
some of the best memories. It’s the little things I remember, like my first grade trip to the zoo or the fourth and fifth grade track meets. One of my fondest memories is sledding during the principal's challenge in 5th grade."
When asked to provide words of wisdom to current Hillsdale students, Viki offers, "Cherish your time with this community. Make memories, you will hold onto them forever. Most of all, give it your all and have fun, and don’t grow up quicker than you need to. This time in your life is such a special and memorable one and it will be over before you know it." To the current student body, she offers a quote which has inspired her: "Make your faith larger than your fears and your dreams larger than your doubts.”-Robin Sharma
As Viki embarks to begin her studies at Eastern University, she will be missed as a constant positive presence at Hillsdale, but her legacy will remain with the Husky community and her strong positive influence will continue. On behalf of the Hillsdale PTO and the entire Hillsdale community, we offer Viki our gratitude and congratulations. We'll be looking on with pride as you continue to make your mark!
Viki created a video to highlight the Hillsdale Girls on the Run team. To learn more about the Girls on the Run program and to see Viki and her team in action, be sure to check it out!
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