Kara Hannasch has been named Heartland’s March Student of the Month. A senior at Colman-Egan High School, she is recognized by her teachers as a bright, well-rounded student with a natural talent for American Sign Language, or ASL.

Kara Hannasch

“Kara is a very determined, thoughtful young lady,” said Colman-Egan Counselor Vickie Leibel. “She sets a great example for other students and deserves to be recognized for her many positive qualities, including her dedication to ASL.”

Kara developed a passion for American Sign Language after purchasing a set of instructional DVDs. No longer a novice, she has already taken two college-level ASL courses.

“She has honed her ASL skills by regularly meeting with a former school employee who is deaf and attending interpreter events. She has signed for Colman-Egan basketball games and a teacher in-service as well as Abundant Life Church services in Brookings,” said Leibel.

Besides ASL, Hannasch’s activities include volleyball, basketball, oral interp and one-act and spring play.

“Whatever activity or project Kara undertakes, she works extremely hard to accomplish her goals,” said Leibel.

Hannasch is the daughter of Kurt and Jennifer Hannasch. After high school, she plans to enroll in the sign language interpreting program at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.

The “Student of the Month” is awarded through a partnership of Heartland and KJAM Radio in Madison, SD and recognizes exceptional students in one of five area school districts.

Heartland provides wholesale power to the cities of Arlington, Colman, Howard, Madison and Volga, all of which are in the KJAM listening area.  Each month of the school year, Heartland presents an outstanding student from one of these schools with a recognition certificate and small token, and advertisements announcing the winning student air on KJAM Radio.

Officials from each participating school nominate students for the award.  This is the sixth year Heartland and KJAM have teamed up to offer this program.