Star student continually gives of herself to others

Published 9:19 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
The Niles Daily Star has begun a new series of articles titled the "Star Student Spotlight" which features local students from grades six through 12 from both the Niles Community Schools and Brandywine Public Schools. A picture and comments about the nominated student will appear every week.
The students are chosen for their academic achievements, community service, and personal integrity. The selection of the student is made by their individual schools with recommendations from both teachers and the administration.
Meg Hein, a seventh grade student at Ring Larner Middle School, is this week's featured student.
Meg is a member of the National Junior Honor Society as well as 4-H.
Meg is also part of the FFA, whose members made it to state competition recently. Each team was given a situation to analyze, held a meeting to consider the parameters, and was judged on how they solved the problem.
According to Meg, FFA, formerly called Future Farmers of America, now welcomes students with a wide variety of interests, not just farming. That suits Meg just fine. She has a wide variety of interests as well.
Her family raises sheep which provide wool that Meg and her mother make into yarn on an Ashford spinning wheel. "We spin our sheep's wool into yarn," she said. "We have both black and white sheep. We like to dye the yarn. We can dye the white wool, but the black wool doesn't take color very well. Right now I'm just spinning, but it's still kind of lumpy. I want to learn to weave eventually."
When asked what she does with the yarn, Meg replied, "We sell it most of the time. It's only one ply," meaning it does not have the double twist that most commercial yarns use to give it added strength.
Meg also has an interest in sports. She has played soccer for the past four years and just this year, added volleyball to the list.
Meg also believes in volunteering her time to help others. "I help out at my mom's workplace, Brentwood Assisted Living. I like to talk to the residents there. Some of their families live far away and they love it when you can sit and talk with them," she said.
When she is at home, aside from doing homework, Meg likes to bake. According to her, cookies are her specialty, especially her favorite kind, chocolate chip cookies. "I don't bake that often, though," she said, "because I'm usually out running here and there."
Meg's teachers nominated her for the Star Student Spotlight. Loretta McClean, who teaches English/Language Arts, said, "Meg is an avid reader with a voracious appetite for books. She is very conscientious and an excellent writer. She is patient and insightful, and is helpful with other students. When she opens her mouth, she has something to say. She's just a joy to have in class."
Dave Kliss, Meg's pre-algebra teacher, agrees. "She is in the highest math class I teach for seventh grade and is an excellent math student with pretty much a 4.0. Recently she organized a can drive for the whole school. I put a large garbage can in my room to hold the donated cans. Meg and her dad came in once a week to collect the cans, which were donated to help fund tsunami relief. She even made her own signs and posted them around the school to advertize. She's just a model student."
Marti Wegner, a world history teacher at Ring Lardner, said, "Our class is planning a trip to Washington D.C. in the spring of 2006. We needed to raise funds and were offered booth space at the Apple Festival. Meg asked if she and a friend could create a Power Point presentation about our trip to present to the committee. In it she was very clear about what we needed. During the presentation, she enunciated clearly and projected her voice to over 30 people in the room. I was amazed because she has such a quiet, unassuming presence about her. She has all these mature qualities that it takes a while to learn."
At this point it was nearly time for a scheduled fire drill and Meg had to get back to class. In parting, she summed up her philosophy of life from a seventh grade point of view.
And it looks like Meg is getting somewhere … in a very positive way.
Meg is the daughter of Leona and Ron Hein.