ZUMBROTA -- For Kate Hohmann, joining the FFA club at Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School was an easy choice. Her dad, her aunts, and her uncles had all been involved in the organization. She was just continuing a family tradition.

Serving as secretary of FFA her senior year, Hohmann was responsible for the minutes of every meeting. She also helped plan and organize several events including a big Christmas shopping trip to help families in need.

Hohmann moved to Z-M High School during the summer before her freshman year. She had played volleyball since fifth grade, so one of the first things she did was sign up for the volleyball team.

Kate Hohmann (right) and Jakalyn Arendt were the two seniors on this year’s volleyball team at Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School. Photo courtesy of Kate Hohmann
Kate Hohmann (right) and Jakalyn Arendt were the two seniors on this year’s volleyball team at Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School. Photo courtesy of Kate Hohmann

“High school volleyball starts before school starts,” she said, “so I got to know some of the girls before school even started.”

She played volleyball and softball, both sports that she loves, all four years at Z-M. She also joined the yearbook staff her senior year.

“I am a fairly creative person,” Hohmann said, “so being able to put pictures in the yearbook and write creative captions was something I really liked. I like to think about the yearbook and know that I made this. It’s nice to look back on it and know I was a part of all this.”

Hohmann said one teacher at Z-M, Alyssa Krause, who was her adviser and career choice teacher, really helped her plan out her future.

“She helped me my sophomore year navigate through what I would be good at and helped me realize how much I like psychology,” Hohmann said. “I wasn’t afraid to ask her anything. She was always willing to go the extra mile to make sure everything was on track for me.”

The respect is mutual. Krause, a physical education teacher, said, "Kate is a wonderful young person I've grown to really admire over the last four years. She is a compassionate, personable, friendly and hard-working student, who has always wanted to do good in her community and school. She doesn't take the easy way out of anything, she always challenges herself academically and in her extra-curricular activities. If there are setbacks, her determination to do well has always powered her through."

Ashlyn Miklas, Siddha Hunt, Alexis Borgschatz, and Kate Hohmann, right, took a polar plunge in Rochester this winter in support of Special Olympics. Photo courtesy of Kate Hohmann
Ashlyn Miklas, Siddha Hunt, Alexis Borgschatz, and Kate Hohmann, right, took a polar plunge in Rochester this winter in support of Special Olympics. Photo courtesy of Kate Hohmann

During her junior year, Hohmann took a psychology class and in her senior year, signed up for an online AP Psychology class.

“I’m 100% committed to go to North Dakota State University and major in psychology next year,” Hohmann said. “I’d like to get my bachelor's degree in psychology and my master's degree in social work.”

Hohmann said she likes to help people, so she would eventually like to become a psychologist or psychiatrist and work in a hospital.

This year, she served on the senior class committee that was planning prom. She created the idea that became the theme for prom, but with schools closed and events canceled because of COVID-19, she said, “I won’t get to see any of that happen.”

Guidance counselor Chelsie Lockner has worked with Hohmann throughout high school and called Hohmann “a great role model for younger students. She is someone who is friendly, outgoing, and highly involved in her school. She is a great leader.”

Hohmann said she wanted to encourage younger students to get fully involved in high school life.

“You need to put yourself out there,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to do thing that might be embarrassing, because they will turn out to be fun and be the best things that happen to you.”