Manti High announces Top Templars for first term

Manti High announces Top

Templars for first term


By Lyle Fletcher

Staff writer

Jan. 11, 2018


Manti High School selects two students to honor each month as Top Templars. The Top Templars for August were Ellie Christensen and Justin Bawden.

Ellie Christensen was a curious little girl who has never ceased to surprise her family. She has always been very social. She has a wonderful heart and always strives to make everyone feel loved and welcome.

Ellie has served in numerous LDS Church callings and has received several awards, including her Young Women medallion.

Throughout her school career, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA. She was part of the school’s drama team which won at state and was a member of the winning softball team.

Her family members say they will always be proud of her no matter the size of her accomplishments.

Justin Bawden is the son of Mark and Merianne Bawden of Sterling. He loves the performing arts, specifically singing, dancing and theater. He is currently the Manti High School Thespian Club president and the Drama Department secretary.

He placed third his freshman year, first his sophomore year and second his junior year in pantomime at the state theater competition.

He has been in many of Manti High’s theater productions, including the role of the prince in “Cinderella,” Jimmy in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Antsy in “The Schwa Was Here” and Sheriff Jake Lawson in “Who Shot Juanito Bandito?”

Justin also participates in speech and debate where he won first place in oratory at the 2017 state competition. He is the speech and debate club secretary. He is also Manti High’s Speech and Drama Sterling Scholar.

Justin is also a member of the show choir, Resonance, and also sings with the local Encore group (previously called Local Vocals). He has also been a goalkeeper on Manti High’s soccer team during his freshman, sophomore and junior years.

Justin has received the school’s honor of Noteworthy Knight. He plans to serve an LDS mission after high school and to study musical theater in college.

The Top Templars for September were Jasmine Alcala and Lance Fowles.

Jasmine Rose Alcala is the daughter of Martin and ClairAnn Alcala.

She is finishing her last year at Manti High School with a 3.9 GPA and more than 30 college credits. She has been a part of Manti High School’s Child Abuse Prevention Team, drill team, orchestra, Future Farmers of America, speech and debate, Science Olympiad, Upward Bound and Spanish Club. She was peer nominated for Hope Squad and has been honored to serve in six different presidency positions in the past two years.

Competing in Science Olympiad and speech and debate, she has received three gold medals, one silver and three bronze. At State, she placed sixth (2016) and third (2017) for Science Olympiad and sixth (2016) in Original Oratory. Last month, she received first place in her Original Oratory at Emery. She has been crowned a Noteworthy Knight for two semesters and has received an academic letter three times.

As the high school’s Agriculture Science Sterling Scholar, Jasmine enjoys learning everything she can about sustaining and enhancing agricultural life.

Jasmine earned the title of Miss Independence in 2016. In 2017, she was honored at the Miss Manti Pageant as both second attendant and Miss Congeniality.

She has volunteered several years at the Sub for Santa, Toys for Tots and Angel Tree. This past summer she was able to raise more than $1,200 for the Children’s Miracle Network Group to help improve the lives of children.

Lance Fowles, a senior, is the son of Brian and Clare Ann Fowles of Sterling. He is the 10th of 12 children. Even though he is quiet, Lance has a big heart, a sense of humor and loves to have fun.

Lance has maintained a 3.8 GPA throughout his high school years. He enjoys sports, especially football and wrestling, and was a team captain for both sports. Lance enjoys hunting, camping, weightlifting, riding horses and working hard. He is finishing up his paperwork to become an Eagle Scout and fulfills his LDS Church callings.

During the summers, Lance works fulltime with his father and brothers in their family mowing business. Lance plans to serve an LDS mission after graduation.

The Top Templars for October were Kjerstin Birch and Tim Krzymowski.

Kjerstin Birch represented Manti High School when she placed at state Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and competed at the National FBLA competition in Atlanta, Ga.

She has enjoyed participating with the math team at the Snow College math competition and on the Speech and Debate team. She also was a member of the band her first two years at Manti.

Kjerstin has played on the volleyball, basketball and track and field teams. This fall, Kjerstin received the Academic All-State award for volleyball. She proudly represented Manti High when she placed at state and at the BYU Track and Field Invitational meets. She has been chosen as a state finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.

She is currently serving as the FBLA president, as a member of the National Honor Society and as the Ephraim Youth City Mayor.

Kjerstin loves to learn and was selected as Manti High School Business Sterling Scholar. She will have finished a year of college courses when she graduates in 2018.

She is the daughter of Troy and Lori Birch of Ephraim, and granddaughter of Jesse and Pauline Birch of Ephraim and Jack and Joan McAllister of Mount Pleasant.

Tim Krzymowski has always had a talent for talking and has been naturally persuasive. After he moved to Manti three years ago, he now spends more time listening to others.

For the last 12 years or so, Tim has loved playing soccer, and this year, he has been a competitive member of the Manti Cross Country team. He has found a sense of accomplishment in driving himself to reach a level of attainment in personal fitness.

Tim has been involved with musical instruments and singing for over a decade.

He has found that a love of learning exceeds the value of academic recognition, and his choices also demonstrate his understanding that service to others outweighs personal advancement.

Tim is also learning that all important decisions should be made with a view of consequences even beyond this life.

His parents say they feel so blessed to have his influence in their home.


Kjerstin Birch
Tim Krzymowski
Lance Fowles
Ellie Christensen
Justin Bawden
Jasmine Alcala