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PHOTO: Brendan Johnson speaks at MTI

U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson addresses students at a scholarship ceremony held at Mitchell Technical Institute. (Chris Mueller/Republic)

Brendan Johnson, U.S. Attorney for the district of South Dakota, speaks to students and their families at the Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Year banquet, held Saturday at Mitchell Technical Institute. The event recognized each of the 34 students chosen during the school year as a Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Week, which selects students based on academic achievement, co-curricular involvement and community service.

Johnson, the keynote speaker at the event, told the students to pursue their passions.

“What you should worry about is what you’re passionate about, because if you find that thing, if you pursue that area you really care about, you’re going to be a leader in that field,” he said. “Find out what you’re interested in and pursue it.”

Shelby VanDriel, of Scotland High School, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship as Scholar of the Year, and Cooper Eliason, of Howard High School, and Noah Klamm, of Brandon Valley High School, were awarded $500 scholarships.

Other area students honored were Mason Wenzel, of Mitchell High School; Jase Kraft, of Wessington Springs High School; Danika Pollreisz, of Ethan High School; Shelby Selland, of Sanborn Central High School; and Lisa Smith, of Kimball High School; Tanna Waltman, of Parkston High School; Alli Steckelberg, of Chamberlain High School; Nichole Dvorak, of Andes Central High School; David Weidler, of Howard High School; and Mathew Preszler, of Menno High School.