Stephanie Knittel is the youngest daughter of Dennis and Heather Knittel of Slater. Her older brother, Dustin, lives in Slater and her older sister Emily is busy working as a wilderness guide this summer. Steph grew up in Slater and had the best childhood ever! Some of her favorite memories include walking barefoot to Larry’s store to buy marshmallows and donuts, dressing up for the kiddie parade and participating in the dog show. When Steph was little, she rode her bike around town and delivered the newspaper. She was blessed to get kringla from Mrs. Twedt and candy from the Cline sisters on a regular basis. Steph feels blessed to have grown up in Slater and to have known such lovely people all of her life. She enjoys eating cookies and hanging out with friends at Christmas on Main Street and loves her hometown.
In high school, Steph participated in cross country, cheerleading, Performing the Classics drama group, Clay Games and soccer. She teaches the 2- and 3-year-old Sunday School class at her church and is active in her youth group. This summer, she will be going to Pine Ridge, S.D., to work with the teens there. Steph’s hobbies include soccer, snowboarding, art, baking and pretty much anything outside. She will be attending DMACC this fall and plans on opening her own business someday. Steph’s favorite quote is, “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.”
Hannah Hanson, 8, is Stephanie’s cousin. She currently lives in Ankeny with her mom, Rebecca Hanson. She is the granddaughter of Steve and Jan Hanson of Slater and will be in third grade this fall. Hannah loves art, writing, reading chapter books, soccer, video games and playing outside. She likes to illustrate the books that she writes and really likes to draw pictures. She especially loves sledding in the winter and looks forward to going to Christmas on Main Street every December.
Stephanie and Hannah are sponsored by the Slater Tuesday Lunch Bunch.
Madison Whitacre is the daughter of Misty and Kyle Anderson of Slater. She is the older sister to Macee. During high school, she was involved in football, basketball, and competition cheerleading, trapshooting, NCIS, peer-helping, mentoring and tutoring, prom committee and a member of National Honor Society.
She plans on going to DMACC, then transfer to Iowa State to major in family and consumer science education. She likes to hang out with friends and family and her puppy, Beau, in her free time, when she is not working at the Madrid Nursing Home. Madison’s favorite hometown memory is, of course, the Slater Fourth of July celebration!
Avery Gibson is the daughter of Joe and Lora Gibson, granddaughter of Lu Ann Gibson and great-granddaughter of John and Janice Walker. She has a younger sister, Addison, and enjoys coloring and reading nursery rhyme books with her. Avery has a cat named Tiger who likes to play chase. Avery finished pre-school and liked doing the wiggly wiggles song with Miss Shanna and being in silly dance contests. Avery enjoys tic-tac-toe, going to the Gibson Farm with her family, doing water balloons, being and playing outside. Avery likes to eat chicken nuggets with ranch dressing, watch “Lion Guard” and go to the Slater library and check out non-fiction books. Madison and Avery are sponsored by the Slater Helping Hands.
Lauryn Broer is the daughter of Kym and Barry Broer. She has an older brother, Mitchell, and two younger brothers, Reese and Landon. She will be pursuing a career in elementary education at Iowa State University.
Lauryn was a four-year varsity football and wrestling cheerleader at Ballard and competed on the cheerleading competition squad. She was also active in peer-helping and tutoring, and received Ballard’s Foreign Language Academic Achievement Award. As a resident of a small town, Lauryn has enjoyed opportunities such as volunteering at the Slater Community Center and teaching swimming lessons at the Slater pool. Some of Lauryn’s favorite memories of living in Slater revolve around the annual Fourth of July celebrations, which always meant getting together to make memories with her family. She also fondly remembers the excitement of getting together with her brothers to deck out their tricycles, bicycles and scooters to participate in the annual kiddie parade.
Violet Richardson is the daughter of Andy and Amy Richardson. She has a sister, Ava, and a brother, Isaiah, and a dog named Presley. Violet enjoys playing hide-and-seek and water balloons with her family. She also loves going to Disney World with them, which inspires her for pretend Disney play with her stuffed animals and pretend Disney trips, complete with packed suitcases! At pre-school, Violet likes playing and learning at center time. Violet likes watching “Team Umizoomi,” reading Froggy books and eating dinosaur chicken nuggets. Lauren and Violet are sponsored by the Slater Auxiliary/American Legion.
Caitlin Peterson is the daughter of Caroline and Bill Kirkman. She was raised in Slater with her two siblings, Owen and Savanna. Caitlin was involved in many activities in high school, including cheerleading, tech crew and FFA.
She plans to continue these hobbies in her adventure next year at Iowa State University, where she will be studying animal science, with an interest in pre-veterinary medicine. Caitlin’s favorite Slater memory is “working” at the library with Ms. Cathy and Ms. Nancy when she was only 5 years old!
Savanna Kirkman is the daughter of Bill and Caroline Kirkman and younger sister to Owen and Caitlin, her queen. Savanna has four dogs — Dallas, Toto, Beauty, and Bear — and two cats, Lucy and Max. Savanna likes to watch movies, play outside and go to parks with her family. She enjoys dancing, eating meatloaf and reading Dr. Seuss and the Amulet book series. Her favorite color is blue. Caitlin and Savanna are sponsored by the Slater Log Cabin Quilters.
Emma Schonhorst is the daughter of Stuart and Chastity Schonhorst of rural Slater. Emma has three siblings — Kayla, Luke, and Drake. While in high school, Emma was a varsity track manager and a varsity football cheerleader. She also was a peer helper and participated in Conflict Managers.
Emma will be attending college this fall to study ag communications. Her hobbies include running with her two dogs, Zoey and Chevy, spending time with her friends and most importantly, spending time with her family. Her favorite hometown memory is watching the Fourth of July parade every year since she was born with her great-grandparents, Art and Dorothy Nelson, and spending the day celebrating with them.
Eden Ortner is the daughter of Jared and Alicia Ortner. She has a twin brother, Jameson, a baby sister, Maren, Daisy the dog and a kitty named Jaci. Eden enjoys dancing at her recital on the “big stage,” watching “Zootopia,” reading Berenstain Bears books and going to the Florida beach with her family. Eden likes playing outside on the swingset, playing with toy cars, swimming and……. doing whatever her twin brother is doing! Her favorite food is candy, with suckers topping that list. Emma and Eden are sponsored by the Slater Firefighters.
Haley Johnson is the daughter of Holly and Mark Johnson of Slater. She has two siblings — her older brother is 20 and his name is Isaiah — he will be a junior at Iowa State next year. Haley also has a little sister, Isabella; she is 15 and will be a sophomore at Ballard High School next year.
During Haley’s high school years, she participated in track, softball, basketball, volleyball and trapshooting. Her future plans are to go to DMACC to get a nursing degree, then become a nurse practitioner. Her hobbies include hanging out with family and friends and loving her animals! Haley’s favorite hometown memory was when she was a princess for the Fourth of July parade.
Addison Thomas is the daughter of Brian and Jennifer Thomas. Addison has a younger brother, Lance and she has fun playing “farm” with him. Addison enjoys playing Barbies and Candy Land, doing puzzles with her mom and helping her dad plant the garden. She also likes to go to the movies and shopping with her family. Addison has finished first grade, where her favorite activity was making crafts with her teacher, Mrs. Richardson. Her favorite movie is “Trolls” and you can find her reading Cookie and Peanut and Junie B. Jones books. Haley and Addison are sponsored by the Slater Forget Me Not-Birthday Club.
Madison Vincent is in a family of four with two brothers named Ryan and Brenden. Her parents are Roger Vincent and Michelle Ervin. She has recently graduated from Ballard High School and is planning on going to DMACC in the fall for a degree in web development and graphic design. Her favorite memory of Slater is when she used to work at the pool and would help with swimming lessons every morning.
Afton Holmes is the daughter of Matt and Amy Holmes and granddaughter of Lu Ann Gibson and granddaughter of Kevin and Joan Holmes. She is the great-granddaughter of John and Janice Walker. Afton enjoys goofing around, being silly and playing outside with her younger brother, Marshall. Afton just finished first grade and says she liked everything about school and her very nice teacher, Mrs. Schroeder! Family time includes going to the pool, camping and riding everywhere on their bikes. Afton enjoys watching “Master Chef, Jr” and reading Magic School Bus books. She loves to cook and eat tacos! Madison and Afton are sponsored by the Slater EMS.
Josie Lester is the daughter of Donna and Brad Lester and has one older sibling, Greg. She is currently taking summer classes at DMACC and in the fall, will be attending the University of Iowa. Josie hopes to continue all the hobbies she loves once she is in college — like working out, listening to music and hanging out with her friends. Speaking of this, one of her favorite memories in Slater is going to the pool and then the park with her friends for many summers in a row!
Cassie Rouse is the daughter of Matt and Kim Rouse and the younger sister of Eli and Ethan. She has 15 cats, two dogs, 30 chickens, eight ducks, two hamsters and two fish! Cassie likes to dance and sing, play Nerf guns with her brothers, go swimming and to Adventureland with her family. At pre-school, she enjoys playing with dolls and feeding the baby goats. Cassie is a fan of Loud House, princess books, the color purple, and mac and cheese. Josie and Cassie are sponsored by the Slater Garden and Study Club.
Tessa Frederick’s parents are Jason and Heather Frederick. She has a younger brother named Jake Frederick. In high school, she was involved with band, color guard, NCIS, Special Olympics, Battle of the Books, art, book club and dancing and teaching at Amy’s School of Dance.
In the fall, Tessa plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa and study English or Spanish. Her favorite Slater memory is being a part of the water balloon launcher float every summer and getting up early to fill up the multitude of water balloons with friends and family.
Caroline McCasland is the daughter of Kristina McCasland, grand-daughter of Lori McCasland and great-granddaughter of Marigrace Sievers. Caroline just finished pre-school, where she enjoyed playing “house” and playing outside. At home, she likes to ride her bike, do sidewalk chalk, eat pizza and …..the word around town is that she is really good at finding matching pairs in the Memory game! She smiles watching “Liv and Maddie” and reading Shimmer and Shine Cupcake books. Caroline has fun getting her nails done with her mom and playing Barbies with her grandma and great-grandma. Tessa and Caroline are sponsored by Ballard Business Association.