By Pat Jenkins
Ryan Mueller, a multi-sport athlete at Eatonville Middle School where he also is involved in student government and excels academically, has been named a Give Me 5 Star Student of the Month by the Washington Intercholastic Activities Association.
The honor from the statewide governing body of interscholastic sports recognizes honor, sportsmanship, courage, respect and citizenship among middle-school students.
Mueller is an eighth grader and a multi-sport student-athlete, participating in cross country, wrestling and track. He also is his school’s student-body president, plays in the school band, is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and is a mentor for new students.
“Ryan lost his father and has displayed courage by continuing to work hard in the classroom, on the (wrestling) mat and as a leader here at Eatonville Middle School,” said assistant principal and athletic director Eric Vannatter.
Ryan’s father, Matthew Mueller, who died in January, was an assistant principal and athletic director in the Eatonville School District.
Vannatter said Ryan Mueller, while a fierce competitor, is often the first to congratulate an opponent after a match or race. His wrestling coach describes him as a role model for the other wrestlers in work ethic and coachability.
He’s known for making sure new and transfer students at his school are comfortable, including sitting with them during his lunch period when they first arrive.
“Ryan is a leader who is compassionate, caring and thoughtful,” said Vannatter. “He treats everybody the same whether there is an adult watching or not. Ryan leaves a lasting impression on any person he meets.”
WIAA announced the female Give Me 5 award recipient for February is Madison Ediger, an eighth-grader at Northwood Middle School in Spokane. She participates in softball, volleyball and basketball, along with club soccer, ballet, student government, a youth group and summer science and sports camps.
She helped manage a fund-raising campaign that helped produce donations of 1,700 shoes to send to families in Africa. She also helped raise $48,000 in contributions for equipment, uniforms and musical entry fees for students.
A competitor inside and outside of the classroom, Ediger has a 4.0 grade point and is a competitor inside and outside the classroom, school officials said.
The students will be featured on WIAA’s Activities Matter and Middle Level websites.