COLUMBUS — Columbus Public Schools board members had some fun Monday night while handing out kudos to dozens of students for their achievements during the 2016-17 school year.

Board members weren’t stingy about it, either.

Well over 100 students, ranging from fourth-grader Sarah Forsberg, winner of the district Geography Bee, to seventh-grader Eugene Shaw, recipient of the Robert Fegler Award recognizing high-level math skills and classroom leadership, to ninth-grader Madeline Hudnall being named the Prudential State Certificate of Excellence winner for her spirit of voluntarism, trooped to the podium to accept their honors from Board President Theresa Seipel.

“These achievements are the heart and soul of what’s going on in schools,” board member Tim Pospisil said. “These are the reasons schools exist.”

Board member Doug Molczyk said he enjoyed seeing the classroom accomplishments that came from students across the spectrum of the district’s school levels.

“This is a fun time of year ... the last few weeks of the school year,” said Seipel.

The last board meeting during the school year in May, while also dealing with some end-of-the-year housekeeping issues, is primarily spent recognizing students for math, science, engineering, writing, business and technical skills they’ve developed.

Board recognition went to the MATHCOUNTS team made up of Julia Davidchik, Marion Heindryckx, Jessica Reiff, Evan Wickens, Libby Wurdeman, Austin Wickens, Hunter Gassman, Alexis Haynes, Rebecca Hazlett and Camden Schefus.

Elks Lodge Essay Contest winner Sarah Massman was honored, along with the Destination Imagination teams’ first-place finishes in the elementary scientific and structure competitions. The high school’s engineering team, which included McKenzie Kranzler, Rosa Lopez Moore, Abby Gerber, Cole Mitchell, Lexi Jeffryes, Karissa Gleeson and team manager Brian Townsend, also earned first place.

FBLA members Luke Bogus, Erick Hernandez and Melvin Garcia were recognized for their state performances.

CHS Spanish students continued a string of strong performances at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Language Fair in Lincoln, winning or placing second in all seven events they competed in. CHS students captured 11 of the 14 places in those seven events.

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