Arlee’s Peyton Lammerding a positive influence on others

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“I am very proud to be a Scarlet,” says Peyton Lammerding, November’s winner of the Today’s Achievers, Tomorrow’s Leaders award. Peyton wrote her Honors thesis on the history of this school mascot. (Carolyn Hidy photo)

Arlee High School senior Peyton Lammerding is the November winner of the “Today’s Achievers, Tomorrow’s Leaders” award, sponsored by Kalispell Regional Healthcare and Lake County Leader Advertiser.

While she carries a full Honors program load including AP and college courses, with a 4.06 grade point average, that workload seems almost an afterthought as Peyton talks enthusiastically of the many activities she is involved in.

One college class is “Careers in Wildlife Biology,” a University of Montana lecture and discussion she remotely accesses through video. Peyton credits this career interest to her upbringing at the Jocko River Trout Hatchery (her dad, Jeff Lammerding, is the manager) and, though not a tribal member, spending her whole life among the tribal culture in Arlee, gaining an appreciation of the natural world.

Peyton has been an avid part of Student Council throughout high school and currently serves as president of the organization. She uses her skills to organize everything from homecoming parades to the church bazaar and kids’ carnival. She also serves on the regional student council as president for

District One.

Sports have always been a big part of Peyton’s life. Ten years of training in Tai Kwon Do, from age 4 to 14, gave her a lot of confidence. She has played basketball and volleyball.

Her eyes sparkle as she talks about projectiles she enjoys launching — arrows (with her family, she has competed in archery for several years), and the track events of shot put and discus. Shoulder surgery took her out of javelin, but a new passion, hammer, is taking its place. Essentially a shot put on a rope, launched after swinging it around, the hammer isn’t even legal in high school sports, but she learned about it at a training event for throwers.

This newfound passion has influenced her to seek track scholarships at colleges that include the hammer in their program.

In nominating Peyton for this award, school counselor Misty Brien highlighted her compassion and positive influence on others.

“She is always willing to help underclassmen with tutoring and in sports if they don’t understand something,” Brien wrote. Peyton takes an active role in the many volunteer opportunities with National Honor Society, Student Council and other organizations, including sponsoring blood drives, packing backpacks for the weekend food backpack program, teaching basketball fundamentals with the Little Dribblers, tutoring younger students, maintaining a church

garden, and raising funds for the Make A Wish Foundation.

She also serves as a teacher’s aide, including in her mom’s (Susan Carney) elementary physical education classes.

As Brien put it, “Peyton continually wants her community to be a good place for the future generation.”

Peyton receives $250 to donate to any organization with this award. Her choice is to help out Student Council.

“We spent quite a bit on homecoming, so we were a little in the hole. That money will make it so that next year’s student council can focus on fundraising just for their homecoming, and not have to worry about making up for this year,” she says.

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