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Kohler Foundation gives Herbert V. Kohler, Ruth DeYoung Kohler awards


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SHEBOYGAN – Kohler Foundation recently announced four recipients of $210,000 in scholarships, including winners of the Herbert V. Kohler (HVK) Scholarship for Leadership and Ruth DeYoung Kohler (RDK) Scholarship for Artistic Excellence.

Here’s more about the scholarship recipients.

HVK Scholarship recipient Spencer Kaufmann earns $100K

Herbert V. Kohler Jr., executive chairman, Kohler Co., with Spencer Kaufmann, recipient of the Herbert V. Kohler Scholarship at Etude High School’s Baccalaureate Ceremony June 9, 2022.

The HVK Scholarship was awarded to a single student, Spencer Kaufmann of Etude High School. This scholarship acknowledges students who best demonstrate academic excellence, creativity, candor, service to school and community, the ability to affect change and the qualities of leadership. Kaufmann received a scholarship of $100,000.

Kaufmann, son of Anne and Timothy Kaufmann of Sheboygan, will graduate from Etude High School having used his experience at Etude as an opportunity to explore, lead, mentor and succeed. He inspired his peers in engineering and computer science by serving as team captain for the Red Raider Robotics team and as founder of the 3-D Printing Club. A teacher of Kaufmann’s said he is “an intelligent young man who is passionate about learning, collaborating and challenging himself on a daily basis.” 

Kaufmann has taken classes and worked in project blocks throughout high school that have allowed him to explore his interests in electrical engineering, CAD design and automotive design. He will study mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota. His career goal is to make a difference through a career in engineering. 

READ ALSO:  The DKR Scholarship Has Its First Recipient

RDK Scholarship winners are Annika Nelson, Baxter Salzwedel and Sherahan Tahiri.

In addition to the HVK Scholarship, the foundation awarded the equally prestigious Ruth DeYoung Kohler Scholarship for Artistic Excellence to three students. 

The Ruth DeYoung Kohler Scholarship for Artistic Excellence recognizes artistic vision, creativity, technical mastery and dedication to a career in the arts. Annika Nelson, of Plymouth High School, received a scholarship of $50,000; Baxter Salzwedel, of Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School, received a $35,000 scholarship; and Sherahan Tahiri, of Kohler High School, received a $25,000 scholarship. 

Here’s more about the RDK Scholarship recipients:

Annika Nelson

Laura Roenitz, executive director, Kohler Foundation, with Annika Nelson, Plymouth High School, a recipient of the Ruth DeYoung Kohler Scholarship on May 11, 2022.

Nelson, daughter of Jessica and Christopher Nelson, has been involved in music throughout her school experience. In addition to being active in jazz, German, pit, marching and honors bands, she has earned top honors at the district and state level in both flute and guitar. 

Since committing to classical guitar performance, Nelson has pursued further instruction and performance opportunities well beyond Plymouth High School, including taking masters classes with Dr. Andrew Zohn and Professor Rene Izquierdo. 

The sheer beauty of her classical guitar performance captivated the foundation’s scholarship committee. Believing that music is a shared human experience that can truly change one’s perspective, as it has hers, Nelson strives through performance and teaching to make an impact on the world through music. 

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Nelson will attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to major in classical guitar performance and music education.

Baxter Salzwedel

Eleanor Jung, board member, Kohler Foundation, with Baxter Salzwedel, Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah High School, a recipient of the Ruth DeYoung Kohler Scholarship on May 4, 2022.

Salzwedel, son of Jesse and the late Mary Salzwedel, not only participated in art in school, his business, The Mad Patcher, is a thriving online apparel business. 

His vision for his work is to be sustainable, philanthropic and individually unique. 

His passion for the pieces he creates as well as his business that gives back to the community impressed the scholarship committee. 

At the Mad Patcher, Salzwedel upcycles thrift clothing and re-imagines and embellishes each item, creating new and expressive pieces.

He is also an entrepreneur with a purpose, donating 25% of his profits back to various charitable organizations worldwide. 

Salzwedel plans to study fashion design at Columbia College Chicago with a plan to grow the Mad Patcher brand. 

More: Sheboygan’s John Michael Kohler Arts Center has landed a $1 million grant. Here’s what it will be used for.

More: Jake’s, A Lakeland Community in Sheboygan has its grand opening this week. Here’s who will lead the downtown hub.

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Sherahan Tahiri

Laura Kohler, Kohler Foundation Administration chairwoman and senior vice president of Human Resources, Stewardship, Sustainability, Kohler Co., with Sherahan Tahiri, Kohler High School, a recipient of the Ruth DeYoung Kohler Scholarship at Kohler High School’s Honors Night Ceremony, May 25, 2022 in Kohler.

Sherahan Tahiri, daughter of Paul and Xhevat Tahiri, has devoted time and energy to the study and exploration of the written word. 

Tahiri’s body of written work impressed the scholarship committee because it was written from the heart, with emotion and experience, a news release said.

A school counselor of Tahiri’s said “she demonstrates her creativity and natural talents through her writing — creating stories, characters and scenery. Her skillset and interest in a plethora of media arenas is most impressive.” 

Tahiri feels strongly that the arts play a role in forming who you are and that when represented in the media through good storytelling it allows all stories to be told and heard. 

Tahiri plans to pursue a major in television writing and production at Dodge College of Film and Media at Chapman University in Orange, California. 

More about the scholarships

For more about the Herbert V. Kohler Scholarship, the Ruth DeYoung Kohler Scholarship or other Kohler Foundation programs, contact Bridgitt Zielke, program manager, at 920-458-1972.

Kohler Foundation is a non-profit, private foundation dedicated to supporting arts, education and art preservation initiatives in Wisconsin.

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