Billy Gertken has been named June Artist of the Month at Royalton High School. 

Seniors Luke Billmeyer and Billy Gertken round out 2017's list of Artists of the Month at Royalton High School. Two seniors recently made their mark at Royalton High School by earning Artist of the Month honors at Royalton High School. May's Artist of the Month, Luke Billmeyer is the son of Tammy and Brian Billmeyer. His friend and fellow Artist of the Month for June, Billy Gertken, is the son of Gab and Bill Gertken. Each worked at an advanced level, independently, their senior year to progress their skills on the potter's wheel in the high school's Ceramics classroom.
    "I took my first Ceramics class when I was a sophomore," said Billmeyer. "The class was full when I was a junior, but Mr. Halverson mentioned that I might be able to take an independent class and work on the pottery wheel as a senior. It turned out to be a great choice. I can't believe what I can do after working this year compared to where I was when I started. Halverson showed us how to make bottles, vases, and even section pots, not just the simple bowl shapes. He doesn't just show pictures of what we should try to do, he sits down and throws a two-foot tall bottle or vase while talking us through the whole process.
He's got to be the best art teacher in central Minnesota. The way that he talks with kids while teaching them how to be respectful is the reason that so many kids call him their favorite teacher in this school."
    "Mr. Halverson offered the independent Ceramics class to me the end of my junior year," said Gertken. "I dropped a different elective class and it turned out to be a great move. It didn't come easy for me at first. It took a lot of hard work every day but the work paid off because my skills have increased dramatically. Mr. Halverson kept saying to just keep working at it. He makes it look so easy. But then he tells a story about how many times that he tried and failed in the beginning. Now I look at my pottery, and I can't believe what I'm capable of doing. He is the most 'Real' teacher in the school, with the kind of personality that makes a student want to become the best that they can be. He helps us get ready for real life issues and aim for a goal after we graduate."
    "These two students should be on the cover of the teacher's handbook of why you want to become an educator," stated RHS art instructor Carl Halverson.  "We sometimes see kids of this caliber coast right through a high school without ever appreciating just who that they are. They might not have earned the "All State" honor in a sport, nor have they aced the college entrance exam. Luke and Billy have shown me so much more than that. They carry with them the special traits that focus on the family values, the heart, the soul, and the work ethic that was modeled for them at home. It's the live version of the "Golden Rule." They treat others the way that they wish to be treated. They find the good in people and look to make those around them better. It's like the old saying goes:  Every person has the ability to light up a room: some by entering the room, and some by leaving it. These two young men are the kind that have, and will continue to have the ability to light up not just the rooms that they enter, but the world around them as well."
Billmeyer and Gertken's work will be on display in the art showcase at the high school. Their excellent work ethic and genuine, pleasant disposition will continue to be on display wherever the road to their futures may lead them.