Editor’s Note: The RVHS Class of 2020 held its graduation ceremony May 31. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the community was not able to attend the ceremony. Over the next several editions, the Gazette will be bringing some of those graduates to you. This is your chance to meet the graduates.

During the four years Courtney Manee was a student at RVHS, she had the opportunity to pursue a variety of interests.

From being part of the robotics team to getting involved with the performing arts through theater, Manee was able to broaden her horizons, and along the way she found her passion.

“I have a passion for agriculture,” explained Manee, who plans to pursue a degree in animal science at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.

It was through her involvement in FFA where Manee was able to take that passion for agriculture and see it grow and discover she was growing as a person along the way as well.

That growth was made possible with the help and encouragement of Manee’s ag education teacher and FFA advisor Lisa Orren.

“She always believed in me even if I didn’t believe in myself,” Manee explained, adding Orren pushed her out of her comfort zone. 

Orren also consistently encouraged her to try new things, added Manee.

The daughter of Shawn and Lori Manee has been part of the Redwood Area School District since preschool and is also a member of the National Honor Society, which offered a way for her to help give back and help her school and community.

Horses have been an important part of Manee’s life.

Through FFA she was able to compete and see success in horse judging and qualified for state. However, the pandemic prevented her from competing.

A veterinary science class Manee took as a sophomore presented basic veterinary skills she can use on her horses.

Through her involvement with horses, Manee has also been able to get involved in activities beyond RVHS, including the Minnesota High School Rodeo Association (MNHSRA) and the National Little Britches Rodeo Association ( NLBRA).

She also was a member of the Just For Kix program.

Manee indicated she chose the MNHSRA and NLBRA because they gave her multiple opportunities to compete in rodeo, which is something she plans to pursue at the next level.

“I was in Just For Kix, because I wanted to try a new activity, and I ended up finding out that I like to compete in dance,” Manee added.

The advice Manee wanted to offer to the underclassmen at RVHS are “don’t be afraid to try new things.”

Manee admitted it was very sad that her senior year had to end the way it did, but she is very grateful for the time she has been able to spend with family during all of this.

In addition to her studies at SDSU, Manee plans to compete on the college rodeo team.

One of the memories Manee will take with her is each weekend that she was able to spend at a rodeo and be around all of her rodeo family.