Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Week: Jaime O'Neill

Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 9:34 AM CST
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Staff at James Valley Christian School in Huron said Jaime O'Neill has a bright future ahead.

"I have found out that music has actually changed my life, and it's made me who I am today," O'Neill said. "And I think that music connects us all and helps us heal and helps us to encourage eachother, and I just want to share that with everybody else and share what I have learned through my life and through music."

He plans on going to South Dakota State University to study music education after he graduates. O'Neill wants to sing in the choir there. He's already involved in state choir and honor choir at the high school level.

"Jaime can be a really studious kid to have in the classroom, and he's wonderful, participates in discussions. But his forte is definitely piano and performing. That's where he really likes to be," Cindy Niederbaumer said, who is the principal at James Valley Christian School.

But he also really likes helping the younger students. He thinks it's important to pass his knowledge on.

"And to show them that it's okay to take chances and take risks and to dream big because sometimes they actually pan out," O'Neill said.

He said his teachers have helped him dream and grow as a scholar. But his teachers say he has even helped them.

"The teachers have pushed him, and he's maybe pushed the teachers too with his creativity and talents and just his questions that he has," Niederbaumer said. "But it truly is an honor to have a student like this, who is just gifted in the classroom and in the arts."

After O'Neill graduates college, he wants to be a music teacher.

For being named our Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Week, he receives a $250 scholarship from Dakota Energy Cooperative, which is a local Touchstone Energy Cooperative.