Prairie du Chien senior nominated for La Crosse Tribune’s Extra Effort Award

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'settings' of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include() (line 24 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/templates/simpleads_ajax_call.tpl.php).

Tyson Hardy poses with one of his sketches, demonstrating his amazing level of talent. (Contributed photo)

By Pat McKnight - Tribune Correspondent


Prairie du Chien High School senior Tyson Hardy’s motto could be “have sketch book, can relocate.”

Hardy moved to Wisconsin from Twin Falls, Idaho, in his junior year. However, moving to a city one-tenth the size of the one where he grew up didn’t seem to dampen his artistic and academic growth.

For his ability to adjust to his new life in Prairie du Chien as well as his talent and caring personality, Hardy has been nominated for the La Crosse Tribune’s Extra Effort award.

As long as his sketch pad and art supplies are at hand, Hardy hones his craft, impressing his teachers with his creativity and resilience.

“He is a talented and enterprising artist, always striving to improve his craft and push himself creatively,” said Katherine Mannell, art and ceramics teacher. “He is self-directed and always ready to learn, and he has proven himself time and again to be a positive, resilient person. Entering a new school halfway through the year is challenging for any student regardless of the situation, but especially so for an upperclassman.”

Hardy moved with his family from the Idaho city located near the southern border of the state with a population of 53,343 because his parents’ employment situation changed. Despite the disruption caused by the move, he seems to have taken it all in stride.

“Tyson embodies so many qualities that nearly every other young man, or young woman, could use more of in today’s educational environment,” said Correne Martin, special education teacher. “He is respectful, kind, self-motivated, inquisitive and compassionate toward others who may struggle. He does not let his autism diagnosis hold him back. He reaches out to his peers when he sees they need help. He guides his classmates’ discussions toward finding answers to their homework and projects. He responds politely when asked a question. He has a subtle sense of humor and admittedly prefers intellectual conversations with his teachers in his free time.”

His teachers say he always listens and focuses on his work, even to the point he gets worried when he receives B+ and A-. He’ll then take action to improve the grades.

“Tyson’s artistic brilliance is what sets him far and above all the rest,” said Mannell. “Clever, imaginative, original — only an endless list of creative descriptors could accurately depict who Tyson is when it comes to his artwork. He loves classic cars and Marvel superheroes and villains, which fill sketchbooks that he carries everywhere he goes. His drawings aren’t ordinary pieces either. The time he spends and the depth he expresses are unmatched.”

Hardy’s art teacher challenges him to stretch his abilities and create outside of his artistic comfort zone. While doing so, he’s had an amazing attitude and is generously working on drawings to give to staff members.

“I have enjoyed drawing for a number of years,” said Hardy. “I enjoy drawing wildlife, classic cars, Marvel characters and other subjects as requested. I have drawn a number of classic cars for various people and a few that were used as commemorative pieces. I’ve entered a number of art contests, both in Idaho and Wisconsin.”

He has received awards for his artwork at the collegiate level and his drawings are not only meaningful for him as the artist, but because he finds satisfaction in seeing the delight of those receiving his artwork.

Mannell notes Hardy’s creativity, intellect, work ethic, dedication were instrumental in his catching up and surpassing his peers.

“He is an invaluable member of our school community, always supportive and helpful to his peers and teachers,” says Mannell. “He has a seemingly endless supply of positivity, generosity and kindness.”

Mannell recalled those qualities became evident one day when Hardy noticed she was distracted. He asked his teacher if something was wrong. She shared that a family member was in poor health and she was thinking about the person.

“Tyson gave me a hug, and now he continues to check in with me and ask how my family member is doing,” said Mannell. “He approaches everyone and everything with this same caring, selfless and refreshing outlook.”

In addition to his school’s art club, Hardy has been involved in ski club and a robotics team offered through his previous school. He’s active in his church, Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In addition to his supportive parents, Tyson has a younger brother, Dylan, and a younger sister, Ella.

Looking toward make art his career, Hardy is applying to UW-La Crosse to further his education after he graduates from high school.

Extra Effort is a La Crosse Tribune scholarship program now in its 27th year. Schools nominate seniors who have overcome challenges/setbacks in achieving and graduating. Colleges and donors give each student a scholarship in a May ceremony. Individuals can support the program by donating to the Extra Effort fund maintained in the La Crosse Community Foundation.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet