Ryan Helmoski is one busy senior at Windom Area High School. And sometimes, when you're as busy as Ryan, you have to make choices - you can do this, but you're going to have to sacrifice that. Such was the case for Ryan this week. You'll note in the speech story on page 7 that Saturday's speech tournament at SMSU is Ryan's last tournament of the year, even though post-season competition starts Monday. Ryan was a section qualifier last year in discussion and judging from his performances throughout this season, was an odds-on favorite to return to the section tournament again this year and maybe even earn a top-three finish and a trip to state next month. However, Ryan opted to bow out of post-season competition. You see, if he would have qualified for the state speech tournament, he wouldn't have been able to compete. That same weekend, Ryan will be in Anaheim, Calif., with his Windom Eagles Robotics Team competing in the VEX World Championships. Now, Ryan still could have competed in the post-season and earned medals. But he chose to call it a speech career and focus on the robotics competition. Oh, and what else is Ryan involved in, you ask? He was captain of the Eagle cross country team and will run track this spring. He's also involved in band, choir, fall musical and Knowledge Bowl. He is a member of Student Senate and FFA (he was part of the farm business management team that placed fourth at the National FFA Convention) and also is a member of Windom's chapter of the National Honor Society. He also participates in 4-H, serves as a DARE Role Model and gathered a team of students to take on the 14-hour Moody's Math Challenge last month. And for all that, he was named the Section 3A Sub-Section 9 Triple-A Award winner. Nice job, Ryan! Tina Marie update Several years ago, you may recall that Tina Marie spoke to students at Westbrook-Walnut Grove High School. She was a Hollywood actress for nine years, and shares with teens and adults what stars and musicians are really like away from their work. Indeed, what some actors portray on the screen or musicians profess in the lyrics of their music is not what they live. In fact, she says that there are many stars who would never let their children watch what they portray or listen to what they sing. Moreover, she preaches abstinence until marriage and promotes family-friendly movies and TV shows. Since covering her visit to WWG, I've been receiving her quarterly "e-letter" and it's always interesting to read what she has to share. One tidbit in her latest e-letter was a short review of the new animated movie "The Croods." If you're looking for a family-friendly movie to check out with the youngsters, she says this is the one. From her newsletter: "What a treat DreamWorks created to give families something fun to see without having to scurry out of the theatre when a nasty scene flashes on the big screen! This movie has NO cussing, drinking or major violence! Slap-stick comedy abounds along with the message for parents that even though parenting is tough, it's always worth it. Can't wait to do a family movie matinee!" She has more interesting tidbits about what's coming out in theaters and on TV - the good and the bad. If you would like to receive her newsletter via e-mail, drop her an e-mail at email@example.com, or you can find her on Facebook, My-Space and Twitter. It's worth it!