Ellie Matelic: Exemplifying what being a leader is with kindness


“I don’t really like not doing anything,” junior Ellie Matelic said, in a perhaps near-perfect summary of herself.

Ellie juggles varsity basketball, FHC soccer, club soccer, Girl Scouts, the improv team, National Honors Society, the Broken Bottle Project, and the duties of class president, as well as all her schoolwork. Though it is a lot to handle, Ellie is a leader and friend to many through it all.

Ellie’s journey with her many activities began with soccer when she was merely three years old. She found a love and talent for the sport, and hasn’t stopped playing since.

“Ellie has a great vision of the field and a solid fundamental understanding of the game,” said Ashley Ludtke, Ellie’s soccer coach. “She is very enthusiastic, and her love of the game shows when she plays.”

The natural leader in Ellie quickly emerged through soccer.

“Ellie is an excellent example for her teammates on and off the field,” Ludtke said. “[That’s how] she leads.”

Besides soccer, Ellie also plays basketball. She began playing in fifth grade through a YMCA league. Ellie excelled in the sport, and continued to play through the school’s teams.

“[Ellie was] the best kind [of basketball player],” said Kevin Brechting, who formerly coached Ellie when she was on the FHC JV team. “She was versatile, aggressive, and physical. Ellie was coach-able and always willing to do whatever was asked of her.”

Brechting echoed similar observations to Ludtke’s about Ellie’s ability to lead.

“Ellie’s leadership was shown by being a positive example,” Brechting said. “She wasn’t the most vocal, but she would speak out when needed and everyone listened.”

Evidently, Ellie was born a leader. Unsurprisingly, Ellie is her class’s student council president. It all started with the Home Improvement Team (HIT), Central Woodland’s makeshift student council. Ellie enjoyed being involved with improving the school, and continued to participate in student council throughout middle school. She ran for President in eighth grade, was elected, and has been President of the Class of 2018 ever since.

“You can plan everything like homecoming, the floats, and the lip sync,” Ellie said. “I think that’s really cool that our school gets to do, because a lot of other schools don’t get to do that.”

Besides that, Ellie enjoys the position because it gives her a chance to befriend all types of students from her class.

“I want, as class president, to get to know everyone in my class, and to make sure people know they can come talk to me,” Ellie said.

With so many involvements, Ellie has met many new people, including through the improv team. She has been a part of the athletic world almost all her life, but recently found a way into the arts world when she tried out for the improv team this past year and made it in.

“[Making the team] was a really big surprise for me,” Ellie said, “because I had never done anything like that before. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The people were awesome.”

Ellie’s innate leadership and people skills were perhaps fostered in Girl Scouts, which she has been apart of since fifth grade.

“With Girl Scouts, you learn [about] leadership and peer pressure,” Ellie said, “and also just how to be nice to people, and how to understand what people are going through.”

Girl Scouts is yet another activity Ellie has excelled in for years. She is an Ambassador, the highest membership level, and is currently working to complete the Gold Award, the highest achievement of Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts has taught Ellie a variety of life lessons, and has certainly impacted her as a person greatly.

“Girl Scouts teaches you how to be yourself,” Ellie said. “Ever since you were a little girl, they always [say], ‘don’t be afraid to be who you are,’ and I just want to share that with people. I won’t judge anyone if they’re different from me; I just want to get to know everybody.”

Ellie’s kindness surpasses that of most. In school and through all her involvements, Ellie is a friend to anyone who needs it.

“I like being there for everybody,” Ellie said. “Through high school, you only have four years to try to meet everybody and find who you are as a person.”