You may know Ellie Von Lehmden as a volleyball star or perhaps as Homecoming Queen, but there is more to Ellie than that. Sitting at Aurora’s coffee shop, Ellie orders a cold caramel Frappuccino. Shockingly, she does not like hot coffee like most girls. There are many things that are important to her, things that make her unique.
Ellie on Family: “Every one of my family members has a different relationship with me.”
Ellie considers her dad to be her biggest supporter. He always tells her she looks pretty and is her volleyball cheerleader. Her mom is her best friend. She tells her everything and provides advice. Morgan, her oldest sister, is another mother figure. She goes to her when she needs advice from someone who went through something in modern times. Ellie shared that it was not always this way. She says she was an attention seeking child and this made it hard for her and her sister to get along. Ellie was constantly trying to impress her older sister’s friends which her sister did not like. Along with this, she was jealous when her sister would get attention. In middle school, she realized she had to grow up and fix her relationship with her sister and now they have never been closer.
Sydney, Ellie’s older sister, was always her best friend. As kids they had their own handshake and did everything together. They were so close in age that they would be on the same sports teams. She never noticed the differences between them but she would notice that Sydney always had extra help with things. One time was when the family went to the gym to play dodgeball and other games. Sydney always got extra tries to get someone out. This confused Ellie because she never got more chances. Then one day at Playstation some boys came up to Ellie and Sydney and asked her what was wrong with her sister. Ellie was very confused and so she decided to ask her mom about it. She learned that two months after Sydney was born she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. This changed her perspective from confusion to understanding. Today, Sydney is still Ellie’s best friend and they still do everything together.
Ellie on Friends: “I will literally talk to anyone, I just like to meet new people.”
Ellie loves meeting new people no matter where she is. However, when it comes to best friends, Ellie has special traits to determine if her friends are true friends. She looks for honest friends who tell it how it is and do not necessarily care about what others think about them. Currently, Ellie has three people she considers her best friends. Ellie met Jensen O’Shea in kindergarten and then, at a summer hangout, Ellie says that she and Jensen met Meghan and they became best friends. Whether they go out or stay in with Chinese takeout playing Mario Kart, they always have a fun time together. The final person she considers her best friend is Tyler Oberbroeckling.
Ellie on Tyler Oberbroeckling: “Most people think that after dating someone for three years you can’t learn new things, but I learn something new about Tyler that I love every day.”
Surprisingly, Ellie actually met Tyler in fifth grade. They were best friends and then decided to date in seventh grade. Middle school relationships usually consist of never talking, so they broke up. Of course, they stayed best friends afterwards. The two started talking about going to freshman year Homecoming together, and soon after they started dating again. A true love story.
Ellie and Tyler talk about their future often. Ellie is going to the University of Northern Iowa and Tyler is going to Southeastern Burlington, but they know that the relationship will last because they trust each other and have for three years. Since they are best friends, she says their relationship is much more fun because they know everything about each other.
Ellie on her Future:
As mentioned, Ellie will be attending the University of Northern Iowa next year. She wants to be a physical education and health teacher. She loves health class and is open with talking about topics most people would not be comfortable with. She also loves being active and making people be active. Honestly, she is really excited to be able to wear sweatpants to work! Ellie also wants to get a coaching license to be able to coach volleyball.
Ellie on positivity, confidence, and anxiety: “I have a phobia of hotels.”
Ellie stays positive by surrounding herself with positive people. Her advice on staying positive is to stay away from negativity, whether that is negative people or things. She says this is the biggest life lesson she has learned.
Although Ellie is really confident in the choices she makes and stays away from negativity, she admits that her anxiety makes it hard to not worry about things. She was diagnosed with anxiety in fourth grade but says she has been lucky enough to have supportive people around her to help her cope. Some of the things she says she struggles with is making the right friends and also just worrying about everyone. For example, if someone is making a bad decision and she is not there, she still worries for them.
Ellie also has a phobia of hotels due to her anxiety. She hates the thought of not sleeping in her own bed and also the thought of the hotel room being dirty. She copes with her worries and thoughts by talking to her friends and family about them.
Ellie on school: “I try not to procrastinate to the best of my abilities because I really care about my grades.”
School means a lot to Ellie. She always tries her best in school, and as a reward gets good grades. She knows that school means a lot for her future. Right now her favorite subject is health, of course. Her favorite teacher is Angie Axeen because she says she is very relatable and tells things how they are.
More about Ellie:
What was your initial reaction to winning Homecoming Queen?
“I was shocked to even be in Homecoming Court. There were so many other girls that should have been in the court and many that should have won.”
What is Ellie’s favorite thing in the world? Family memories. Whether it is vacations or just having a chill day at home.
What makes Ellie happy? All of the people in her life.
Favorite movie? “The Greatest Showman” or “A Star is Born”
If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? A life full of happiness, to be financially stable, and for all the people in her life to live forever or at least longer than her.