Students graduating from local high schools are looking forward to their next adventure and celebrating what they have achieved so far. 

At the Lewiston-Altura High School (L-A), senior Jenna Brugger appreciated the tight-knit, dedicated group of students in her advanced math class. The students would receive a prompt each week and write an answer to it, then have to figure out as a class who wrote which answer, she said, adding that it was a nice way for students to bond. 

For Zach Schultz at L-A, playing the bass trombone as a member of the band was always fun. Some of his favorite moments happened during pep band. “I just love the experience. It’s another way to cheer on the team,” he said. 

From classes, Schultz learned about getting good results from putting in hard work. Brugger also learned about putting in effort to achieve a good outcome. 

Freyja Wolfe at Winona Senior High School (WSHS) found many history and social studies classes to be especially interesting. In Ms. Pfeilsticker’s Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History class, Wolfe liked delving deep into topics and considering the connections between them. From taking AP World History and AP Government with Ms. Dixen, Wolfe enjoyed learning about how government functions and discovering new areas of interest by keeping tabs on current events. Dixen also helped Wolfe with considering where to attend college and what to study. Additionally, one of Mr. Voegeli’s classes led Wolfe to help found a club, United, that worked to help people from countries including Ukraine, Iran and Afghanistan. 

At Cotter Schools, senior Grace Renk enjoyed the class AP U.S. History because she said the teacher, Mrs. Stevenson, was a great lecturer who made the content interesting. 

Cotter senior Carver Heiring appreciated learning in a hands-on way in the engineering program. Currently, students are creating model cars by 3D-printing the bodies of the cars and wiring solar panels, Renk and Heiring said, and they will likely have a race with them in the near future. 

In addition to classes, Brugger participated in dance, student council, National Honor Society (NHS), Knowledge Bowl and Math League. Schultz took part in Math League and football. As a senior, Schultz enjoyed getting to know students in the grades below him, and when he started on the team as  a freshman, he appreciated the kindness and helpfulness of the seniors at the time. “It’s just a very good atmosphere,” he said. Interacting with teammates to solve problems as a group during Math League and Knowledge Bowl was a highlight for Brugger. Schultz and Brugger  agreed that they gained insight into how to collaborate from being part of the groups. 

Wolfe was on the soccer team, served as governor for Model Legislature, went to state with the Knowledge Bowl team, served as co-president of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance and served as NHS president. Wolfe said this has led to growth in leadership skills. “And [I’ve] also been incredibly proud that I’ve been elected and chosen in all these positions and trusted with these responsibilities, and been able to learn from all the members of all those,” Wolfe said. Wolfe has also been involved in the arts and won a poetry contest last year with a poem about Ukraine. 

Renk played tennis and basketball and was an NHS officer. Heiring played basketball and was an NHS member. They agreed that connecting with fellow students they might not have otherwise was memorable. 

Looking ahead, Renk aims to keep asking questions to learn, and Heiring will keep in mind what he learned about strong work ethic. 

Brugger plans to attend St. Cloud State University to earn a bachelor’s in elementary education. Her goal is to be a fourth-grade teacher. “I’m looking forward to just overall hopefully making the world a better place and becoming a good role model for students,” she said. Schultz plans to attend Winona State University to study accounting. He looks forward to meeting new people and applying what he has learned to college. 

Wolfe plans to attend the University of Minnesota to double major in history and political science and earn a minor in English while in the honors program. Then, Wolfe would like to go to law school. 

Renk plans to attend the University of Minnesota and is interested in possibly studying engineering or business. Heiring plans to attend Minnesota State College Southeast to become an automotive technician.