Class of 2020 Has a Clear Vision for the Future
by Brian Wilson, News Editor
Members of the Class of 2020 may have had an unusual close to their high school careers, but their vision for the future is clear and bright.
Regardless of it they will be entering the workforce, enlisting in the military, pursuing jobs in the trades or seeking an advanced degree, the Class of 2020 has a lot to look forward too.
The Star News interviewed several members of the class of 2020 asking their plans, memories and lessons they have learned from the past 12 years of school. The following are their stories:
Anna is the daughter of Matthew and Tarah of Rib Lake. She looks ahead to attending Wheaton College next fall, in Wheaton, Ill. She wants to pursue music. “Growing up in Rib Lake has been so special,” she said. “I’m so thankful that I have been able to grow up in a community that looks out for one another like this one. The way our community and school have come together to support the Class of 2020, our local businesses, and our health workers during this time reveals the heart of Rib Lake. Also, I really appreciate how our small community supports their students in both athletics and the arts.”
Some of her favorite high school memories involve music — marching in parades, going to solo/ensemble, preparing for concerts.
“Marching at Bayfield was always especially fun. It was so cool how so many of our community members drove all the way up there to support us and watch us perform,” she said. “I have also especially enjoyed learning under the teachers at Rib Lake. It is so evident that they love and care about their students and community. I have grown so much because of their investment in us. They have definitely made my time here special.”
Anna said she is most thankful for opportunities to be in the WSMA State Honors Project, participating three times for choir and once for band. “Those experiences have been so amazing, and have been really impactful in my love of music. I will always remember and cherish them,” she said.
Anna plays the flute and she loves to sing. “Music has had such an impact on my life, and I want to learn more about it and hone my skills so that I can continue to share it with other people. During this next phase of my life, I’m going to learn and discover a lot more about myself, and that will help guide my career direction,” she said.
Anna credits her passion for music as being inspired by her faith.
“I love to use it to praise God. My dad has been especially influential in my love of music. It has been special to be able to make music with him since I was a little girl,” she said. “We do a lot of music in church. This is one of the things I love most to do. Also, my music teachers have had such a passion for music, and I’m so thankful that they share that with their students.”
Anna said students following her should invest in the people here while they still can. “The people are what make Rib Lake special, and they are what you are going to remember most. I would say I have worked hard at academics and music, but I regret not investing more in relationships,” she said.
Sami Stolp is the daughter of John and Janet Stolp of Medford. She is planning to attend Northcentral Technical College (NTC) for surgical technology. Her longterm goal is to use those surgical technology skills on a mission trip.
Sami said she developed an interest in health sciences after taking a human anatomy class at Medford Area Senior High School (MASH). “I really liked the fetal pig dissection unit,” she said.
A favorite class of her’s at Medford was psychology where she was able to get to know underclassman that she had previously not gotten a chance to know very well. Stolp was active in her time at MASH being involved in volleyball and track as well as Raiders Committed. She also enjoyed her time as a class officer in sophomore and junior year where she was able to participate in planning for events such as homecoming.
Having the in-person portion of her senior year cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was a blow to Sami and other seniors.
“I was really upset at first, just because we never thought that Friday would be the last day of our high school career,” Sami said, referring to the Friday before the school closing order was put in place.
“Sports were hard to let go,” Sami said, noting that her goal was to break the school record for jumping in track this spring. “As time went on we had to live with what happened,” she said. “I am looking forward to what is next because we can’t hold ourselves behind anymore.”
As far as advice to underclassmen, Sami advises them to not take their time in high school for granted. She said that while four years may seem like a long time it is not. “As an underclassman, I didn’t believe it either — it goes ungodly fast,” she said.
She also advises people to be nice and be friendly with everyone because people don’t know where they will end up.
Eveyln Fryza is the daughter of April and Adam Fryza of Gilman. She will be attending UW-LaCrosse where she plans to study biology. She will also be competing for the UW-LaCrosse track team where she hopes to continue her success with the shot put and discus.
“I am not sure yet what I will do with it, but I want to do something in the medical field,” she said.
While a student at Gilman High School Evelyn was active in volleyball and track. “I really liked cheering in the cheer squad and dressing up for basketball and football games.” she said.
As far as academics, Evelyn enjoyed her math classes the most especially those with Mr. Gingras, who helped her develop a love of math.
Looking back, Evelyn encourages students to enjoy high school while it lasts. “It goes by really fast,” she said.
Evelyn said the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on her senior year. “It sucked a lot at first and it sucks that we weren’t able to spend the last couple months together as a class. But we are trying to make the best out of it,” she said.
Elaine Schumacher is the daughter of Kathy and Tony Schumacher of Stetsonville. She will be attending St. Norbert College in DePere and will be studying biology with the intention of working in a medical field either as a physician or in research.
“I’ve always loved science,” Elaine said. She credited developing a love for science with courses she took at Medford and with participating in Science Olympiad. “In Science Olympiad I found my passion for it,” she said.
Some of her fondest high school memories are of participating in Science Olympiad Tournaments. Having their season cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic restriction was disappointing, as was not being able to go on the band trip that they had waited several years for.
“It was really heartbreaking,” she said, Even though a global pandemic threw the senior year for a loop, Elaine said she has positive memories of her time at MASH. “I am appreciative of all the connections I have made with students and staff members,” she said.
“I feel that I have been able to grow as a person through all of the activities I have been involved in.” she said.
Schumacher’s activities include Science Olympiad, student council, National Honor Society, tennis, DECA/FBLA, jazz band and Raiderettes. As far as advice to underclassmen, Elaine encourages them to take challenges. “Do things that challenge them, that is how you grow as a person,” she said.
Brendan Borman is the son of Jason and Lynn Borman of Medford. He will be attending UW-Green Bay to major in economics and political science. His career goal is to find a place in government or politics.
Bormann explained that he has had an interest in politics for a while. “I find it interesting how government can impact everyday life,” he said.
He cited U.S. Government as being one of his favorite classes while at MASH along with the drawing classes he took. “I liked my drawing classes they were fun to play around with,” he said.
While at MASH he was active in Science Olympiad in junior and senior years. He has also been active in band participating in jazz band for four years and was on the state band for the past two years.
Last year he took part in the first Civics Games and was excited to have qualified for the team this year before the event was cancelled. Other than missing out on Civics Games and other events, Brendan said he did not think he was as impacted by the school closure as others in his class.
“I don’t think it has been as eventful for me as for some others,” he said. “It is certainly a bummer to not be able to see your friends and spend time with them,” he said.
One of the things that has been keeping Brendan busy has been preparing for the Advanced Placement (AP) exams. He had four to prepare for and noted that they had made changes to them because the testing process had been changed. “There was no multiple choice,” he said, instead there were short-answer questions with multiple parts that were looking to see if the students understood the concepts.
As far as advice to underclassman, Brendan says it is important for students to put themselves out there. “You will regret not getting involved,” he said. He also said that it is always important to be prepared.
Wyatt Sherfield is the son of Jessica and Lee Sherfield of Medford. He will be attending NTC for electrical mechanical technologies with the goal of having a job that “I don’t completely hate and can enjoy,” he said.
Wyatt enjoys working with circuit boards and is looking forward to doing that in the future.
While at MASH Wyatt was active in FFA and served as vice president for two years. He was also a member of the MASH Trap Shooting Team. “I’m not the best, but I am decent at it,” Wyatt said of his shooting skills.
His favorite classes at Medford were the engineering classes he took with Joe Gasser and Tracy Swedlund in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program. Even after school was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he continued working remotely with his group for their capstone project which was to design a new type of kayak anchor. “The final prototype worked pretty good,” he said.
In some ways, Wyatt said, the shutdown lightened his load allowing him to focus more on specific classes including classes he was taking while in high school for college credit.
He wasn’t as impacted by the loss of such things as prom. “I am not a big dancer,” he said, but noted that it would have been nice to be able to have the whole graduation ceremony.
Looking back, Wyatt offers the advice to underclassmen to “Not slack off at all.”
“Once you slack off a little bit, it goes down hill from there,” he said, noting it is easy to lose track and not study.
Wyatt said he was appreciative of all the work his teachers put in, especially during the last quarter of the school year when buildings were shut down, but learning continued. “Thank you to all my teachers for all the work they put in,” he said.
Zoei Goodrich is the daughter of Ted Goodrich and Denise and Kyle Thums of Rib Lake. She will be attending Bethany Global University in Bloomington, Minn. where she will pursue a double major in intercultural studies and bible and theology. Her goal in life is to be a social justice worker and seeks out the opportunity to work overseas as a missionary.
“I love helping people,” she said, noting that is what she feels called to do with her life. While she is open to going anywhere, she said she is interested in mission work in Asia.
While at Rib Lake High School, Zoei was active in volleyball for three years and track for three years. Last fall she went out for cross country. In addition she was active in band and Spanish Club.
“I have a lot of great memories from band,” she said, noting the Bayfield routines were always some of her favorites. “I loved going to Bayfield every year,” she said.
Zoei said she loved the experiences she was able to have through athletics. She was on the 4x800 relay team that went to state last year. “It was a really incredible experience,” she said.
Zoei said she missed the fun senior activities that are done each spring including the band concerts and especially graduation.
“My advice is to enjoy the moments while you have them,” she said. This lesson driven home with the unexpected happenings that occurred this spring.
“Slow down and enjoy everything that happening,” she said. “When you start, you feel that high school will last forever, but it goes by so fast,” she said. “Make the most of it. Savor all the time that you have.”
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