Class of COVID-19
Edgar seniors reflect on graduating during a pandemic
The Class of COVID-19 from Edgar High School gathered at Oak Street Park on Friday for a non-school sanctioned motorcade through the village.
The school’s 49 graduates enjoyed sandwiches and then piled into a long line of cars decorated with balloons, window inscriptions and the occasional Trump 2020 flag. Before doing so, four graduates shared their experiences from the last several months of COVID-19 lockdown and distance learning, plus what their future holds in the fall and beyond.
Jenna Adamski, town of Cassel, said the last several months of school were “pretty easy” where she wrote a few papers and answered various questions on Google Classroom, an internet platform.
Adamski said “it kinda sucks” that she, along with her classmates, missed out on many senior year rituals.
“We didn’t have the same experience other seniors have had,” she said.
Adamski said she didn’t miss going to prom, however. “I didn’t care that much,” she said.
The graduate said she continues to work at the Cenex truck stop in the town of Wien and in the fall plans to study at Northcentral Technical College to become a surgical technologist.
Adamski said she was taking the COVID- 19 pandemic in stride. “I am going with the flow,” she said.
Elliott Myszka, town of Rietbrock, said he will “ship out” to join the U.S. Marines Corps on July 13 and will be unable to take part in his high school graduation planned for July 31 (if it is determined safe).
He said he missed not having a normal senior year in high school, but he is focussed on his future in the military.
“It’s alright,” he said. “I know what my job is and I’m not worried about that.”
Myszka said the Class of 2020 around the world shares some understandings.
“We understand social anxiety and being couped up in your house for a month or two at a time,” he said.
Myszka said he will continue to milk cows on the family dairy before he begins his military service.
“I grew up on a farm and it’s basically what I’ve known,” he said. “It’s going to be a big change. It will be weird.”
Myszka said he is happy to be an Edgar High School graduate, even if it meant dealing with a pandemic.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere else,” he said. Marissa Ellenbecker, town of Wien, said the COVID-19 pandemic was a test of strength and character.
“It’s been an experience, that’s for sure,” she said. “This just shows how strong and tough we are to get through this. The good thing is that we are not the only ones that are going through this. Everyone is going through this right now.”
Ellenbecker said she was “mostly stuck at home” during the last few months of pandemic.
“I stayed busy, working on scholarships,” she said. “I babysat and got ready for college.”
Ellenbecker plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Mankato in the fall where she will run track and cross county and study to become an elementary school teacher.
“I just like kids,” she said. “I teach CCD and Bible School. I like the third graders most. They will still listen to you.”
Ellenbecker plans to work at Marathon Cheese Corp. this summer and stay in training for college sports.
“I usually run 45 miles a week, mostly on dirt roads,” she said.
Austin Miller, Edgar, said the COVID- 19 pandemic has been “pretty tough” to live through because it meant not being able to play baseball, his favorite sport.
He said this year’s Edgar baseball team was destined for greatness, but the team will never be able to prove it.
“We definitely had the best team Edgar has had in history,” he said.
Miller, who works at a dairy farm, said he actually liked distance learning over the last few months.
“You could do your work at your own pace,” he said. “And when you were done, you were done.”
Miller said he is uncertain about his future.
He is signed up to play baseball and study criminal justice at UW-Stout but, if the university cancels inperson classes, he may just move to Menomonee and get a job.
“I’ll probably join the workforce,” he said.
Miller said he is thankful for his years at Edgar. He praised the football program and its coaching staff.
“The coaching staff is the best in the state,” he said. “They do so much for us, they endlessly support us and never doubt us. We are grateful for that.”