In the blink of an eye, 13 years seem to go right by.
The valedictorians and salutatorians of Waupaca High School’s (WHS’s) Class of 2011 have gone to school here since kindergarten. Today, they are attending their final days of classes.
On Monday, May 30, they graduate.
At times, these past 13 years likely went slowly for them.
Of course, their parents probably feel differently. They remember sending them off to their very first day of school and wonder where the years have gone.
The valedictorians of this year’s senior class are Jaclyn Derks and Kristen Fuss. The salutatorians are Maggie Edlebeck and Brad Tischendorf.
These four students are no strangers to the community. Not only did they excel in the classroom, they also made a name for themselves on the sports fields and on the stage. They will speak at Monday’s graduation ceremony.
Katie Hipschman is the senior class president. She is the daughter of David and Dorrie Hipschman and will serve as the mistress of ceremonies.
Monday’s program will also include music.
The high school’s wind ensemble, under the direction of Mark Kryshak, will perform “Arabesque” by Samuel Hazo. The concert choir, under the direction of Dan Wolfgram, will sing “Hakuna Matata,” by Elton John and Tim Rice, arranged by Roger Emerson, and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
High school principal Carl Eggebrecht will present the Class of 2011. District Administrator David Poeschl and school board President Steven Shambeau will issue the diplomas and also present a few remarks to the senior class.
This year’s valedictorians and salutatorians say they learned life lessons both inside and outside the classroom.
For Derks, playing sports at WHS taught her how to work through adversity. She is the daughter of Den and Debbie Derks and has undergone two shoulder surgeries and now one on her knee.
Derks loves soccer. She played it all four years of high school. As a freshman and sophomore, she also played volleyball. She is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and will attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse next fall.
She said UW-La Crosse is ranked high for academics in the state. Derks also likes the fact that the college is in a larger city but one that is not all concrete. “There are plenty of woods,” she said.
Derks is undecided about what she is going to focus her studies on but said it will be “something with math and science just because those are my favorite subjects.”
This summer, she will be working at South Park’s beach, where she is a lifeguard and water safety instructor. She is also the head lifeguard at the Best Western Grand Seasons Hotel.
Fuss, who is the daughter of Chris and Terri Fuss, will be working at Scoopers this summer before heading to the University of South Carolina in Columbia. There, she will major in exercise science and minor in vocal performance. Following her undergraduate work, she plans to continue her studies to become a physical therapist.
Fuss decided to go to college in South Carolina for several reasons. She has extended family there and fell in love with the campus when she visited it a couple of years ago.
During high school, Fuss played volleyball and basketball for four years, softball as a freshman and sophomore, and then soccer this year. She is a member of NHS, served on the student council and was also in the musicals.
“I liked growing up in a small town,” Fuss said. “I feel we all know each other well.”
Like Derks, she says she learned a lot playing sports. Fuss learned to work hard and with others, and said that varsity girls basketball coach Brandon Temperly had the biggest impact on her. “He’s a great role model,” she said. His passion for basketball was apparent to her. Plus, it is her favorite sport.
Edlebeck said what she will remember most about high school are the relationships she made with her fellow students and with her teachers. She believes those skills will help her in college and beyond.
She is the daughter of John and Kay Edlebeck and will go to Marquette University (MU) in Milwaukee next fall.
Edlebeck is leaning toward a career in the medical field, with dietetics, physical therapy, audiology and speech therapy being possibilities for her.
She will also play soccer at MU. “I just felt at home at Marquette,” she said of her decision to go there, saying it has both high academics and the opportunity for her to continue playing soccer.
At WHS, Edlebeck played soccer her freshman and sophomore years, and was also on the cross-country team those two years. Junior year, she was on the track team, and that same year, she began playing soccer with FC Milwaukee Soccer.
She is a member of NHS, student council, Invisible Children, Pep Club and has been a class officer each year.
This summer, she will be a lifeguard at South Park’s beach.
Tischendorf works at Little Caesars Pizza and in the fall, he will be going to Carroll University in Waukesha, where he will study actuarial science.
“I like the math field, but it is also a practical job field,” he said of his decision to study that area.
Tischendorf, who is the son of Dan Tischendorf and Debbie Mader, explained why he chose Carroll University.
“It’s a smaller school, which is a good fit for me,” he said.
In addition, the college offers actuarial science as a major, and he believes its proximity to Milwaukee will lend itself to internship and job possibilities at insurance companies.
Tischendorf is a member of NHS, the math team and Invisible Children. He was a student representative on the city’s Parks and Recreation Board.
His main extracurricular involvement was through music. He was a member of the madrigal singers and vocal jazz ensemble the past three years and was in the musicals.
Wherever he lives, he hopes to continue being involved in music. It has taught him about responsibility, dedication and teamwork.
“The (WHS) Music Department has influenced me a lot,” Tischendorf said.