Waupaca High School has five valedictorians and one salutatorian for 2016.
The valedictorians are Ryan Esch, Shane Olsen, Christian Overman, Michelle Petkovsek and Nicole Weise. Abby Dremel is the salutatorian.
The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2016 is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, May 29, at the Waupaca High School gymnasium.
As with all the valedictorians, Esch has a 4.0 grade point average. His advanced placement classes included chemistry, physics, calculus and biology.
He also participated in the Cooperative Academic Partnership Program through the University of Wisconsin, taking courses n drama appreciation and communications.
Esch was a member of the varsity cross country team all four years while a student at Waupaca High School. He was co-captain of the team his senior year.
Other extracurricular activities included track, the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Destination Imagination, FFA and the Green Team. Esch was also involved in the Student Library Advisory Group at the Waupaca Area Public Library, where he also works part time. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout after completing a community service project in the summer of 2015.
Among his accomplishments, Esch participated in three mission trips with Young Neighbors in Action, a youth service group at St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church. The trips were to Chicago, Neopit, Illinois, and Gallup, New Mexico.
Esch plans to major in biology and natural resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. His wants to pursue a career as a writer.
When asked what he learned from his experience at Waupaca High School, Esch said, “Creativity is messy and sometimes the most brilliant ideas are in the mud.”
Olsen will attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he plans to double major in mathematics and political science.
“I hope to become either an actuary or some sort of political analyst,” Olsen said.
Olsen’s AP classes included calculus, U.S. history and world history. He had CAPP courses in English, communications and American literature.
Olsen played baseball with the Comets for four years, as well as intramural basketball. He was co-president of the Spanish National Honor Society his senior year and a member of the Academic Quiz Bowl team his sophomore year.
Olsen has worked at the Waupaca Area Public Library since his junior year in high school.
Among his activities, he worked to encourage high school students who would turn 18 by the November election to register to vote. He was also a featured speaker at the presidential campaign rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders in Waupaca.
“I’ve learned the importance of asking questions,” Olsen said. “When I first came here, I was shy and not very assertive, but I’ve learned the importance of communicating with people.”
Among his accomplishments while attending Waupaca High School, Overman was captain of the football team, captain of the track team, a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, student council and the math team. He was chosen as class vice-president and attended Badger Boys State, a week-long program to teach Wisconsin high school students about leadership and how government works.
Overman took AP classes in U.S. history, world history, calculus, physics and chemistry. His CAPP classes included English and communications.
Overman plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he will major in biology or bio-chemistry. He wants to pursue a career in anesthesiology.
“I’ve learned how to get along well with other people, accept other people’s differences and work together,” Overman said.
“I learned to believe in myself,” Petkovsek said, regarding her high school experience. “If there’s something I want to accomplish and I believe in myself, I know I can do it.”
Petkovsek’s AP classes include calculus, chemistry and statistics. She also studied communications through CAPP.
A member of the Spanish national Honor Society, Petkovsek studied five years of Spanish. She has also taken piano lessons for 11 years.
She is an officer of National Honor Society and a member of the math team and the Green Team. She has been a captain of the track team and co-captain of the cross country team in her junior and senior years.
In her sophomore year, Petkovsek participated in the Wisconsin Leadership Seminar, a three-day program at UW-Whitewater.
A member of Young Neighbors in Action, she accompanied two mission trips to Chicago and Gallup. She is also a volunteer at the Waupaca County Humane Society shelter. During her summers while a high school student, Petkovsek volunteered as a soccer coach for children ages 8-12 through the city Parks and Recreation. She has also volunteered for two summers in the children’s department of the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Petkovsek will attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and major in dietetics and food science. She plans to become a registered dietician and work in the food industry.
“My interests in engineering and serving have amalgamated into one ultimate dream of promoting God and women’s education, whilst serving underprivileged communities through my acquired knowledge in engineering,” Weise said.
She plans to attend Milwaukee School of Engineering and major in biomolecular and mechanical engineering and participate in Engineers Without Borders or the Global Brigades.
Weise’s AP classes include physics, statistics, chemistry and calculus. She also took the AP exam for organic chemistry.
She has been class president for four years, student council president, an officer in National Honors Society, attended Badger Girls State and a delegate nominee for Girls Nation.
Weise was a captain of the dance team and a captain of the Comets soccer team. She also placed second in the 17-19 age division at the Waupaca Area Triathlon.
She has performed as a bugler for military honors services and been choir president. Her roles with Waupaca High School and Waupaca Community Theater musical productions have included leads, chorus, lighting technician and backstage. She is also a member of jazz band, marching band, women’s choir and Waupaca Community Choir.
As a member of the Forensics team, she was a national tournament qualifier and a state semi-finalist.
Weise has also been a member Spanish National Honors Society, Spanish Club, Academic Quiz Bowl and the math team, and volunteered as a Sunday school teacher.
An officer in the National Honor Society and vice president of the Spanish Honor Society, Dremel earned a 3.99 GPA at Waupaca High School and is this year’s salutatorian.
Her AP classes included biology, U.S. history, world history and statistics. Her CAPP classes were English and communications.
Dremel played on the softball team for three years and served as a youth representative on the Waupaca Area Public Library Board.
She has worked for three years as assistant manager for Rogers Cinema and volunteered once a month to help organize recreational activities for residents at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King.
Dremel is also a member of Young Neighbors in Action and accompanied the group on its mission trip to Gallup.
She plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she will major in biology with a concentration in environmental studies. Her goal is to work in the field of alternative energy.
“I’ve learned that a positive attitude can really make a difference,” Dremel said.