Crocker selected as Clintonville’s salutatorian
By Bert Lehman
With Clintonville High School Class of 2016 students set to receive their diplomas on Saturday, May 28, Doniven Coenen and Claire Crocker have been named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.
Coenen said it wasn’t his goal to be valedictorian, but it was his work ethic that took him there.
“For me I can’t settle for anything less,” Coenen said. “It’s kind of something I did throughout school.”
He said he constantly feels, “I can do better.”
When hearing he was valedictorian, Coenen said he was excited and considered it a privilege. His parents were also happy for him.
“My mom keeps bragging to people,” Coenen said. “I just went to a dental cleaning, and when I came back up front, everyone was clapping saying, ‘Congratulations.’”
Crocker said her goal was to get good grades in high school, not necessarily be valedictorian or salutatorian. She said her rank as a freshman led her to think being one of the two was possible.
“I kept working hard the rest of my career and valedictorian, salutatorian, I didn’t really care which, I was just happy to be one of them,” Crocker said.
She said she was ranked at the top of the class as a freshman.
“It’s been switching between one and two my whole high school career,” she said.
She and her parents were excited when they heard the news.
“It’s really cool that I’ve been able to work this hard through my high school career and it’s really paid off and shown,” Crocker said.
In addition to their classroom achievements, both Coenen and Crocker have participated in extracurricular activities.
Coenen has been involved in Upward Bound throughout high school, as well as a chess club until it was discontinued. He also participates in an art night a couple of times a year.
Crocker said she has played soccer all four years of high school, and has been involved in the school musicals and plays. She has also participated in forensics, National Honor Society and German Club.
“It’s hard and involves a lot of late nights, especially with the musicals and soccer practice, those go kind of late,” Crocker said. “And for the away games you have to stay up late and finish your homework. I definitely push myself to work hard and stay up late completing essays and stuff like that. It’s paid off. It’s been worth it.”
When asked what the secrets to his success were, Coenen said, “I don’t know if I have secrets. I just try very hard. Spending hours studying and doing the work, making sure I get the problems right. I just never settled. I’ve told myself I’m going to relax a little more this year but I wind up trying even harder. I just kind of did my best.”
Crocker said, “I’d say just working hard and caring about your grades because you can be a smart person but don’t care about your grades and that’s going to show,” Crocker said. “If you work hard and take your classes seriously you’re going to get the good grades you want.”
After high school Coenen plans to attend UW-Green Bay to study accounting.
“I’m really good with numbers, I’m really good with Excel and those kinds of things, which lines up with accounting,” he said.
Crocker plans to attend UW-Madison to major in industrial engineering.
She said she chose industrial engineering because she enjoys math.