Northwestern High School sends off class of 2013In all, 98 seniors graduate from Northwestern High School tonight.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
In all, 98 seniors graduate from Northwestern High School tonight. Everyone is welcome to attend the 7 p.m. commencement ceremony — no tickets required.
Student speakers include Olivia Amber, Tanner Follis, Luke Schulz and Anna Simmons. English teacher Pat Luostari is the adult speaker.
Graduation is a time to look back on the year, and to look ahead to the future. There were sports victories, including a fourth consecutive trip to state competition for members of the boys cross-country team and the third trip in four years for the girls cross-country team.
The Tiger girls softball team earned their first conference title since 2007.
But these teens have talent that spans more than the sports arena.
“As an art teacher in my 16th year at Northwestern, this is one of the most creative classes I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Charlie Hessel. “Many of these students excelled in art both as a class and as a co-curricular activity before and after school. Their thought processes, technical ability and dedication has made the past four years very enjoyable. I would like to say thank you to them for sharing their thoughts, talents and sense of humor. I hope they continue to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions in the fields they enter. I hope they realize that they have made a difference and that they can continue to make a difference.”
Art students donated their artwork and culinary talent to raise $1,395 for the Rural Care and Share Food Shelf during the school’s inaugural Empty Bowls event. Phantom Galleries highlighted their three-dimensional packing-tape sculptures last month in Superior. Students also sent work to the Duluth Art Institute’s annual youth show.
“You hear in sports a lot of times that when a certain class gets to be seniors that the team is going to be pretty much unstoppable. That is what this group has been like for our art department,” Hessel said. “It has been the group of incredible talent that is the dream team every coach and teacher hopes for.”
Marketing instructor Jody Forsythe, who graduated from Northwestern 35 years ago, also offered some words of advice for the graduating seniors.
“Take time to thank your parents or people who have helped you to this point in your life,” she said. “Even if you don’t believe it now, your parents and teachers care deeply about you and want you to have success and happiness in your life. You will understand this when one day you become a parent.”
She encouraged students to tell the truth, be kind to everyone and strive for a journey-driven lifestyle, instead of a lifestyle-driven journey.
“Spend your life doing something you enjoy, something you are good at and something that makes the most of your natural talents, and I can assure you, the money will follow,” she said. “It is much more important for you to be happy than it is for you to be rich. Hopefully, now you understand how you can have both.”
Earlier this month, a number of outstanding Tiger seniors were honored at the Senior Honor Banquet. They earned awards for athletics, arts, classwork, activities and more. One award, the Principal’s Award, is given to students who paid attention to Principal Steve High.
“When I meet students as freshmen on their first day, I challenge them to do three things: Pay attention to academics, get involved in school activities, and do the right thing all the time. I also tell them that most likely — if they do those three things — someone will notice,” High said. “I look at students who have done those three things and if they are not invited to the Senior Honor Banquet by other staff for other reasons, then I invite as recipients of the Principals Award.”
The following is a list of students and the awards they received.
Amber, Follis, Luke Johnson, Gwendellen LaPole, Halie Makela, Kyle Rautio, Charlotte Sauer, Schulz, Simmons and Matthew Thom.
Duane Lindgren Award
Alexandra Bodendorfer and Schulz
Shianna Cannon, Carly Goedhart, Chelsea Karna, Makela, Tess Nelson, Sauer and Simmons.
Taylor Copp, Lauren Gordon, Beth Gurske, Matthew Hlina, Miranda Korn, Peter Lindsay, Travis Sznaider, Thomas Trzynka
Dance Team Captain/State
Most Valuable Athlete
Follis and Jordan Johnson
WIAA Scholar Athlete
Follis and Nelson
Travis Listing, Brooke Pearson, Follis and LaPole
U.S. Marines, Distinguished Athlete
Kaitlyn Hansen, Brooke McCauley, Morgan Runions and Schulz
Louis Armstrong Jazz Band Award
National School Choral
Luke Johnson, Susan Johnson
Semper Fidelis Band
US Army, Scholar Athlete
Grant Pearson and LaPole
Ty Rankin and LaPole,
Outstanding Senior Athlete
Duncan Magerl and Nelson
Brecken Moniot, Simmons and Makela
US Marines, Distinguished Athlete
Brody Pellman and Rautio
Simmons and Pellman
John Philip Sousa Band
Academic All Conference
Sauer, Rautio and Simmons