On one occasion there had been two salutatorians at Yellow Medicine East but never, at least during Karen Norell’s dozen years as principal, had a trio of students shared the claim of the high school’s top grade point average. Or, that was, until now.
With the 16th highest GPA a 3.9 overall, Norell’s proclamation that the “the 2012 seniors have been an academic class from the get-go,” is far from an understatement. At its top, however, there are but three remarkably similar women––well liked, multi-talented and with matching 4.0s –– in valedictorians, BeaAnn Hagert, Kylie Jans and Rosina Halverson Studer.
“The three girls with 4.0s had incredible high school careers,”?said Norell.” And I can tell you they’re stellar people with good hearts and good minds.”
The last time the girls had anything less than a “straight A” was during their middle school careers, and each can recall their particular “A-” without a moment’s lapse. But from then on all three have managed perfection. Perfection they recently saw payoff as acceptance letters to notable institutions where each will be receiving five-figure scholarships.
Details about the girls, their YME experience and personal expectations of their futures follow. And while nothing is written in stone in terms of the latter, it’s a pretty safe bet that these three scholars will be making their high school alma mater proud.
Rosina Halverson Studer is the daughter of Mark Wilson and Elaine Halverson and Ric Studer. She is also the sister of Lance Wilson.
Of the valedictorian honor, Halverson Studer said it was nice to see that all her hard work proved worthwhile, as it hadn’t always been apparent how her efforts would serve her while she was actively working in the moment.
During her high school tenure, she was widely active, participating in:?Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Jazz Choir Musicals, Drama Club, Year Book, Dance Line and National Honors Society.
Yes, all those activities did sometimes pile up on Halverson Studer. In fact, the over-abundance of things to do was one of the hardest parts of maintaining her 4.0 status. During dance and musical season she would find herself at school from morning until as late as 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. at night, she admits.
Through sheer will and perseverance, she was able to stay on top of her grades and in some ways she admits the constant activities benefited her as they forced her not to procrastinate.
In the fall, Halverson Studer will attend Concordia College in Moorhead. At this point she is undecided about a major but has general interests in English, Music, Theater and Social Science subjects.
Upon her departure, Halverson Studer says she will miss her friends, classmates and teachers––in particular, Jeff Iverson and Trevor Schulte, as they were not overly obsessed with teaching to the test and taught students how to apply lessons to real life.
Page 2 of 2 - To the underclassmen, Halverson Studer offered this Dr. Seuss quote: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
BeaAnn Hagert is the highly responsible sister of Jordan and Madison and daughter of Tony and Jane Hagert.
Being named valedictorian feels good, Hagert said, as it proved that hard work pays off and was the perfect way to end an illustrious high school career.
By setting her priorities and sticking to them (at least most of the time... Hagert also said this was the hardest part of high school), she was able to maintain a 4.0 despite a crowded list of extracurricular activities including: Cross Country, Basketball, Track, Red Cross Youth, Student Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Come the end of summer, Hagert will be attending the College of St. Benedict where she plans to enter a pre-med program and obtain a major in Sociology with a minor in Child Development. In the end, the schooling will allow her to become a physician’s assistant, which proved more enticing than a pediatrician being that it was four years less schooling.
When she looks back, Hagert says she will miss spending time with friends, classmates and teachers the most.
“Working hard pays off when it comes to getting into college, scholarships and other things,” she told underclassmen before adding, “But don’t forget to have fun.”
Kylie Jans is the sister to Sam and Caleb and daughter of Scott and Angie Jans. Like her counterparts she was smiling from ear to ear to be named valedictorian as it served to prove just how well her hard work paid off.
Though Jans often had something more appetizing on her plate, she said she invoked self-discipline to take care of the responsibilities that allowed her to earn a 4.0 first.
Jans said she loved being able to be with friends, teachers and take part in that variety of activities made available; and it was only the getting up in the morning and when teachers piled work on students all at once that thoughts of YME?ever drew her ire.
In the future, Jans plans to attend Concordia College in Moorhead where she plans to study biology or pre-med. In the end, she thinks she may follow her interests into orthopedics or surgery and, in either case, will likely do so with a sports related focus.
With all her success, underclassmen would do well to take Jans advice as she suggests that students not “...procrastinate too much. And have fun, because high school goes by fast.”