For the second year in a row, three outstanding Yellow Medicine East seniors garnered perfect 4.0s to each earn the honor of valedictorian. “It's pretty impressive to not just have one but three students who had a perfect 4.0 through their high school careers,” said Yellow Medicine East High School Principal Michael Meihak. “Obviously it took a lot of hard work and academic dedication, and it appears they are well on their way down the road to success with a great start after what they’ve accomplished during their time here at Yellow Medicine East.”
Allie Trudel is the daughter of Nancy and Todd Trudel and sister of Lauren and Rachel.
Trudel will be attending Winona State University where she intends to obtain a pre-medical degree on her way to becoming a pediatrician.
“By becoming a pediatrician, I hope to give back to whatever community I end up in by diagnosing and treating the youth,” she said.
Trudel said that her favorite aspect of Yellow Medicine East was the close-knit atmosphere that existed peer to peer and student to teacher.
“I feel like both teachers and students care for individuals more so than students are appreciated as individuals in larger school systems,” she said.
With the opportunity to leave one piece of advice for future YME students, Trudel expressed the value of applying maximum effort and perseverance toward school matters, even though the benefit of such an approach is not always immediately evident.
“Even though it may not seem l like it,” she said, “hard work and dedication do eventually pay off.”
Activities and honors:
Softball, tennis, volleyball, marching band, concert band, pep band, science club, knowledge bowl, prom committee, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Red Cross Youth, and National Honor Society.
Chris Jensen is the son of Mark and Mary Jensen and the brother of Meghan.
Next year Jensen is set to attend Saint John's University where he will pursue a degree in Biochemistry with a Pre-Med emphasis. “I would like to do something in the medical field after I leave college and help make the world a better place,” he said.
In addition to academics, Jensen will also look to continue his illustrious choir career by either joining the Saint John's Men's Chorus or the combined College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University Chamber Choir, both of which are under the direction of Dr. Axel Theimer.
Looking back, Jensen said that of all the memories he has from his time at Yellow Medicine East it was his participation in the annual fall musicals and this past March’s choir trip to New York City which stook out as high points.
Of course it wasn’t all fun and games though, and Jensen acknowledged that there were the inevitable times in his career where the overlap of schooling and his prodigious amounts of extracurricular pursuits overlapped. “With all of the activities I was involved in it was quite a struggle some days,” he said.
As for his advice to future students of YME, Jensen recommended that students get involved in as much as they can while the opportunities are so easily accessible.
“Try and experience everything,” he said. “If you don't try something, how will you ever know that you love it? Also, go out for choir. It's fun and you get the opportunity to do a lot of really cool things, like traveling to Europe and performing for foreign audiences.”
Lastly, Jensen took the opportunity to express his gratitude to those who helped him to excel during his high school career.
“I'd like to thank my parents for being supportive of me over the years; my sister, for being there for me when I needed her; my friends, who I would be nothing without; Mr. Iverson, for helping me realize my potential; and finally, I'd like to thank sidewalks for keeping me off of the streets,” he said, the latter comment in jest.
Activities and honors:
National Honor Society; Red Cross Youth; Science Club; Knowledge Bowl; Student Council (served as Class President the last two years); Drama Club; Cross Country; YME, Legion and VFW Baseball; fall musicals; One Act Plays; Concert, Chamber and Jazz Choirs; Small Group Contest participant (earning numerous Superior Ratings in a variety of vocal music categories); Triple A award nominee (Arts, Academics, Athletics).
Jeanine Rupp is the daughter of Dave and Kim Rupp and sister of Jimmy.
This fall Rupp will be heading to Concordia in Moorhead where she hopes to obtain a music education degree.
“I would love to be able to have a positive impact on students' lives through my teaching,” she said.
For Rupp there was obviously much she enjoyed about her time at Yellow Medicine East or she wouldn’t be seeking to return to school down the road as a teacher. Still, there were experiences that stood out from the rest and the soon to be graduate singled out Fun Day in elementary and her time spent taking part in the last two fall musical as a pair of highlights.
Like her valedictorian counterparts, Rupp has a long list of high school involvements, and so if there was a downside to her high school career it involved the struggle to find balance.
“I sometimes had a tough time making sure I had enough time to get my homework done,” she admitted. “...especially between working and participating in other activities after school.”
With the opportunity to leave a nugget of wisdom to future YME students, Rupp championed the idea of applying oneself 100 percent.
“No one is going to do the work for you,” she said matter of factly. “It's important to make sure your work is done and done well.”
Activities and honors:
Band, Jazz band, Marching band Pep band, Choir, Jazz Choir, Chamber Choir, Musical (pit band), Student Council, Knowledge Bowl, Red Cross Youth, School newspaper, Yearbook staff, Tennis, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society