SHABBONA – Graduating from Indian Creek High School is a bittersweet moment for Alanah Wiesler.
On the one hand, she’s looking forward to studying occupational therapy at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Neb. She said her career choice will allow her to make a difference in people’s lives.
But she will also be saying goodbye to friends she has known her whole life.
“I’ve been with some of these kids since kindergarten,” Wiesler said. “It’s going to be tough to leave them.”
The Class of 2013 at Indian Creek High School, adorned in red and black robes, entered the gymnasium Sunday as students and walked out as graduates.
Indian Creek Principal Sarah Montgomery noted how close the 55 seniors were to each other, and the positive impacts they had on their lives.
“They are a really good group of kids, and I mean that,” Montgomery said.
This year’s class had one valedictorian – Khloe Gordon – and four salutatorians – Dallas Boehne, Alexandria Corriveau, Kathryn Thuestad and Ellen Witte. Montgomery said Gordon had done really well in some Advanced Placement courses, giving her a grade-point average of 4.04.
The salutatorians had 4.0 GPAs, and addressed the audience of parents, family members and faculty along with Gordon. Thuestad said she used John Wooden, a renowned NCAA basketball coach, as the basis for her speech. Thuestad said Wooden taught his players it was OK to make mistakes if they learned from them.
“It will help us succeed in the future,” Thuestad said.
She said she is attending Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, to study either mathematics or science.
Alyssa Arends shared Wieseler’s bittersweet feelings about graduation. While she is excited to study business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she said it’s also scary and a big change. But, it’s a change she needs.
“Have fun and always enjoy life and don’t be worried,” Arends said when asked about what she felt was an important life lesson she learned in high school.
Nick Cipra, another graduating senior, commented on how cool it was to see his friends evolve. Cipra said he’s matured over time.
“I’m more of an adult, I guess,” Cipra said.
He said he wants to get into performing or recording music, and mentioned college as a possibility.
Sunday marked the last of Tim Anderson’s children to graduate from Indian Creek. Anderson said he’s very proud of his daughter, Torrie.
“It’s great,” Anderson said. “It makes me feel old, but it makes me feel great.”
Anderson said his daughter plans to study nursing. He described it as a fitting field for Torrie, given that she loves helping children, and she was aided by nurses when she was born prematurely. Since then, Anderson said his daughter has overcome all of the obstacles in her life.
When asked what his final piece of advice is to his daughter, Anderson said, “Stick to your goals.”