Holte, whose GPA is 4.14, is involved in Spanish Club, president of National Honor Society, track and field captain, Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Camp, Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp and Boys State camp. He plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Morris, to major in engineering.
Baumgartner, whose GPA is 4.087, is involved in Business Professionals of America, tennis, one-act play, Knowledge Bowl, speech, concert, jazz and pep bands, concert and Madrigal choirs, National Honor Society, Boy Scouts, Bethlehem Lutheran Church Youth group and Prairie Fire Theater. He also is an Eagle Scout, National Merit Scholar Commended Student, is listed in the 2002-03 "Who's Who Among American High School Students" and he made the top 10 in the National BPA competition. He plans to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology to major in civil engineering.
Commencement speakers: Holte and Baumgartner.
Graduation ceremony: 7 p.m. Thursday at Don Adamson Field, weather permitting.
Class Size: 451.
Top academic graduates: Maya Kuehn, the daughter of Carter and Martha Kuehn of Brainerd, and Mark Ahlberg, the son of Randy and Sandy Ahlberg of Baxter. Kuehn, whose GPA is 4.295, is involved in theater, tennis, Knowledge Bowl, Symphonic Band, Class Cabinet, German Club, Youth Ministries Committee for the United Church of Christ, Youth as Resources and Youth in Government. She also was named a National Merit Scholar, named Student of the Semester six times, earned Excellence in writing and drama awards and is a Ford Dean's Scholar for Northwestern University in Illinois. She plans to attend the college to major in chemical engineering.
Ahlberg, whose GPA is 4.19, is involved in Knowledge Bowl, Key Club, Class Cabinet, orchestra, Brainonian, Fifth Street Journal, homecoming court, National Merit Commended Student, AP Scholar, "A" honor roll, National Honor Society, Student of Semester in orchestra and yearbook, National Council of Teachers of English Achievement Awards in Writing nominee, Brainerd Dispatch Fine Arts Scholar, Brainonian Member of the Year, junior Rotarian, Timber Bay Junior High Camp volunteer and Camp Jabez Day Camp. He also is involved in the youth group, worship team, Sunday school teacher, volunteer, multimedia development team, and youth group ministry team at Lakewood Evangelical Free Church.
Commencement speakers: Seniors Greg Strand, Quinn Nystrom and Kuehn.
Crosby-Ironton High School
Graduation ceremony: 8 p.m. Friday in the Woock Gymnasium at the Crosby-Ironton High School.
Class Size: 106.
Top academic graduates: Valedictorian is Kate Gaffney, the daughter of Brian and Andrea Gaffney of Deerwood. Salutatorian is Thomas Kirzeder, the son of James and Rita Kirzeder of Crosby.
Gaffney, whose GPA is 3.99, is involved in district band, class officer, Commercial Club, Film and Novel Club, yearbook, Alpha Scholastic, golf, tennis, Knowledge Bowl and Student Council. She plans to attend Marquette University.
Kirzeder, whose GPA is 3.94, is involved district band, basketball, class officer, Commercial Club, Film and Novel Club, Alpha Scholastic, homecoming and snow days court, Knowledge Bowl, Student Council, football, track, Education Now And Babies Later program
Commencement speakers: Gaffney and Kirzeder.
Lake Region Christian School
Graduation ceremony: Was May 21 in the First Baptist Auditorium.
Class Size: 16.
Top academic graduates: Valedictorian is Cody Barringer, the son of Bernie and Cheri Barringer of Pine River. Salutatorian is Angela Button, the daughter of Doug and Vicki Button of Brainerd.
Barringer, whose GPA is 4.0, is involved in soccer, school play and choir. He plans to study linguistics with Wycliffe Bible translators in North Dakota.
Button, whose GPA is 3.98, is involved in school play and choir. She plans to attend college to major in English and have a minor in music.
Commencement speakers: Pastor Bill Hoffman, a former youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Baxter.
Graduation ceremony: 2 p.m. June 6 in the Little Falls Community High School gymnasium.
Class Size: 260.
Top academic graduates: The top 10 students are Elizabeth Brisk, Elizabeth Detering, Will Floersheim, Maari Hanson, Kayla Kluver, Ashley Sandy, Rachel Steffenson, Zach Tabatt, Amanda Thilquist and Anthony Wiseman.
Graduation ceremony: Was May 21 in the Pequot Lakes High School gymnasium.
Class Size: 99.
Top academic graduates: Valedictorians are Emma Hoglund, the daughter of Louis and Janis Hoglund of Nisswa, and Joseph Gammello, the son of James and Linda Gammello of Pequot Lakes.
Hoglund, whose GPA is 4.0, is involved in softball, jazz, pep and marching band, Central Lakes College Community Band and brass ensemble. She plans to attend Concordia College in Moorhead to major in music performance and science.
Gammello, whose GPA is 4.0, is involved in Knowledge Bowl, Student Class president, intramural broomball club, cross country, mock trial, golf, basketball, Crosswalk Bible Study, Lakewood Evangelical Free Church ministry team and was a junior counselor at Timber Bay Camp. He plans to attend Carleton College.
Commencement speakers: Larry Lightner, high school mathematics teacher.
Pierz Healy High School
Graduation ceremony: 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Pierz Healy High School gymnasium.
Class Size: 88.
Top academic graduates: Valedictorian is Ashley Athman, the daughter of David and Sharon Athman of Pierz. Salutatorian is Kristine Gruber, the son of Mark and Gwen Gruber of Pierz.
Athman, whose GPA is 3.921, is involved in volleyball, softball, basketball, dance, yearbook, National Honor Society and Students Against Drunk Driving. She plans to attend Central Lakes College to study nursing.
Gruber, whose GPA is 3.867, is the dance captain, yearbook editor, National Honor Society president, Letter Club treasurer, a peer helper and tutor and is involved in tennis, track, cross-country and band. She plans to attend Rasmussen Business College in St. Cloud for business management/office administration.
Commencement speakers: Hehman and Gruber.
Graduation ceremony: 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Pillager High School gymnasium.
Class Size: 56.
Top academic graduates: Valedictorian is Katie Rasinski, the daughter of Carey and Ray Rasinski of Lake Shore. Salutatorian is Sara Heinrich, the daughter of LeRoy and Marianne VanVickle of Pillager.
Rasinski, whose GPA is 4.0, is involved in basketball, volleyball, softball, yearbook, choir, school newspaper, Spanish Club, Letterman's Club, peer helper, church youth group, National Honor Society, Dollars for Scholars, school play and one-act play. She plans to attend the University of San Diego to major in psychology and minor in marine science.
Heinrich, whose GPA is 3.85, is involved in basketball, Student Council, theater, band, choir, soccer and yearbook. She plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth to major in psychology.
Commencement speakers: Rasinski and Heinrich.
Pine River-Backus High School
Graduation ceremony: 7 p.m. Friday at Allan Fields Memorial Athletic Field, weather permitting.
Class Size: 88.
Top academic graduates: Valedictorian is Jory Nagel, the daughter of Bill and Jane Nagel of Pine River. Salutatorian is Amanda Young, the daughter of Harlan and Pat Young of Backus.
Nagel, whose GPA is 4.037, is involved in Student Council, renaissance, Knowledge Bowl, mock trial, speech, spring musical, National Honor Society, first priority Bible study, Warehouse Advisory Board, Miss Pine River court in 2003 and Riverview Church youth group. She plans to attend the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, to major in biology and French.
Young is involved in concert and chamber choirs, Students Against Drunk Driving, National Honor Society and is the Renaissance secretary and the Student Class secretary. She plans to attend Lake Superior College in Duluth to earn a degree in nursing.
Commencement speakers: Nagel and Young.
Staples/Motley High School
Graduation ceremony: 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Staples-Motley High School gymnasium.
Class Size: 140.
Top academic graduates: Valedictorian is Britta Binek, the daughter of Paul and Char Binek of Verndale. Salutatorian is Jacob Swenson, the son of Bob and Sharon Swenson of Staples.
Binek, whose GPA is 4.25, is involved in choir, National Honor Society, orchestra, Students Against Drunk Driving, swim and track team captains, YMCA swim team, Rotary Youth Leadership Award, Minnesota Delegate for the 2003 Rural Electric Association youth tour and Special Olympics. She plans to attend the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
Swenson, whose GPA is 4.19, is involved in band, jazz band, choir, church youth group, cross-country, ENABL co-president, theater, Knowledge Bowl, Lamplighter Theater Production, National Honor Society, speech and Student Council. He plans to attend St. John's University to major in mathematics and theater.
Commencement speakers: Binek and Swenson.
Wadena-Deer Creek High School
Graduation ceremony: 8 p.m. Friday in the Wadena-Deer Creek High School gymnasium.
Class Size: 112.
Top academic graduates: The top three graduates, all with 4.0 GPAs, are Jennifer Taves, the daughter of Harry and Judy Taves of Wadena; Tegan Jo Peterson, the daughter of Christa Peterson and Randy Peterson of Wadena; and Amanda Wegscheid, the daughter of Marty and Carol Wegscheid of Bluffton.
Taves is involved in National Honor Society president, Business Professionals of America vice president and secretary, Foreign Exchange Club vice president, speech co-captain, mock trial, one-act play, school play, tennis co-captain, Knowledge Bowl, peer tutor and mentor, choir, band, Students Against Violence Everywhere, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Class of 2004 representative on the Dollars for Scholars Executive Board. She also earned a Girl Scout Gold Award and the Girl Scout Gold Award-Young Woman of Distinction, received the Hugh O'Brian Youth leadership award and was nominated for the Global Young Leaders Conference and the National Student Leadership Conference: Law and Advocacy. She plans to attend Minnesota State University, Moorhead, to major in biology with an emphasis in optometry studies.
Peterson is involved in swimming, volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis, Students Against Destructive Decisions, band, marching and jazz band, choir, pop choir, People Everywhere Promoting Student Involvement, school play, one-act play, Knowledge Bowl, yearbook, National Honor Society, speech, Business Professionals of America, Foreign Exchange Club and mock trial. She also is involved in a church youth group, church choir, soloist and band member, One Body Alive Church Service, Madhatters Story Players, Madhatters-Nunsense, Meals on Wheels, Thanksgiving Community Meal, planted trees with the Wadena Area Park Board and was Miss Wadena. She also was named to the honor roll and student of the month. She also earned the Distinct Academic achievement Award and was on the honor roll.
She plans to attend the University of Minnesota, Morris, to major in psychology and major or minor in music.
Wegscheid is involved in band, band council president, color guard, Big Budde, choir, danceline, theater, jazz band, Knowledge Bowl, Letter Winner Club, marching band, mock trial, National Honor Society, peer mentor, pop choir, speech, Students Against Destructive Decisions, tennis captain, track and field, Global Young Leaders Conference, religion education teacher and vacation bible school teacher. She also is involved in Adopt-a-grandmother, Christmas caroling, church choir and decorator, lector, mass server, Miss Wadena Pageant second princess, Meals of Wheels and Madhatter's "Sound of Music" and "Wizard of Oz".
She plans to attend the University of Minnesota, Duluth, to major in education.
Commencement speakers: Taves, Peterson and Wegscheid.
Walker-Akeley-Hackensack High School
Graduation ceremony: Was May 23.
Class Size: 70.
Top academic graduates: Named 14 seniors who will graduate with honors with distinction and are Andrew Berry, Alexandra Ellis, Andres Freeman, Samuel Frick, Luke Gustafson, Joseph Holsapple, Jessie Jerkovich, Alyssa Larson, Julia Maus, Nichole Prado, Charles Schoeck, Stephanie Shearen, Melissa Smith and Jacqueline Wallin.
Verndale High School
Graduation ceremony: 8 p.m. Friday in Ted Masog Auditorium in Verndale High School.
Class Size: 34.
Top academic graduates: Valedictorian is Amanda Edin, the daughter of Marcus and Kim Edin of Verndale. Salutatorian is Kelly Schmidt, the daughter of Virgil and Jodie Schmidt of Verndale.
Edin, whose GPA is 4.0, is involved in National Honor Society, band, choir, yearbook, volleyball, softball, Knowledge Bowl and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She earned awards for Outstanding Senior Choir Member, John Phillip Sousa and Triple "A." She plans to attend Bethel College to major in secondary mathematics education.
Schmidt, whose GPA is 3.98, is involved in volleyball, wrestling cheerleading, band, choir, ENABL, National Honor Society, FCA and student council. She has been listed on the "A" honor roll and was named student to the month three times.
Currently she is attending the technical college in Wadena as a post secondary student for cosmetology. She then plans attend a bible/Christian college to major in exercise science to become a personal trainer and to also study youth ministry. She also would like to go to a technical school to become a massage therapist.
Commencement speakers: Edin and senior Tim Horstmann
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