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lifestyles Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Brainerd High School

Commencement Ceremony: 7 p.m. June 2 on Don Adamson field (weather permitting).

Number of graduating class: 509.

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Class flower: Orchid.

Class motto: “Within our reach lies every path we ever dream of taking. Within our power lies every step we ever dream of making. With our range lies every joy we ever dream of seeing. Within ourselves lies every dream we ever dream of being.”

Valedictorian: Christopher Sausen.

Parents: John and Janel Sausen.

Activities: Hockey, baseball, Key Club, Edge Core, National Honor Society.

Future plans: Attend the University of Notre Dame, majoring in biochemistry.

Salutatorian: Kush Patel.

Parents: Rasilla and Dilip Patel.

Activities: Knowledge Bowl, Spanish Club, Youth as Resources, homecoming candidate, National Honor Society.

Future plans: Attend the University of Minnesota, majoring in pharmacy.

Aitkin High School

Commencement Ceremony: 8 p.m. June 3 in Aitkin High School new gymnasium.

Number of graduating class: 95.

Class motto: “Together we experience life, separately we will pursue our dreams and forever our memories will remain.”

Class song: “Good Riddance” by Green Day.

Valedictorian: Megan Mary Rubbelke.

Parents: Amy Wyant and Jake Jaskowiak; and Bob and Robin Rubbelke.

Activities: Student Council, tennis, band, choir, Business Professional of America, jazz band, pep band, marching band, Peer Helpers, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Madrigals.

Future plans: Attend University of Minnesota-Twin Cities College of Science and Engineering and College of Liberal Arts to study mathematics; and linguistics and foreign languages with an emphasis on classical languages and literature.

Salutatorian: Christopher Douglas Hughes.

Parents: Don and Cathy Hughes.

Future plans: Attend College of St. Scholastica in Duluth to major in pre-med.

Activities: Football, golf, Peer Helpers, National Honor Society, class officer and Students Against Destructive Decisions.

Crosby-Ironton High School

Commencement Ceremony: 7 p.m. May 20 at Crosby-Ironton High School gymnasium.

Number of graduating class: 103.

Class flower: Venus Fly Trap.

Class motto: “We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere,” Tim McGraw.

Class song: “Firework” by Katy Perry.

Valedictorian: Laura Lomax.

Parents: Kevin and Linda Lomax.

Future plans: Attend University of University, Morris to pursue a degree in economics and management.

Salutatorian: Reba DeCent.

Parents: Kevin and Sue DeCent.

Future plans: Attend Brigham Young University, Idaho to major in accounting.

Pierz Healy High School

Commencement Ceremony: 7 p.m. June 3 in the Healy High School MAC.

Number of graduating class: 81.

Class flower: Red lily.

Class motto: “Each of us has different talents, different dreams and different destinations, but we all have the same power to make a new tomorrow.”

Class song: “Here’s to the Nights” by Eve 6.

Valedictorian: Katie MacDonell.

Parents: Todd and Linda MacDonell.

Future plans: Attend Northwestern College to study business and theater.

Activities: National Honor Society, choir, band, volleyball, Peer Helping, Pierz Area Coalition Theater, Where Eveyone Belongs, art club, Youth Leadership Academy and Knowledge Bowl. 

Salutatorian: Kimberly Block.

Parents: Kevin and Kathy Block.

Future plans: Attend North Dakota State University to study pharmacy.

Activities: Volleyball, National Honor Society, Peer Helping, jazz choir, honor’s choir and solo ensemble.

Little Falls Community High School

Commencement Ceremony: 2 p.m. May 29 in Little Falls Community High School gymnasium.

Number of graduating class: 154.

Class motto: “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” T.S. Eliot.

Class song: “Time of Your Life” by Green Day.

Top student: Breanna Arndt.

Parents: Bev and Gery Arndt.

Activities: Volleyball, gymnastics, student council, Link Crew, Target, Economics Challenge, National Honor Society.

Future plans: Attend the University of St. Thomas, go to medical school, work with Doctors Without Borders.

Top student: Bradley Chatfield.

Parents: Tom Chatfield and Joelle Chatfield.

Activities: Student council, Healthy Communities Collaborative Youth Committee, Economics Challenge, high school production of “The Music Man.”

Future plans: Attend St. John’s University, majoring in biology and a possible future career in the medical field.

Top student: Marissa Deml.

Parents: Tom and Amy Deml.

Activities: Swimming, speech, concert choir, musicals, One Act Play, Key Club.

Future plans: Attend St. Ben’s for English writing or linguistics.

Top student: Richard DeVine.

Parents: Jacki and Kurt DeVine .

Activities: Cross country, track, Nordic skiing, “The Music Man” (school musical), Economics Challenge, Personal Finance Decathalon.

Future plans: Attend St. John’s University.

Top student: Golden Fisk.

Parents: Larry Fisk and Gayle Nielsen.

Activities: Plays cello and piano in two local orchestras based out of St. Francis Music Center. Teaches dance and music there also.

Future plans: Attending Central Lakes College, majoring in nursing. Plans to eventually study psychiatrics. 

Top student: Sam Klinker.

Parents: Ron and Mary Klinker.

Activities: Football, golf, hockey, math league, Target, National Honors Society.

Future plans: Attend St. John’s University and major in chemistry or physics.

Top student: Joshua Korver.

Parents: Craig and Diane Korver.

Activities: Speech, band, Jazz I, Jazz Combo, concert choir, Key Club, Drama Club, Economics Challenge, Personal Finance Decathalon, National Honor Society.

Future plans: Attend St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona.

Top student: Alyssa Spillum.

Parents: Stacy and Jason Spillum.

Activities: Basketball, Key Club, swimming, band, track, musical, jazz band.

Future plans: Attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Top student: Joseph Tuholsky-Schneider.

Parents: Susan Tuholsky and Ron Yasgar; Mark Schneider and Amy Schneider.

Activities: Football, wrestling, baseball, Target, Link Crew leader, Flyer Athletic Leadership Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society.

Future plans: Attend Bethany Lutheran College and study pre-engineering.

Top student: Cierra Marie Vagle. 

Parents: Justine Vagle and Stephen Vagle.

Activities: President of Drama Club, speech, One Act, Concert Choir Jubileers, female lead of Marian in “The Music Man.”

Future plans: Attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison and major in business with a minor in economics.

Pequot Lakes High School

Commencement Ceremony: 7 p.m. May 27 in the Pequot Lakes High School gymnasium.

Number of graduating class: 111.

Class flower: Day lily.

Class motto: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the one who’ll decide where to go.” Dr. Seuss.

Class song: “Swing Life Away” by Rise Against.

Valedictorian: Catie Burkhead.

Parents: Jeannie Burkhead.

Activities: FFA, pep club, Midwest Art League, Relay for Life, Quilts for Kids, Kinship Partners, Sunday School teaching assistant, member of church’s Hospitality Team.

Future plans: Attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, majoring in wildlife ecology.

Valedictorian: Natasha Gallett. 

Parents: Raymond and Maxine Gallett.

Activities: 4-H, speech, Crosslake Lutheran Church youth group, Knowledge Bowl, SADD, National Honor Society, Art club.

Future plans: Attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities majoring in neuroscience.

Valedictorian: Taylor White.

Parents: Steve and Julie White.

Activities: Student council, National Honor Society, youth group, varsity dance team, Fall Dance Club, Studio Ballet, mission trips.

Future plans: Attend dental school.

Staples-Motley High School

Commencement Ceremony: 7:30 p.m. May 27 in high school gym.

Number of graduating class: 102.

Class flower: Sunflower.

Class motto: “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened,” Dr. Seuss.

Class song: “I Gotta Feelin’” by Black Eyed Peas.

Valedictorian: TBA.

Salutatorian: TBA.

Pillager High School

Commencement Ceremony: 7 p.m. May 27 in Pillager High School gymnasium.

Number of graduating class: 60.

Class flower: Tiger lily.

Class motto: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw.

Class song: “Time of Your Life” by Green Day.

Top student: Emily Doss.

Parents: Scott and Betty Doss.

Future plans: Attend Bemidji State and become a pediatric oncologist.

Top student: Danielle Johnson.

Parents: Dan and Lori Johnson.

Future plans: Attend Concordia College, Moorhead.

Top student: Shauna Maurer.

Parents: Julie Kuchinski and Kevin Maurer.

Future plans: Attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth and major in biology/Spanish/pre-med.

Top student: Kayla Rardin.

Parents: John and Karen Rardin.

Future plans: Attend Minnesota State University-Mankato and major in pre-physical therapy.

Top student: Megan Tank.

Parents: Gary and Gina Tank.

Future plans: Attend Moorhead State University and major in education.

Pine River High School

Commencement Ceremony: 7 p.m. May 27 in the Performance Gym.

Number of graduating class: 82.

Class flower: Gladiolus.

Class motto: “Do not go where there the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Class song: “Never Forget Yesterday” by Adam Barstow and Parker Williams.

Valedictorian: Caitlin Daudt.

Parents: Michael Daudt and Sandre Strausser.

Activities: Knowledge Bowl, cross country manager, H.S. Musical, National Honor Society, Interact, Teens Leading The Way, track, chamber choir, band, jazz band, choir, youth group.

Future plans: Attend University of Wisconsin-Superior and major in biology to become an ethologist.

Salutatorian: Hannah Lemberg.

Parents: Joel and Cheri Lemberg.

Activities: Basketball, National Honor Society, student council, Teens Leading The Way, Football Stats.

Future plans: Attend St. Mary’s University-Minnesota.

Wadena-Deer Creek High School

Commencement Ceremony: 7 p.m. May 27 at Wadena Elementary gymnasium.

Number of graduating class: 86.

Class flower: Yellow rose.

Class motto: “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it’s happened,” Dr. Seuss.

Top student: Rachel Craig.

Parents: Marian and Michael Craig.

Activities: Lettered in basketball for four years, track and volleyball for three years, choir, peer mentor, Big Buddy and National Honor Society.

Future plans: Attend Bemidji State University, major in accounting and play volleyball.

Top student: Bryan Silvers.

Parents: Joe and Michelle Silvers.

Activities: Lettered in basketball in 11th and 12th grade; lettered in golf ninth through 12th grade; named Mid-Minnesota All-Conference in golf in 11th grade; and advanced to state Business Professionals of America in ninth-12th grades.

Future plans: Attend North Dakota State University for engineering.

Top student: Keeley Timm.

Parents: Tom and Jana Timm.

Activities: School, church and community activities.

Future plans: Attend the College of Saint Benedict and do a pre-physical therapy major with a minor in sports medicine.

Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School

Commencement Ceremony: 2 p.m. May 29 in high school gymnasium.

Number of graduating class: 67.

Class flower: White rose.

Class motto: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Class song: “Ooh La La” by The Faces.

Valedictorian: School does not announce.

Salutatorian: School does not announce.

Lake Region Christian School

Commencement Ceremony: 7 p.m. May 27 at Lake Region Christian School.

Number of graduating class: 5.

Valedictorian: Kaylee Carl.

Parents: Edward and Ranae Carl.

Activities: Volleyball, hand chimes and choir.

Future plans: Attend Florida Christian College and then attend a university in Florida to become a music teacher or music composer.

Salutatorian: Kelsey Grider.

Parents: Thaddeaus and Jenny Grider.

Activities: Volleyball, basketball and choir.

Future plans: Attend Faith Baptist Bible College in Iowa, majoring in a literary career.

Brainerd Area Education Center

Commencement Ceremony: 1 p.m. June 3 at the ISD 181 Learning Center.

Number of graduating class: About 40.

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