Students need support through journey to honor grad


photo or infographic by Stephanie Hodgins

WE BLEED PURPLE. During the honor grad announcements the LGI was full of a see of purple to show support of the Wildkats that we have lost this year.

Support – that is what has carried many of the top 15% through the past four years of high school. Whether it came from parents, a teacher or friends, support was a key element to success. 

And after putting in hard work and doing their best in their academic career, 90 students, clad in purple in support of a senior who passed away the previous week, were officially named the Honor Grads on Monday, May 9th. During the announcements, several students discovered that their rank had changed from the beginning of the school year.

“I had no idea I’d move up to number two,” senior Misael de los Reyes said. “I was pretty satisfied being ranked 3rd, but moving up one spot was still a welcomed surprise. Honestly, I’m pretty nervous about speaking at graduation. I hope I don’t stutter too much. I currently have no plans regarding my speech, but am hoping it inspires my fellow graduates as they move on to the next phase of their life.”

Teachers play a big role in helping students through their high school career and motivating them to be the best versions of themselves so that they can be an Honor Graduate.

“I feel super blessed to have had such amazing teachers who always wanted me to succeed and pushed me to be the best I could be,” senior Kendall Cobb said. “They always pushed me to be the best by helping me achieve my goal of graduating in the top 5%.”

Many students were on the edge of their seats while college and career counselor, Mrs. Neumann, was announcing the walking rank, waiting to see if they accomplished their goals. The informal ceremony started with number 90, the last student to earn a honor grad article and ended with the announcement of the valedictorian senior Brenan Mansker. Some of the top 10 places moved around this last semester. 

“I was excited to finally beat Lindsey Pipes because we have always been back and forth with our rank,” senior Jake Nemetz said. “I was surprised when Mrs. Neumann called my name and I was officially higher than Lindsey.”

Friends are also a vital part of high school and they support each other through the difficult classes, pushing each other to do their homework.

“My friends made my high school experience so much better,” senior Autumn Caka said. “They supported me through some really tough times in and out of school. I was really proud of myself when I found out my rank was relatively high for skipping a grade.”

When things get tough and students lose motivation, and their parents step in and support them throughout the struggles that they face.

“My parents always helped me with anything I needed for projects or reading an essay,” senior Piper Neumann said. “They were no doubt my biggest supporters as they studied with me and showed up to each of my volleyball games to cheer me on in the classroom and the court.”

Student’s drive is also a big part of getting good grades. Studying and paying attention in class can be hard for some students so they have to motivate themselves to participate.

“Being in the top 15% is probably one of my biggest high school achievements because school isn’t as easy for me as it is for others,” senior Ava Semler said. “I pushed myself this year more than I ever have, and I’m very excited to graduate with Cum Laude.”

After four years of working hard on grades, the Honor Grad announcements are a moment in senior year where students get to see how much their work really paid off.

“I was so surprised by being in the top ten people, I just didn’t think I would move up that much at all but there I was at number ten,” senior Jack Wiebe said. “I had been number 17 the last time I had checked, and as they got down to the top 20 I was thinking that my name would be called each time. Each time a number was called, my name wasn’t. Then when we got to 11 and I hadn’t heard my name, I freaked out, something I had been working towards for four years finally came to fruition.”