BEA seniors have excelled in many areas
Never has there been a class at Blue Earth Area High School with as many students ending their academic careers with a grade point average of 4.0 or higher. A total of 10 students will graduate Sunday with high honors.
“All will be fully capable of doing something special during their careers,” science teacher Travis Armstrong says. “These are the type of students that make great doctors and engineers. I can guarantee they will have a positive impact on society.”
Lindsey Ankeny, Connor Hanson, Charlotte Haugh, Hans Kittleson, Maddie McDonald, Collin Nienhaus, Daniel Plocker, LaNay Walker, Aaron Wilhelmi and Wade Wilhelmi make up the 10 students finishing with a GPA of 4.0 or above.
To honor their accomplishments in the classroom, each of the 10 high honor students will speak at the graduation ceremony. Every speaker will pick a letter from the word Buccaneers and describe what each stands for. For example the letter ‘C’ will stand for character. The speeches will run one minute in length, but will give every student graduating with high honors an opportunity to speak at commencement.
Armstrong notes that each of the high honor students speaking has a strong intrinsic motivation to learn and points to many of them taking his anatomy class as an example.
“Each one of these students has an inquisitive mind and wants to know how things work,” Armstrong says. “They would not shy away from classes that may potentially hurt their GPA, instead they wanted to become better students.”
Teachers in other subject matters echoed similar comments.
English teacher Rita Vondracek knew when this group was sophomores, they would be a special class.
“In sophomore English, this group of students would come up and say, ‘can’t we just read today,” Vondracek says. “The fact they were eager to read indicated a desire to learn.”
Math teacher Tom Plocker saw this desire to learn from multiple angles as both a father of a high honor student and as an instructor.
“The science fair in fifth grade was an excellent precursor to what these kids would one day accomplish,” Plocker says.
Having a special connection with this group of students has given Plocker a front row seat to all of their accomplishments.
“This is a high quality class in many aspects beyond academics,”?Plocker says. “They have also been successful in athletics, music and academic teams.”
Social Studies teacher Bob Bartscher also acknowledges this group’s ability to excel in many activities.
“These kids didn’t live solely for academics, they were involved in so much more, which heightened the importance of organization,” Bartscher says. “Organization is the key to success and this group did a great job of always being up to speed on assignments. None of them are procrastinators.”
Bartscher also lauded the support system of the 10 high honor students.
“All come from solid families that are so supportive of their achievements,” Bartscher adds.
It’s important to note, that members of this class outside of the 10 being named high honors should also be recognized.
“This class had incredible depth,” Plocker says. “Everyone of the students graduating has contributed in one way or another.
As the class of 2011 leaves the hallways of Blue Earth Area High School Sunday, they will leave in their trail a legacy of excellence.
“We are going to miss them,” Bartscher says. “They were always so upbeat and positive, you would never leave school dragging.”