• Last modified 2936 days ago (May 12, 2011)


GHS top grads

College plans are close to home

Staff writer

One-fourth of the 2011 class of Goessel High School is set to graduate with a 4.0 grade point average.

Neal Brubaker, Kendra Flaming, Hannah Franzen, Raney Schroeder, and Michelle Unruh will be co-valedictorians at commencement, 7 p.m. Saturday in the high school gymnasium.

One of the group will present the welcome speech, two will present a memories speech, and the remaining two will give the farewell address.

All five have attended school in Goessel since kindergarten, as they estimate 85 percent of their class has. That closeness leads to a family-like atmosphere, both within the class and with teachers.

“All of the teachers would do whatever it takes for every student to succeed,” Flaming said May 3. “You don’t want to let them down.”

Franzen and Unruh agreed. They said the teachers know and care about the students beyond their duty as teachers.

“I really liked the small community that’s been so supportive,” Unruh said.

Almost all school events, and not just sports, are in front of packed crowds, she said.

All five valedictorians will attend college within 100 miles of Goessel. They shared their college plans and what they hope to tell their classmates in 10 years.

Neal Brubaker

Brubaker will attend Hesston College in Hesston. He said he may study business, although he hasn’t decided for certain.

“It seemed like a good fit overall,” he said.

Brubaker said Hesston College matched what he was looking for in academics, atmosphere, professors, and affordability.

He said he would measure his success by his satisfaction with his career.

“I want to tell them I enjoy what I do, even if it’s not making lots of money,” Brubaker said of what he wants to tell classmates at their 10-year reunion.

Kendra Flaming

Flaming will attend Tabor College in Hillsboro. She wants to study to be a school counselor, but is worried about job prospects because of the state and schools’ budget crisis.

She will also play basketball for Tabor. Flaming said the school and team are a good match for her. The school isn’t too big, and she likes the professors she has met.

She said she’ll miss her GHS classmates.

“I think I’ll really appreciate my class, how close we’ve been over the years,” Flaming said. “We’re like a family.”

What would Flaming like to be able to tell her classmates at their 10-year reunion?

“Hopefully that I have a big, happy family” with an enjoyable career, she said.

Hannah Franzen

Franzen will attend Kansas State University, but she hasn’t decided on a path of study. She said she is considering accounting, psychology, and education.

She said university leaders she spoke with were sincerely friendly and interested in her as a person, and that helped her make the decision to attend Kansas State.

Her lasting memories of school in Goessel will include how well-run the school and events are. She said she got a look behind the scenes as a student aide to the activities director.

In 10 years, when she catches up with her classmates about the intervening years, “I’d like to say I’ve made a difference in whatever of the 800 career choices I take.”

Raney Schroeder

Schroeder will major in fine arts, focusing on painting and drawing, and business at Newman University in Wichita.

“Also, I’m hoping to learn a little about graphic design and possibly enter that field,” she said. “I chose these majors because I know that I want to do something with art in my life. However, with the way the economy is, I doubt fine arts alone will get me a good job.”

Schroeder said the thing she will remember most about Goessel is hanging out with friends, particularly her classmates.

“Since we’re such a small class, most of us have grown super close, especially this year,” she said. “I am going to walk across the stage with 20 of the best friends you could ask for.”

In 20 years, she said she would like to be able to tell her classmates she has traveled the length and breadth of the world.

“After college I want to go on a trip across a whole bunch of countries, then settle back down in a nice house in either a small town or the country and have a family,” she said. “Also, I want to be able to say that I continued to work on art through my life.”

Michelle Unruh

“I’ll be attending Bethel College and (will) major in music education,” Unruh said.

Bethel College has a good music education program, she said.

“They have some really good professors that I know I’ll learn a lot from,” Unruh said.

She plans to earn teaching certification for all grade levels, which will give her more job opportunities upon graduating from college.

“I would definitely want to be in a small school,” she said.

In 10 years, Unruh wants to be able to tell her classmates “that I have been successful and had fun doing what I’ve been doing.”

Last modified May 12, 2011