Lakeside Lutheran High School announced its Academic Top Ten from the Class of 2018. These individuals cumulatively earned 289.5 high school credits, an average of slightly above 28.9 credits each; 26 credits are needed to graduate. Their grade point averages range from 3.83 to 4.000—a difference of only 17/100ths of a grade point. In one case, the difference in grade point between two of the Top Ten was 1/1000th of a point. They had a 98.5% daily attendance rate and were on-time to class in excess of 99.9% of the time. Their profiles, in alphabetical order, follow:
Top 10 Kalies Birkholz, daughter of Gregg and Sheryl, is a member at Trinity in Watertown where she volunteers as a Sunday school helper. She will head to Wisconsin Lutheran College to study nursing. “My goals for the future are to start a loving family, and I want to become a nurse and help people feel better,” she says. She received the Presidential scholarship for WLC.
At Lakeside, Kalies participated in Teens For Christ, National Honor Society, track and basketball. She received the WIAA Scholar-Athlete Award and was named first team all-conference for basketball. “What I liked best about Lakeside was my experience on the basketball team. I became good friends with girls that I probably never would have if we weren’t on the same team together. Team dinners and team bonding were always fun,” she says. “Another thing I liked about Lakeside is that all the teachers know you. You’re not just a random face. They care about you and your interests and your faith.”
Top 10 Skyler Christianson, son of Jeffrey and Heidi, is a member of St. Matthew, Janesville, where he has served as an usher, church cleaner and served at both Christmas and Easter for Kids. He will attend UW-Milwaukee for a degree in Computer Engineering. “I want to work work hard to achieve success in my career, get married and have a family, and travel throughout the United States as well as internationally,” he says. He received the UWM Engineering Excellence Scholarship and Support for Undergraduate Research Fellow.
At Lakeside he participated in soccer, basketball, baseball, math team, band, percussion ensemble, A Cappella Choir, Swing Choir, National Honor Society, STEM Club, and Student Council. He received an Honorable Mention-All Conference in soccer and went to state for both Percussion Ensemble and Swing Choir. “It has been a blessing to have God’s word at the center of all my classes. My teachers really cared about me and my education. Being involved in sports and music activities let me develop friendships that will last a lifetime. It also taught me to work hard and allowed to me to have fun and enjoy success at something I love doing,” he says.
In his community, he volunteered at Twice is Nice, ECHO (Everyone Cooperating to Help Others), blood drives, Lighthouse Milwaukee, and St. Matthew Oconomowoc Live Nativity.
Top 10 Zachary Cichanofsky, son of Michael and Shelly, Watertown, will attend Waukesha County Technical College to study Diesel Equipment Technology. “Long term I would like to one day have my own truck repair shop and towing services,” he says.
During high school, he has been involved with National Honor Society and volunteered at Twice as Nice. “What I like best about my Lakeside years was all of the good memories I have made. I have enjoyed taking tech ed classes and broadening my horizon in different areas, learning how to work with different tools and pieces of equipment that I have never used before,” he says. “One final thing that I liked is having Christ-centered classes.” He is active at his home church, St. Luke, Watertown, where he helps usher, videotape, and run the projector.
Top 10 Jenna Gaal, daughter of Jeff & Jennifer, Oconomowoc, will attend UW–Madison to study elementary & special education. Through her bank, she received the Educators Credit Union Scholarship and she also received the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches Inc. Scholarship.
While at LLHS, she participated on Dance Team (senior captain), NHS (treasurer), A Cappella Choir, Swing Choir (choreographer), forensics, piano, newspaper, Operation Go mission trips, Teens for Christ, yearbook, track and field, WSMA, and helped at dance camps. She received the Christian Leadership, Dedication, and Growth Award for the 2017 fall dance season, gold and silver medals for WHSFA Forensics, State WSMA Awards, and had perfect attendance in 2014-15. She also “started the Croc trend at Lakeside,” she claims. At her home congregation, St. Matthew, she has served by playing violin for church, helping with Sunday School, and the live nativity. She also worked at Camp B.A.S.I.C. and gave studio dance lessons. “I love how Lakeside has so many considerate teachers who are passionate about their job. I also love how there is so much to get involved in, where close bonds are created all while doing something that’s enjoyable. Those Christian friendships are something that will not be taken for granted as I venture off to a public university 100 times the size of Lakeside,” she says.
Top 10 Emma Guld, daughter of John and Nicole, is a member at St. Paul in Lake Mills. While at Lakeside, she participated in STEM Club, forensics, drama, Teens For Christ, cross-country, basketball, student council, NHS, and Badger Girls State. “I love all the people I have met, and all of the great teachers,” she says. “A Cappella choir and Calculus class both somehow make everyday a little brighter.”
In the fall she will attend Wisconsin Lutheran College to study biology (pre-med). She received the WLC Presidential Scholarship. “I want to go to college, med-school, and then work as a dermatologist,” she says.
Valedictorian Kelly Koch, daughter of Tim and Rebecca, is a member at Trinity Lutheran Church, Watertown. She will head to UW–Madison for undergraduate biology, and then a graduate in Physician Assistant Studies.
At Lakeside, Kelly participated in Volleyball, Softball, Basketball. Math Team, as a Milwaukee Lighthouse Volunteer, Twice is Nice Volunteer. National Honor Society, Teens for Christ, and youth volleyball camps. In the community, she participated in Night to Shine and Soles for Jesus, as well as a Music and Memory Program at Sylvan Crossings. At her church, she helped with their Fall Festival, Easter for Kids, and Live Nativity. She also played club volleyball and softball. “I enjoyed making so many new friends and having an awesome Christian education,” she says. “I also loved playing on the different sports teams. It was also really amazing to win State for volleyball this past fall.”
The April Student Rotarian in Lake Mills, she also received Watertown Regional Medical Center Medical Staff Scholarship. In addition to her career, she “also would love to travel around the world and help out in my community with various activities.”
Valedictorian James Neuberger, son of Dan and Dawn, Lake Mills, will attend Wisconsin Lutheran College to study Biochemistry enroute to becoming a pharmacist. “One of my main goals is to find a way to make more practical drugs that people can use to help with everyday problems, while also looking for a way to use drugs and bacteriophages to combat terminal illnesses or prevent illnesses from taking a foothold in the human body.”
A National Merit Commendable Student, Neuberger received the Academic Excellence Scholarship, WLC Presidential Scholarship, WLC General Endowment Scholarship Fund, Partners in Christian Education Scholarship, Herb Kohl Excellence Scholarship, Robert Muehrcke Foundation Scholar Athlete Award, Fort Healthcare Handeyside Memorial Scholarship, Lake Mills Rotary Club Scholarship, Optimist Leadership Recipient.
While at Lakeside, he participated in cross country, basketball, soccer, and track, where he was a sectional qualifier and was on second team all-conference. He was a Badger Boys State Representative, Lake Mills Junior Rotarian, and a member of the National Honor Society. He also participated on the math team and served as a captain, academic bowl team, Teens for Christ, STEM Club, Drama and A Cappella Choir. He also had perfect attendance all four years.
In the community, he volunteered at St. Vincent DePaul, Twice is Nice, Relay for Life, Police Department Night Out Against Crime, Lake Mills Rotary Soccer Concessions, and Milwaukee Lighthouse Youth Center. At his church, St. Paul Lutheran, he helped with vacation Bible school and Advent, Lent, and Easter meals. “What I liked best about my years at Lakeside was being able to form bonds that go beyond the term of friends, as I see many of my fellow classmates as more like family to me,” he says. “It’s incredible to have the trust we have in each other and the support that we all look to provide. I never felt like I was truly alone in anything because I knew I always had my friends and teachers to back me in my endeavors.”
Salutatorian Sarah Taylor Evert, daughter of Dave and Jennie, Beaver Dam, will attend Martin Luther College for a degree in Elementary Education. “My major goal for the future is to become an elementary school teacher.” she says. From MLC, she received the Messenger scholarship. She was also awarded the Richard and Phyllis Frederick Scholarship from the Beaver Dam Scholarship Foundation.
A member of St. Stephen’s Beaver Dam, Sarah participated in Yearbook, Handbells and sang in her church choir. “Lakeside is a great school that has encouraged me to grow in my faith. The environment of the school and the friends that I have made helped make the past two years an amazing time and continue to encourage me as I grow.”
Top 10 Morgan Thiele, is the daughter of Dan and Teresa, Poynette. She has been accepted into the Honors College and Nurse Scholars Program at UW-Oshkosh, where she will study nursing and become a nurse practitioner or midwife.
A member at Holy Cross Lutheran in Madison, Thiele participated in National Honors Society, Teens for Christ, Forensics, STEM Club, volleyball, and track. “The last four years have been a blessing. Surrounded by Christian friends, I have built friendships that will last a lifetime. I have really appreciated knowing my teachers on a personal level and learning from them every day,” she says.
Top 10 Matthias Winters, son of Jim and Kimara, Watertown, will head to Milwaukee School of Engineering for an Industrial Engineering degree. Accepted into MSOE University Scholars Honors Program. After college, his goal “first and foremost, is to have a family,” he says. “Other goals are being an Army officer and graduating college with high honors.” Winters is the recipient of a National Army ROTC Scholarship, and he received the MSOE Academic Merit Scholarship, the Destination MSOE scholarship, MSOE Summer Programs Scholarship, and the Watertown Conservation Scholarship.
At Lakeside, Winters participated in band, choir, math team, football, NHS, piano, STEM Club, student council, and track. He received three outstanding musician awards, two second team all-conference awards in football and the WIAA Scholar-Athlete Award. At his church, St. Luke, he ushers and plays in the church band and on the softball team, “My single favorite extracurricular at Lakeside would be football,” he says. “However, I enjoyed being involved in so many different activities at the same time. It was great getting to get to know—on a more personal level—so many different types of people.”