County grads receive diplomas

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Lindsay Lee Baldus was the first to graduate from the 2001 classes of Mower County.

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Lindsay Lee Baldus was the first to graduate from the 2001 classes of Mower County.

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The Grand Meadow High School senior accepted her diploma Friday night shortly before Joseph Robert Adamson received his high school diploma at the Lyle Public Schools commencement.

Twenty-four seniors graduated from the Grand Meadow class of 2001. Another 20 seniors completed their secondary education at Lyle High School.

The Grand Meadow and Lyle commencements are the first of the spring among Mower County high schools.

On Sunday, 51 seniors collected diplomas at Southland High School’s commencement exercises and 34 more from LeRoy-Ostrander High School that day.

All told, 129 young men and women completed their 13-year-long education with commencements last weekend.

GM class of 2001

Bruce Klaehn, superintendent of Grand Meadow Public Schools, praised the GMHS class of 2001.

"Graduates, you have earned this night and this moment. I am so happy for you," Klaehn said.

Dillon Denisen, valedictorian, quoted his grandmother in delivering an address to his classmates.

"Take one day at a time, make good use of your God-given talents, make smart decisions and enjoy life to the fullest" was the valedictorian’s message to his classmates.

Adrienne Sween’s salutatorian address was the shortest on record and completed so quickly audience members asked each other what she said.

Janet Moe, vocal music director, was the senior class’ choice for commencement speaker, said the "Golden Rule" was as good as any advice she could give graduating high school seniors.

She challenged the graduates to remember "Life’s lessons will either make you better or bitter."

A trio of student speakers – Lindsay Baldus, Lindsay Leichtman and Adam Turgeon – gazed into the crystal ball and imagined where each of their classmates will be in the future.

Then it was time for scholarships by Principal David Stadum and representatives of organizations, businesses and families.

The coveted diplomas awarded by Gary Vogt, president of the Grand Meadow Board of Education and afterward handshakes and hugs of congratulations.

The GMHS class of 2001 includes Lindsay Lee Baldus, Maria Rose Batt, Michael William Batt, Amy Elizabeth Bell, Thomas Gerald Brogan, Jason Everett Bryan, Amy Sue Buschmann, Matthew Lucas Craft, Dillon Carter Denisen, Chad Alan Haskin, Matthew John Iverson, April Marie Jensen, Matthew Brian Johnson, Dianna Irene Jones, Christopher Kurt Kiehne, Corey Alan Knutson, Lindsay Letha Leichtman, Jason Joseph Lozenski, Christopher Adam Ringen, Brett Matthew Rubin, Annie Mae Steinkamp, Kimberly Jean Stier, Adrienne Elizabeth Sween and Adam Gregory Turgeon.

Lyle class of 2001

The Lyle High School class of 2001 will be remembered, in part, as the first senior class to walk across the new gymnasium floor to receive their diplomas.

Other changes to be noted was Benjamin Johnson, vocal music director, providing special music, while Rachel Hudson, instrumental music director, "coached" him.

Cory Ransom, co-salutatorian, welcomed guests Friday night. Jenna Bauman, class president and co-salutatorian, also spoke to the crowd.

Philip Halbach, valedictorian, was a featured commencement speaker.

Thomas Hiebert, principal, announced academic awards and scholarships, while Jerry Reshetar, superintendent, announced special recognition.

Linda Wendorf, retiring head cook for the school district, was honored after 23 years of employment with the school district.

Scott Wendt, chairman of the Lyle Board of Education, presented the seniors with their diplomas.

The Lyle High School class of 2001 included Joseph Robert Adamson, Crystal Ann Allen, Kasandra Lynn Baldner, Jenna Kristine Baumann, Michelle Lyn DeBoer, Jeremy James Farrell, Daniel Dean Frank, Daniel David Greibrok, Philip Anthony Halbach, Jeremiah John Hansen, Cole Marcus Hastings, Brian Wayne Helle, Jared Brett Koopal, Julie Ann May, Andrew David Nelson, Cory Allen Ransom, Jonathan Robert Silbaugh, Sky Eugene Thompson, Tanya Marie Townsley, Joseph Alan Wilde.

Southland class of 2001

By now, it has become a tradition at Southland High School commencement exercises.

Superintendent Larry Tompkins always invites the graduates to come back to school.

It is part of the Southland school district’s philosophy that the relationship built after 13 years of education does not end with the presentation of a high school diploma.

"We’ll always be here for you," Tomkins told the Southland class of 2001 at Sunday afternoon commencement exercises.

Sophia Rose Smith, senior class president, welcomed guests to commencement exercises and quoted Dr. Seuss. She also referred to the renowned children’s author in making her senior class address.

Jill Landherr, one of the graduating class’ highest honors (3.80 GPA or above) students, praised school administration, faculty, coaches and support staff for their efforts on behalf of all students at Southland schools.

She singled out her own family for special praise, saying they play the "largest role in my life" and announcing to them, "I love you."

To underclassmen, Landherr advised, "Cherish the years you have at left at Southland and take nothing for granted."

Principal Larry Croker announced scholarship awards along with representatives of individual organizations and families.

Tomkpins presented the Gerald L. Wellik scholarship to Julie Voigt.

School board Vice President Bruce Nelsen and school board director Sue Finbraaten presented diplomas before graduate Julie Voigt gave the benediction, ending the ceremonies, but beginning a new chapter in 50 seniors’ lives.

The Southland class of 2001 includes Jesse David Anderson, Leslie Anne Anderson, Nicole Ann Blake, Jason Ronald Boe, Angela Carol Boley, Amanda Ann Bottema, Rebecca Sue Churchill, Nicholas Shane Crouch, Matthew Richard Decker, Kristina Elizabeth Drees, Mark Edward Dreyer, Joshua Allen Eischens, Chad Nichols Felten, Sean Padraic Flaherty, Bryan Gerber, Justin Lee Gerber, Ellen Elizabeth Gilbert, Jake Lee Goodale, Gregory Paul Harrison, Lindsey Rebecca Hartwig, Amanda Lynn Hemann, Adam Michael Huntley, Gregory Mark Huntley, Daniel Ryan Johnson, Joshua Benjamin Jordan, Derek Dean Kiefer, Ryan Lynn Kiefer, Ashley Rose Krebsbach, Jesse Richard Krull, Kathryn Rose Lammers, Jill JoAnn Landherr, Mary Patricia Landherr, Mary Loray Manning, Mark Stephen Mauer, Carmen Jolene May, RoseAnn Marie Mead, Jonathan Joseph Mucha, Patrick Ellis Nelsen, Michele Marie Neuvirth, Dustin Anthony Newkirk, Andrea Lynn O’Connell, Todd Robert Osmundson, Hailey Beth Schmitz, Patrick John Schneider, Benjamin David Smith, Sophia Rose Smith, April Marie Voigt, Tammy Mae Wachlin, Heidi Marie Williams, Amber Lynn Wilson.

L-O class of 2001

High school graduation is a special time for every graduate and their family.

Sunday’s LeRoy-Ostrander High School commencement was extra-special for one graduate.

Bradley Curt Bergan saw his father, Stanley Bergan, in the audience. The father is stationed in Croatia with the United Nations peacekeeping mission. The Minnesota Army National Guard soldier was called up to active duty in March for a yearlong tour of duty overseas, but obtained leave to come home and see his son graduate high school. On Sunday, he commanded LeRoy American Legion Post No. 161 in annual Memorial Day activities.

But Sunday afternoon, Brad Bergan’s biggest thrill may have been seeing his mother Sharon and his father Stan sitting in the audience at his high school commencement.

Sunday’s commencement was the first for Arnold Prince, the new superintendent, who replaced John Varner at the helm of the district.

Principal Alan Hanson participated in his first and last commencement. He has resigned and been replaced by Steve Bongers.

Kaela Bucknell, valedictorian, and Ben Reburn, salutatorian, addressed the commencement audience.

Scholarships and other awards were presented and Leslie Johnson, school board member, distributed diplomas, including one to her daughter, Holly Lynn.

It’s always a special "touch" to a commencement when a teacher watches a son or daughter graduate. Among the LOHS grads this year was such a combination: teacher Gerald Utz and senior Patrick Marc Utz.

The LOHS class of 2001 included: Bradley Curt Bergan, Daniel Edward Bucknell, Kaela Rae Bucknell, Brent Richard Dohlman, Matthew Douglas Ferguson, Nathan Neil Frazer, Charles Allen Hammon, Katie Jeanne Hanson, Ashley Marie Hendrickson, Lukas Dean Hendrickson, Joseph Michael Hovde, Holly Lynn Johnson, Desiree Lynn Julian, Vanessa Nylette Koch, Eric Paul Kottschade, Amanda Marie Linderman, Kirby Lee Losee, Lindsay Rae Mensink, Andrew Robert Miller, Jodi Marie Miller, Michelle Margaret Mills, Jennifer Marie Morris, Jessica Marie Nagel, Adam Joseph Payne, Brigette Lee Pittelko, Benjamin Brooks Reburn, Holly Ann Roher, Jamie Lee Rowe, Sarah Ann Scheevel, Eric John Schraeder, Patrick Mark Utz, Brandon Derek Vreeman, Jacob Earl Wilder, Andrea Lynn Winfield.

Call Lee Bonorden at 434-2232 or e-mail him at