Preparing for graduation

Seniors Anna Dressman, Andrew Dial and Max Neitzke have an extra task ahead of them on graduation day


Photo by Jeen Endris

2023 Valedictorian and Co-Salutatorian, Anna Dressman, Andrew Dial and Max Neitzke were recognized for their academic achievement during all school mass February 22. Each senior will give a speech at graduation

     The 2023 Valedictorian Anna Dressman and Co-Salutatorians Andrew Dial and Max Neitzke will be addressing their classmates on graduation day.

     The process for writing the speech for the three was a cycle of writing, editing, and reviewing. They were given basic guidelines for their speeches the day after being announced as the valedictorian and salutatorian. They then had about a month to write a rough draft and then meet with Mrs. Beth Reel, assistant principal for academic affairs, to read the drafts out loud and provide feedback to one another.

     Dressman plans on majoring in biochemistry at Purdue next year. Her favorite teacher is physics teacher Mr. Ben Grimes.

     “You can really tell that he is passionate about teaching and loves coming to his job everyday. My life certainly wouldn’t be as interesting if it weren’t for Mr. Grimes’ funny Christmas stories, Star Wars paraphernalia, made up languages, and bed of nails,” Dressman said.

     Dial plans to attend Butler University and pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and go into clinical pharmacy. His favorite teacher is Mrs. Sarah Rose.

      “Chemistry has always been one of my favorite subjects and she made the class enjoyable while also helping me understand very complicated subjects,” Dial said.

     Speaking in front of both the class of 2023 and several thousand people at graduation takes much preparation.

     “Writing the speech, I thought for a while about what I wanted to make my speech about,” Dial said. “ I wanted a theme or idea that could carry with the seniors beyond high school. I also spent a lot of time trying to find quotes that would fit with my speech.”

     Neitzke plans on studying chemical engineering at Purdue University. Neitzke also connected most closely with his physics teacher because of their complementary attitudes and extensive time spent together.

      “I have been able to make such a deep connection with Mr. Grimes because I spend so much time with him. For example, I have two AP physics classes in addition to two hours of robotics a day, during which I have been able to personally connect with him,”  Neitzke said.

     “I think that my motivation in combination with positive affirmation from teachers has allowed me to be successful in the classroom,” Neitzke said.

      This will also be the just the second time graduates will have the opportunity to hear three speeches from their classmates since there are two salutatorians.

     “I think that it’s cool to be so involved in such a special day for so many people. Years down the road they probably won’t remember me and what I had to say at their graduation, but I’ll always remember what an honor it was to be able to speak on behalf of the class of 2023,” Dressman said.