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Spotlight on Schools: Class of 2017

June 2, 2017 — Hello Black River Falls Community!  This is Dr. Shelly Severson with the School District of Black River Falls here to share this week’s installment of our Spotlight on Schools! I’d like to take today’s spotlight time to very appropriately talk about the class of 2017.  Speaking of this class, last Wednesday, May 31 was Senior Recognition Night in the Lunda Theater.  On that evening, over 57 different scholarships were awarded to the individuals that make up the class of 2017!  Our community speaks LOUD AND CLEAR when it talks about its support of education and the fact that continuing one’s education beyond high school is a top priority.  There were thousands of dollars given away from individuals, service organizations, alumni, and corporations.  Those students that want to continue their education have the means to at least get started!

On June 4, we will gather together at Tiger Stadium–barring rain-to celebrate the class of 2017! There are 120 students in the class, and as always, they are as diverse as any group of 120 young adults can be!

We often get asked what the plans are for the students when they leave us; while many students change their minds as time passes, we can at least share what their original intentions are.

Of the 120 students; three are entering directly into a job training program, 20 are planning on attending a Technical College, 38 are enrolled in a four-year university, four are bound for the military, in fact, a couple have already left!  Another 25 students are leaving high school to go directly into employment, and another five are seeking employment. Seven students quite honestly told us that they are “undecided” as to what life will bring following graduation.  

You’ve likely heard me talk about this before, but twenty years ago the average number of career changes an individual made during their work life was around two.  The current statistic is that the average adult, entering the world of work, will make seven career changes before retirement.  SEVEN!  That does not mean they will have seven employers in the same area, but seven different career choices.  With that in mind, I think the greatest tool we can arm our graduates with is the ability to adapt to change, be constructive problem solvers, and make sure their foundation is strong enough to handle whatever comes before them!

Of these 120 students, thirteen of them will proudly graduate with honor cords around their neck.  Thirty of these students will graduate with a grade point average higher than a 3.0.

These students have been leaders, performers, athletes, active participants, and been a whole lot of fun!  We celebrate them collectively and wish them well.  We sincerely hope that these graduates go and spread their wings a bit, live life a bit, and hopefully, some of them are interested in coming back to Black River Falls to help our small community continue to thrive!

When you see a graduate around town, or perhaps even at graduation parties this spring, don’t forget to tell them how proud our community is of them, and that we can’t wait to see what they will accomplish next!

In keeping with our routine this year of sharing some sunshine each week, I wanted to highlight a comment from our recent Graduate Survey that we administered.  A graduate from 2009 had this to say when we asked, “What do you appreciate most about the District?”  

“The teachers. I had the opportunity to get to know teachers with a true passion for teaching and really truly helping their students grow.” (2008)

“Positive relationships with students and staff.” (1999)

“The life-long strong friendships that were established in grade school, still remaining strong after 40 years.” (1978)

“Friends I made and the amazing opportunities to take advantage of!” (2015)

As always, if you have any questions about this, or anything else within the district, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you so much for your support of the School District of Black River Falls!  We wish everyone a safe summer filled with great experiences!  Congratulations to the Class of 2017!   Go Tigers!