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Elk Mound Class of 2016 valedictorian: Makenna Zurbuchen

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND  —  The valedictorian of the Elk Mound High School Class of 2016 is Makenna Zurbuchen.

Makenna is the daughter of Tate and Paula Zurbuchen.

The Colfax Messenger sent out a questionnaire to Makenna for a profile of the valedictorian.

Describe the most memorable event that happened while you were in high school. I have made so many great memories during high school. Sophomore year, our boys’ basketball team made it to state. It was such a fun event that most people don’t get a chance to experience during their time in high school. It was awesome to see how much support there is in our little community. The summer before Junior year, the band and choir took a trip to Disney World in Florida. Packing so many high schoolers into a coach bus and traveling across country was such an adventure! During Junior year, I had the opportunity to participate at State Science Olympiad in Milwaukee. My friends and I made a weekend out of it and drove there together. I enjoyed competing as well as exploring the city.

What were your favorite high school classes? My favorite high school classes were mainly science classes. Anatomy and Physiology was the first class I genuinely enjoyed which reinforced my choice of becoming a nurse. I love my teacher Mrs. Simet’s sense of humor and the way she connects with her students.

Which activities were you involved in during high school? What was your favorite? I was involved in volleyball, softball, student council, national honors society, science olympiad, prom committee, and marching band during high school. Volleyball, especially my junior year, was my favorite high school activity. My coach, Jenny Garnett, made the game a lot of fun with her caring personality and constant encouragement. I gained my closest friends through volleyball as well.

What are your plans after graduation? I’m expecting this summer to be very busy between spending time with my friends and family and continuing to work at Menards. My family takes a two week vacation every summer and we’re looking forward to going to Colorado this year. I’m hoping to go on many adventures with friends too. In July I’ll be taking a three week CNA course to get my certification.

Are you planning to attend college or technical school, and if so, where? I will be attending UW-Eau Claire in the fall.

What will be your major at college or technical school? I’m planning to major in nursing. I’ve always loved being there for others whether it’s helping a friend through difficult times or assisting my brother after surgery. Sharing in a person’s joys and struggles brings me the most satisfaction. Ultimately, I was inspired by my mom, who is a nurse, to pursue a degree in nursing. She loves what she does, and I want a job that I love too.

What does it mean to you to be the valedictorian of the Elk Mound High School Class of 2016? I’m extremely grateful to be the Valedictorian of my graduating class. It’s such an honor, and I can’t say enough about the support I have received from my teachers, family and friends. Without them, I wouldn’t have such a drive to succeed in academics as well as in other aspects of my life. The influence they’ve had on me has made me who I am today.