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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax High School Class of 2020 salutatorian is Juelia Berger, daughter of Greg and Stacy Berger of Colfax.
Public and private schools in Wisconsin have been closed since March 19 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. High schools are unable to hold their traditional graduation ceremonies due to limitations on mass gatherings to help slow the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
“This has been the strangest few months of my life. The only time I get to see my classmates is over a video conference. There have been so many things I have missed as a senior: various banquets, prom, maybe even graduation. My family is still planning to have a graduation party for me, but we are still unsure when it will happen,” Juelia said.
During her years at Colfax High School, one cross country meet will always stand out for Juelia.
“The most memorable event (in high school) was being on the cross country team for the past four years. One particular meet that stands out to me is when I lost a shoe in a very deep mud-hole during a race. This meant I had to run the last half mile with only one shoe on in the pouring rain. This meet ended up being one of the fastest times in my cross country career,” she said.
Juelia’s top three favorite classes were Advanced Biology (“I have a passion for biology and loved learning about the human body and going outside for class.”); Medical Terminology (“This class may help me in my future career, and it was college credits.”); and Advanced Algebra (“This class was a challenge, but I have always loved math.”)
Juelia participated in a variety of activities during her years at Colfax High School.
The activities included Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA); Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), National Honor Society (NHS), Science Club, Letter Club, mentoring, prom committee, cross country, basketball and track.
“My favorite was cross country because it challenged me, made me a hard worker, and allowed me to meet some great friends,” Juelia said.
Juelia’s plans for the summer include working and getting ready for college.
“This summer I plan to save up money for college by working at Lynn and Dick Nehring’s gardens. I also plan on spending time with friends and family, running — and traveling — hopefully,” she said.
“This fall, I will be attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I plan to study biology, but I am still not 100 percent sure what career path I want to follow. I am interested in physical therapy and environmental sciences,” Juelia said.