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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax High School Class of 2020 valedictorian is Morgan Schleusner, the daughter of Craig and Brenda Schleusner 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 because of limitations on mass gatherings to help slow the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
In view of the pandemic and that a formal graduation ceremony at Colfax High School has been put on hold, Morgan said as valedictorian, she would like to tell her classmates, “We’re all in this together.”
The Class of 2020, she said, has faced unique and historic circumstances.
“We started our lives in the midst of 9/11, and here we are, finishing our high school career in the pandemic of 2020,” Morgan said.
“Although this has been difficult, we have also learned valuable lessons. To slow down and enjoy the little things in life and the people that are close to you. Also, do not take anything for granted, including your health. No one can even begin to know the heartache we’ve been through. So raise your heads and tip your caps and go and chase your dreams. We are the Class Of 2020!” she said.
Morgan has this message for future historians who want to know about the experiences of the Class of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“When school got postponed in March we had no idea that it could be the last time I would see some of my classmates. We all went home thinking we would be back around the beginning of April. This is not how we had planned or wanted to spend our last few months of high school. We didn’t get to enjoy all of the activities all of the other classes have gotten to experience. We won’t have the memories of prom, the athletic banquet, scholarship banquets, our senior dinner, and most of all, having our graduation ceremony on May 15th. It’s hard not knowing whether or not we will even get to have a graduation and celebrate with family and friends. We have all worked really hard and I hope we get a chance to see everyone again and celebrate this milestone,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s most memorable experience in high school was the state track meet during her freshman year.
“The most memorable event that happened to me in high school was going to state track in three events as a freshman. I made it in the 4×100, 4×200, and 4×400. It was memorable because not very often do freshmen make it, and I had seniors on my team who made it fun and memorable,” she said.
Morgan’s favorite classes at Colfax High School were Advanced Chemistry, Advanced Biology and Advanced Algebra.
“I thought they were fun and interesting. Math and science have always come easy for me,” she said.
During her four years at CHS, Morgan participated in a variety of activities.
“I was in golf, basketball, track, Student Council, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), National Honor Society (NHS), and I was an elementary mentor. My favorite was basketball. I have played it since I was in second grade, and it has always been my favorite sport,” Morgan said.
Morgan is anticipating a busy summer.
“My summer plans after graduation are to work and save up money for college in the fall. I work two jobs. I am a gardener for a couple just outside of Colfax, and I am also a CNA at the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center,” she said.
In the fall, Morgan will head off to UW-Eau Claire, where she plans to major in nursing.
“I chose this field because I have wanted to be in the medical field since elementary school. I like the connection with patients, which is why I chose to be a nurse. My interest only increased when I got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes this past December. I strive to help others,” she said.