River Ridge names top 2 graduates

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Valedictorian Jonathan Breuer & Salutatorian Jordyn Vogt

River Ridge High School has named its valedictorian and salutatorian for the graduating Class of 2019. They are Jonathan Breuer and Jordyn Vogt, respectively. The two will be recognized at the school’s graduation ceremony Friday, May 24, at 7 p.m. in the high school gym.

Valedictorian Jonathan Breuer is the son of Leo and Sara Breuer, from Wyalusing Township. He plans to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and major in architecture. 

During his four years at River Ridge, Jonathan has been involved in student council, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, Friends Helping Friends and forensics. His extra-curricular activities have included band, track and field and cross country. 

Aside from the valedictorian title, Jonathan will graduate with a number of honors under his belt. In FBLA, he placed third nationally in 3-D animation. In forensics, he received silver at state as a sophomore, junior and senior. All four years, he received a first at state solo and ensemble as a band member. He was also chosen as cross country and track captain this year. 

As a young member of the community, Jonathan has been involved in the Bloomington Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes, having gone on two mission trips with the group: to Joplin, Mo., and Lorain, Ohio. He’s also worked summers at Prairie Industries in Prairie du Chien.

At River Ridge, Jonathan said, his band teacher Mr. Lasko made the greatest impact on him. 

“Mr. Lasko was extremely passionate about what he taught, and he inspired me to work hard in music and school. He always pushed me to do better and was always finding me more challenging music to play,” he said. “The most important thing that Mr. Lasko taught me, however, was to stand by myself. By example, he showed me that you can’t be concerned with what other people think about you and that you need to do what you love.”

Jonathan has taken that wisdom and grown from it. After finding himself too concerned with others’ perceptions early on in high school, he can now say he’s a confident and highly-motivated person who doesn’t easily give up and is always trying to improve himself. He’s inspired by others who exhibit confidence, charisma, courage, creativity and the drive to share their talents with the world.

“Being able to find motivation has kept me going in high school, and I think that it is my inner drive that has propelled me to achieve highly academically, even when a concept proved difficult or time consuming,” he stated. “By adhering to my own strengths and motivations, I’ve been able to find my place and form relationships with my peers as well as my mentors.”

Upon graduation, Jonathan is excited to go out and explore: meet new people, discover new places and experience different cultures. “I think I’m ready to bring my talents and ideas to other people as I continue my education and my eventual career,” he said.

Looking back, he’s certain he will miss cross country the most. The school relaunched its program during his junior year and he’s proud to have been part of the first team in a number of years. 

“In the sport, you really develop a deep bond with your teammates, and I got to witness a lot of hard work, perseverance and love,” he said. 

“Of course, I’ll also miss the staff at River Ridge. My teachers have been really supportive of me throughout the past four years, and I owe a lot to them for the work they’ve done.

In sharing his advice to underclassmen, he encourages them to work hard, be humble, stay loyal, and do what you love. 

“Find your purpose and embrace your individual identity,” he said.

Salutatorian Jordyn Vogt is the daughter of Roger and Jeanie Vogt, of Glen Haven. She intends to study biology at UW-La Crosse this fall. 

During her high school career, she’s been busy as well, as a member of the National Honor Society, through which she was president, and Friends Helping Friends, science club, FFA and the newspaper club. She’s also played volleyball, softball, club volleyball and club softball. In both extra-curriculars, she earned honorable mention all-conference and served as co-captain.

Jordyn has also contributed to the River Ridge community by participating in roadside clean-up and blood donation events.

As one of her class’ top students, Jordyn feels her time management has important. Even while being involved in sports, she said she always made her school work a priority.

Reflecting on those who’ve impacted her, Jordan said Mrs. Reichmann played a pivotal role. “She helped me get into a health camp where I decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in biology,” she said, gratefully. Additionally, her parents have been an inspiration, showing her that hard work pays off in the end. 

Though she knows she’ll miss her friends and teammates who have become like family, Jordyn is looking forward to graduation and moving on to college. 

“I’m ready to be on my own and seeing what the future has ahead of me,” she said.

Imparting a bit of knowledge to her underclassmen, Jordyn concluded, “Get involved. Live your life the way you want to and not the way others want you to.”

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