By late Sunday (May 20) afternoon, the Redwood Area School District will have more than 70 new alumni.

That day the Class of 2018 will hold its commencement exercises, as it ends its time as secondary students and begins the next stage of life.

For some, it will mean going on for additional education. Others will immediately enter the working world. There are also those who will put off both by serving their country.

Regardless of what the future holds, as each of the 78 candidates for graduation receive their high-school diploma, they will know what lies ahead of them is theirs to determine.

The 2017-18 senior class of Redwood Valley High School will hold its graduation ceremony May 20 starting at 1 p.m. in the Redwood Valley schools gym. 

For Rick Jorgensen, RVHS principal, the Class of 2018 has had an extremely positive impact on the school as well as the community.

“This is an impressive group of students,” said Jorgensen, who added the $455,000 it has the potential to receive in college scholarships is one example of that.

As he talked about this year’s senior class, Jorgensen said the fact that 23 of the graduates were honor students indicates the commitment to academics.

Those students who earned Highest Honors, which indicates a cumulative grade point average for Grades 9-12 of 3.86 to 4.0 are Eric Bommersbach, Alaina Goblirsch, Logan Josephson (who graduates with a 4.0), Miriam Krause, Safron Milne and Spencer Quest.

Those earning High Honors (a GPA of 3.71-3.85) are Thomas Amberg, Rose Frank, Mitchell Irlbeck, Josephine Kodet, Samantha Lydick, Nichele Mannz, Teresa Munshower and Ethan Whited.

The Honors students (a GPA of 3.5-3.7) are Madisen Clennon, Justin Deinken, Spencer Gilk, Jasmin Ovre, Brandy Ringeisen, Joseph Salvati, Abigail Sandgren, Paige Serbus and Nicole Stoen.

He added the fact that 29 of the students also were recognized as having a 95 percent attendance rate their senior year, with zero tardies and zero disciplinary referrals is amazing.

That is more than one-third of the class, said Jorgensen.

There were 28 seniors who took at least one Advanced Placement class this year.

Leadership was also a strong character trait among many of the students in the Class of 2018, said Jorgensen, as it introduced new things for the student body and worked to make things better for all students in the school.

“This has been a great group, and I hate to see them go,” said Jorgensen.

However, Jorgensen added he feels a sense of excitement as he sees the potential this class has after graduation.

Among those students is Jasmyne Fisher, who as a member of the Class of 2018 has been actively involved in various activities, such as softball, robotics, the trap team, band and cross country.

Fisher actually came to Redwood Valley as a sophomore, and she said moving was hard, but she was able to adapt and is now looking forward to the next change in her life.

Fisher is going to be attending the University of St. Thomas this fall where she will study biology.

“I want to go into the medical field,” said the daughter of Devonne Fisher and John Raney, who has not completely decided which medical path she will follow but is currently looking at physical therapy.

A chance to take a sports medicine class this year helped to confirm that desire.

Jake Evans, another member of this year’s graduating class, has been involved in football and rejoined the track team this year. He is also a member of the choir.

Celebrating graduation will be short-lived for Evans, as he leaves for basic training May 29.

Evans will spend more than eight weeks at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas learning to be a member of the United States Air Force.

“I have had a lot of family in the military,” said Evans, the son of Tony and Hilary Evans, adding serving his country is something he has wanted to do for some time.

Although planning to be part of the U.S. military has been the plan for a while, Evans said it was a couple of years ago that he started to seriously research each of the branches. He also spoke with recruiters before ultimately opting to join the Air Force.

Evans wants to learn to maintain tactical aircraft, with the hopes of working on the newest fighter jets, including the F-35 and F-22.

Evans made a six-year commitment when he enlisted, and at this point said he is considering a career in the military.

Both Fisher and Evans believe their years in school have helped to prepare them for the world that is waiting, and they are both looking forward to the next stage of their lives.

The public is invited to come and celebrate with the RVHS Class of 2018 this Sunday.