Editor’s Note: The RVHS Class of 2020 held its graduation ceremony May 31. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the community was not able to attend the ceremony. Over the next several editions, the Gazette will be bringing some of those graduates to you. This is your chance to meet the graduates.

Luke Hammerschmidt had a different kind of educational experience than most of the students in the Redwood Valley High School Class of 2020.

One of those differences was having a direct familial connection with one of the teachers.

For Hammerschmidt, who took three Spanish classes as a high-school student, all taught by his mom, it was his Spanish 3 class that was his favorite.

“I liked being in a small class with my friends and others that were easy to get along with,” explained Hammerschmidt. “I also really liked having my mother as my teacher.”

While Spanish played a big role in Hammerschmidt’s education, there were other activities he took part in while at RVHS. The list of his activities includes track, cross country, band, jazz band, choir and honor choir. He chose these activities because his friends were in them and out of “pure interest.” 

For Hammerschmidt, cross country was the most enjoyable activity, because of the great bond they had as a team. He added it felt as if he was a part of a huge family.

Outside of school, Hammerschmidt has been a member of the United Methodist church’s praise band.

“I chose to be a part of it because I wanted to help them out and they were looking for a bass player,” he explained. “I told them that I would volunteer my time to help them out and play in their band. I like helping people, and I love playing music. So those two things right there made me want to join.”

Hammerschmidt’s advice to the underclassmen is to enjoy their time and do not take anything for granted, as high school will fly by.

“Take advantage of any opportunity that you can,” he added. “Your grades do matter, especially your junior and senior years.”

Hammerschmidt admitted he wishes he could have finished his senior year in school, and he is disappointed that the track season was cancelled along with the other spring sports.

Despite the unfortunate end, Hammerschmidt is still glad he was able to finish his cross country season by competing at the state meet. Being able to do that was also his fondest memory from RVHS.

The son of Scott Hammerschmidt and Esther Hammerschmidt plans on majoring in music education and minoring in Spanish.