Meet the Top Ten (Eleven) Graduates in Class of 2015


Maureen Schick , Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

 1. Bryn Allen

Bryn will be attending the University of Notre Dame next fall in South Bend, Indiana. She chose this college because she “ really wanted to go to a college that still placed an emphasis on academics but didn’t have the whole cutthroat feel.” She loves this university because there is a lot of camaraderie that goes on there, as well as the religious aspect.

Allen will be in the pre-med program with the hopes of eventually becoming a doctor and quite possibly specializing as a surgeon. If she does end up a doctor, she hopes to be able to spend some time in a third-world country where access to health care is limited. However, whatever she ends up doing, she wants to live a life that she is proud of.

Allen is involved with many different clubs in school, such as FBLA, ASTRA, APPP, Student Government, as well as playing for the Green Bay Youth Symphony, school musicals and teaching piano lessons.

Because of her busy schedule, her advice to fellow classmen is to “try not to procrastinate–it’ll save you from all the stress, and a lot of money on coffee.”

To Allen, being valedictorian is an honor, and she is so grateful to everyone who has helped her along the way. She says it is her family, teachers and friends who deserve the credit.

2. Melaina Rapisarda

Melaina will be attending the University of Chicago next fall, which is in the heart of Chicago, Illinois. Throughout her college search, Rapisarda was looking for a college that was equally competitive both academically and athletically. She also “preferred smaller classes and a more tight-knit community,”  which the University of Chicago had to offer.

Although Rapisarda is currently undecided in her major, because she is attending a liberal arts university, she will not have to decide until at least her junior year. Her dreams for the future include moving to live in New York City and travelling around the world. She hopes to find a job that she can enjoy while using her faculties to help others.

Rapisarda currently helps to run NDA’s newest club, Human[KIND], which has recently taken off here at Notre Dame. She also runs track and plays guitar in her free time.

Her advice to underclassmen is to never be late to school, and when asked what has gotten her through the everyday stresses of school and other activities, Rapisarda explained, “To be honest, it’s more so accepting the stress and constant feeling of being behind that got me through.”

3. Megan Krzewinski

Megan will most likely be attending Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, next fall, although she is also still looking at a few schools in Florida. Krzewinski was looking for a small school with small classes where she could play tennis. She also wanted a school where “the students were focused on studies, not a party school.”

Krzewinski will be studying marine biology and psychology with the hopes of working with marine animals. She explains her dream job is “to work for the Navy Marine mammal program.”

Overall, Krzewinski hopes to find a job that she thoroughly enjoys and wants to go to everyday. She wants an active job that makes her happy, and if she accomplishes great things in the process, that will make her even happier.

Krzewinski is involved in tennis, both for the school varsity team where she was a state qualifier, as well as playing in the off-season. An IB diploma student, she also has a job and is a part of Student Government Senate.

Instead of stressing over schoolwork and the different activities that she is involved with, Krzewinski says that she “devotes that energy into just getting it done.” She explains that “time management is important, and I do the most important things first.”

Krzewinski’s advice to underclassmen is to not “look at the short-term outcome, such as the grade.”  She says to “focus on how it will affect you long-term. Grades aren’t important, so don’t stress about them.”

4. Anna Wolfenberger

Anna is still debating between the University of Chicago, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California-Berkeley as to where she will be attending school next fall. All three of these schools are known for their rigorous academic programs, and she was looking for a good physics program in her college search.

Wolfenberger plans on working in some field of physics, most likely applied physics. Her dream is to live as life happens, and her accomplishments are “infinite in possibility.”

Wolfenberger is anticipating getting her International Baccalaureate Diploma this spring. The IB program is extremely rigorous, but also worthwhile. She would suggest to anyone to “stop caring about your grades and just do what you can,” which she says is the “real IB philosophy.”

Her advice to underclassmen is to “take tough classes and push yourself. If you fail, at least you know you tried and took a chance.”

5. Claire Skaletski

Claire is still deciding between Marquette University, Creighton University and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as to where she will be attending school next fall. She will be choosing the school by looking for the programs she wants, scholarships, and research opportunities.

Skaletski plans to study biology or biomedical sciences, which will depend on what school she decides to attend. After undergraduate school, she is planning on going to medical school with the hopes to be a physician and possibly an orthopaedic surgeon.

Her dreams for the future include studying abroad and going on medical mission trips to serve developing countries.

Skaletski is currently taking a CNA class through the Red Cross, which means she will be a certified Nurse Assistant when she completes the class. She also runs cross country, is an active member of her parish, and serves on various service projects.

Some ways she manages the stress of school and other activities is by running. She also explains that “managing time wisely is key to staying on top of homework and other activities.”

Skaletski’s advice to underclassmen is to balance academics with other things you enjoy doing because it “makes everything more manageable.”

6. Karlie Hornberger

Karlie currently plans on attending Marquette University next fall, but she is also waiting to see if she has been accepted to Northwestern University before she makes her final decision.

One of the primary things she was searching for in a school was “the opportunity for a diverse and interdisciplinary education, which is reflective of the IB program.” While she was touring at Marquette, she explained that a faculty member of the engineering department talked with her about how essential those qualities are considered at the University. Her tour and this conversation with the professor were very influential in her current decision to attend there.

Hornberger plans on studying mechanical engineering in the future. Both in her education and future career, she says she would like to focus on the humanitarian applications of engineering.

Hornberger says that her dreams for the future are daunting at this point in her life. However, she explains that her dreams and goals would be to find a career that incorporates both science and the humanities and to make a positive impact through that career.

Hornberger has been involved in many different activities while here at NDA. The majority of her time has been devoted to Destination Imagination, band and theatre.

She explains that managing stress has been a large challenge for her throughout high school, but her usual method is to take things one step at a time. She says that focusing on the most immediate goals ensures things are done on time and reduces the stress of many things at once. When all else fails, however, Hornberger texts her older sister to complain because she knows what Karlie is going through as she has already made it through the IB program and high school alive.

When asked what her advice to underclassmen would be, Hornberger responded that “my first thoughts on the matter were things like ‘join band and theatre’ or ‘take IB’ and ‘start a DI team.’ What this signifies to me, though, is the activities that have been most important and influential to me.” She would also advise younger students to seek out the things that matter most to them and commit their time to those activities. She also tells younger students that it is never too late to join something as she learned this lesson when she joined band freshman year during the second semester.

7. Connor Curtin

Connor is still deciding between Marquette University, Purdue University, John Hopkins University and Vanderbilt as to where he will be attending college next fall. During his college search, he was looking for a school that could help get him a good job as well as a place where he could have a good time in the college setting.

Curtin plans on studying biomedical engineering during his college tenure, and he hopes to be some sort of doctor or biomedical engineer in the future. Whatever job he chooses to pursue, however, he hopes to make some sort of difference in the world while doing it.

He is actively involved in the NDA football program, and he also enjoys eating pizza and playing video games. To help manage the stress that comes from school and other activities, Curtin likes to relax and read magazines.

Connor’s advice to underclassmen still in high school is “Just do it.” He also wants to remind younger students who start to get overwhelmed that “a life jacket can help you stay above water.”

8. Sarah Smilanich

Sarah does not currently know where she will be attending school next fall, but she is deciding between University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa State University.

Smilanich plans on studying biology, and in the future she hopes to become a genetic counselor or possibly a teacher. Her hopes for the future include graduating from colege and finding a career she enjoys.

Smilanich is heavily involved with a club swim team where she swims in competition, and she also coaches a Special Olympics swimming team.

With all these activities, Smilanich manages her stress by swimming and spending time with friends and family. She advises others to not leave everything until the last minute, and she says this will help take off some of the stress.

Smilanich’s advice to underclassmen is to “take your fine art credit early, and don’t leave it to the last minute.”

9. Emily Morgan

Emily will be attending St. Norbert College next year. She chose this college because it was close to home, and she liked the class sizes.

Morgan plans on majoring in accounting next year with the hopes of becoming a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) in the future.  She hopes to graduate college, and she dreams of finding a career she enjoys.

Morgan plays softball in her free time. One of the way she tries to stay organized with everything is by making lists. She also tries to not put things off until the last minute, and she explains this helps with the everyday stress.

Morgan’s advice to underclassmen is to “try your best at everything, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.”

10. Kayla Borseth

Kayla is not sure where she will be attending school next fall; however, she plans on attending college somewhere in Wisconsin. She explains that she has applied to nine colleges but has not narrowed the list down yet.

She plans on majoring in something that has to deal with the medical field. She is interested in being a nurse, nurse practitioner, or something along those lines, although she really does not know exactly what the future holds for her.

Borseth is involved in NDA’s Chess Club, and she was also a part of the back-to- back state champion basketball team.

Because of her various activities, Borseth tries to “study a little bit each night.” She says to never cram, never put off your homework before you sleep and ask your teacher a lot of questions when you don’t get something.

Borseth’s advice to underclassmen is to “be yourself; everyone else is taken.”

10. Marie Vogel

Vogel, known as Mari here at NDA, is not sure where she will be attending school next fall, but she is deciding between Marquette University and the University of Alabama.

She plans on majoring in political science and hopefully attending law school after that. She’s not exactly sure what she wants to do in the future other than that it will be involving law or politics, but she says, “I’m excited to see exactly where my future takes me.”

Vogel is currently involved in APPP and National Honor Society. She also does a lot for the St, Bernard’s Youth Group, which included attending the March for Life in Washington D.C. both this year as well as last year.

With everything Vogel is involved with, she says it is important to have time management. She explains that although she has her problems with it, she does her best to get things done early. She also believes it is important to remember that you can’t always do everything.

Vogel’s advice to underclassmen would be to “make sure you have balance.” She explains that school is really important, but you also have to make sure you are doing things you enjoy. She says you should surround yourself with people who have the same values and to do something meaningful–something you will remember.