Farewell to the Class of 2020 – InDepth May 2020

just map for online

How far will the senior class go? (current as of May 15’s Declaration Day Video)

• Arizona Grand Canyon University MayaReed SarahRollag
University of Arizona EleanorHenderson
University of Arkansas HannahFrodyma
California Polytechnic State University KaitlinTiojanco
Loyola Marymount University AkerAjak SaraLighthart
University of California Berkeley DaisyOwen
University of California Santa Barbara JaquelineSmith
University of San Diego IsabellaSyslo
Colorado State University KathrynKilzer
University of Denver ClaraNeary LaurenShotkoski
District of Columbia
American University ScarlettWedergren
Columbia College Chicago AnnaCzechut-Hoffman
Eastern Illinois University ParkerStafford
Loyola University Chicago AshleyGoldsmith GraceNelson
Wheaton College GraceBentley
University of Notre Dame MarinMowat KellyWilliams
Cornell College BreannaMethe
Iowa State University SarahDoll MaureenFlanery CassidyWolf
University of Iowa ClaudiaArcher ClaireHartley
Benedictine College KatrinaBoesch KateJensen KatelynMalick
University of Kansas ChloeEminger OliviaHolloway MischaMountjoy MeredithMueller HaleyNarke EleniPatsalis
Louisiana State University AddisonDunbar
Boston University NyayianBiel
Harvard University ShruthiKumar
University of Michigan SophieClark
University of St. Thomas KearaHiatt HopeMcLeay CarolineMoore
University of Mississippi AvaMatthies
Missouri State University AbigailElkins
Missouri Western University ElizabethMusilek
Northwest Missouri State ElizabethBrisbin PaytonKirchoefer EmilySaalfeld  JillianTeal  Rockhurst University SarahMontague HannahSedlacek
Saint Louis University AnneHiatt
University of Missouri Columbia ChiaraWallen
University of Missouri Kansas City CajahAnderson
College of St. Mary KylieAnderson ReaganBoex BrookeWigdahl
Creighton University EmilyAtamov SarahBurnett LaurenHacker KatelinKearney ArijKhan AchayKual CeceliaLounsberry AgoumMonydhel EmilyMonzu ElliseNelson AbigailReynolds MarySaid ElizabethSchimonitz HannahSchaffer MadelineWarrick Hastings College CaterraParker RileeSilvain
Metropolitan Community College MaggieHumlicek
Midland University AdriannaKrueger
Nebraska Wesleyan University OliviaMatthews
University of Nebraska Lincoln GeonashaAgbelety ZoeyArmestead NatalieBrennan JasmineButtler SarahCronin ChloeDegan KaelynnEisele EllenEverett CaseyFenton NoraFitzsimmons MeredithForster KaitlynGall ChristinaGulseth EmoriHamilton MiaHennessey ChloeHerbert Emmaline Kmiecik LydiaLarson MadelineLeddy MaggieMantini MorganMiller KaycieNegus MalikaOpiyo ElizabethPallesen MagdalenePeklo AnnaPrinz JaydenRocha PatriceRoubidoux StephanieSalerno OliviaSullivan GraceTreves AbigailVaughan LilyWeindel ElizabethYoung
University of Nebraska Omaha MariesaBeal AllyButcher AnnieCompton GraceCrockett CoriDavis BriannaEilderts AlidaFarrens EvelynFicke SophiaIsenberg HannahKruse AbigailLager KayleeLahti EmilyLamilla EllaMeis KavianaShelton DiannaSledge EmeraldStarling ShelbyYaghoutfam Wayne State College AlexaBlaine JolieFalcon
University of Nevada Las Vegas ShelbyKrzemien
New Hampshire
Dartmouth College EmmaJohnson
New York
Fordham University TaylaMcWilliams
New York University CeceliaFuller
Vasser College EmilyNguyen
University of Dayton LaurenZadalis
Xavier University ColleenSully
Oral Roberts University HannahHeinert
Pennsylvania State University IshaKishore
Villanova University EmmaMcClellan
South Carolina
University of South Carolina IsabellaPantano
South Dakota
Northern State University KatrinaPalmer
South Dakota State University DelaneyBaumberger AnnaFeldman
University of Sioux Falls MeganLawson
University of South Dakota MargaretPallesen
Texas A&M University AbigailFlott
Texas Christian University MariaRing GabrielleWatton
Southern Utah University AnnaHartley
Marquette University EmmaGarriott MargaretMartin HollyMcCutcheon LucindaO’Brien MargaretTimmerman
University of Wyoming ErinWolf
Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) Pattiya Apiwattangsakul Siridhorn International Institute of Technology (Thailand) SirimataSuthamma
AmayaBang-Hendon MariaCruz-Cerezo ArianaGanson DaviaKing NayahMbilain GraceOlsen 



Profiles by MaggiePeklo


Valedictorian: Shruthi Kumar

Kumar plans to major in either psychology or political science at Harvard in the fall. In her free time she enjoys “spending time with my sister or playing with my puppy! Outside of school, I like to hang out with my friends and find new places to eat in Omaha.” 

“It was definitely a very exciting announcement to hear I am valedictorian. I felt very happy! I don’t think I could say I expected it, because I have never actually calculated my GPA,” Kumar said. 

“My advice for underclassmen is to maintain grades by trying to give your best on every assignment. Especially when you get to the end of junior and senior year, it can be easy to do your assignments just to get them done, but try to give your best on each assignment, even though you may not want to,” Kumar said. 

“I think that was important in maintaining good grades. I don’t think it works to study for your teacher or someone else. You have to study for yourself if you want to make it easier on you to have good grades. If you don’t stay on top of school work for yourself, then you will be doing it under someone else’s pressure, and that never feels good. I think having the right perspective to studying and education is important!” Kumar said. 

“Marian’s teachers are the most amazing and dedicated, and that truly benefited me in my education,” Kumar said. “Marian has also been very supportive in my education, especially the counseling department. I have to give a shout-out to Mrs. Gelecki— she is incredibly important to me and my education, and I am blessed to have had a counselor like her!”


Salutatorian: Tayla McWilliams

McWilliams plans to study computer science or economics with a minor in classical studies at Fordham University in New York. In her free time Tayla volunteers at the public library and the zoo, and she “spends a decent chunk of time babysitting my sisters. As for my interests, I enjoy writing, and I’m a huge K-Pop fan, which is honestly more of a hobby than a taste in music. I also play a lot of video games — Animal Crossing, as of late.” 

“When it was announced I am salutatorian, I felt proud, and it was validating to be recognized for the work I’ve put in over the last four years. On the other hand, it was also pretty embarrassing. Coming in as a freshman, I definitely didn’t expect it. However, around sophomore year, I realized it was possible, and I would say I’ve been expecting it since junior year,” McWilliams said. 

“I don’t have any specific advice [for underclassmen]; it really comes down to figuring out what works on an individual basis. I maintain a lot of study habits that counselors and teachers would probably consider bad, but it’s what works best for me,” McWilliams said. 

“Eventually, through trying out different methods of studying, planning, etc., you’ll know what that looks like for you,” McWilliams said. 

“Marian has had a huge impact on my confidence — in a good way, hopefully. I’m still not very talkative, but prior to Marian, I tended to hide behind that much more than I do now. Being self-assured enough to ask questions and interject when necessary has greatly improved my experience with learning.”


Interviews by ChiaraWallen

How do you think Marian has changed you over the last four years?

Lager as a ninth grader

ABIGAIL LAGER: I think that Marian has definitely helped shape me into who I am today. I came into high school a completely different person, not just my outer appearance but my whole personality. There are all different types of girls here and for the most part it is a safe space to explore who you want to be.

What advice would you give to underclassmen who haven’t quite figured out who they are yet?

ABIGAIL LAGER: I would tell underclassmen to try everything. Stop worrying what people will think because no matter what, someone will dislike what you do. Try out different looks and activities until you find what you feel the best in. And don’t give up, it takes a long time, I’m still not there yet.

How do you think Marian has changed you over the last four years?

Clark as a ninth grader

SOPHIE CLARK: I think Marian, both directly and indirectly, changed me. The accepting and safe environment allowed me to explore every side of myself without feeling the need to adjust to others’ expectations. Over the course of high school, this change of mindset was probably the biggest factor in the changes in my personality.

What advice would you give to underclassmen who haven’t quite figured out who they are yet?

SOPHIE CLARK: My biggest piece of advice is to be patient. This is a time for you to experiment with new hobbies, styles, friend groups and interests. However, it will take time. I didn’t figure out who I am overnight. I had no idea until the end of junior year. Trust the process, be patient and don’t settle for anything less than yourself.


Story by MaggiePeklo

Senior year is plagued with questions about plans for the future. Whether asked about college or major, any senior has probably lost count of the questions. Although, for many seniors, their major is practical — their dream job is more or less so. 

Nonetheless, each dream job is based on passion. “My dream job is to be a professional pug cuddler. Though it doesn’t match up with my intended major of landscape architecture at Louisiana State University, this is my dream job because I think pugs are the cutest animals alive and they deserve extra cuddles. I talk about my dream job often. I have three pugs at home and cuddle with them all the time. If I could do my absolute favorite thing for a living, I definitely would,” senior Addison Dunbar said. 

“I would like to live in a cottage in a remote area in Washington state. I want to live there because Washington state is absolutely beautiful and there is plenty of room to keep my gazillion pugs,” Dunbar said. 

“My dream job is for sure realistic. By day I will be a landscape architect and by night, I will cuddle with my many pugs!”

Alexa Blaine also has a dream job she is passionate about: an orthopedic surgeon. “I have developed a passion for medicine and more specifically orthopedics after having four knee surgeries on my meniscus. I have always been so intrigued by surgeries and medicine so it seems fitting that I would love to imagine myself in those shoes. The way my surgeon and physician assistant have impacted my life is beyond belief, and I would one day love to do the same,” Blaine said. 

“I imagine myself working in a large hospital or clinic setting with many other medical staff. I want to have tight bonds and friendships with other surgeons with also having an area that I could call my own. I would love to work with athletes specifically, or younger patients, because it means most to me as I was an athlete who had a special passion and love for the game,” Blaine said. 

“I have full belief in myself that I can conquer my dream job and my intended career. I am extremely passionate about things I love. I am sure that the passion stems from my past experiences by developing the connection I have between medicine and myself. I have no doubt that with hard work and determination, I can fulfill the hopes for my future. I love talking about my future with people I trust,” Blaine said. 

“I believe that there’s a sense of reassurance that comes from telling people who are close to you because it definitely feels more realistic to me. When I tell people about my goals, it helps remind others to keep pushing me even if I, myself, think it’s outside of my reach. One person in particular that I have been very honest with when it comes to goals and hopes is my physical therapist. She has been one to give me her complete and honest opinion while encouraging me in the most positive ways possible,” Blaine said. 

“My dream job of being an orthopedic surgeon, with a specialty in knees, matches up perfectly with my intended major. I plan to major in Biology at Wayne State College this fall. I know that it is highly likely that I will change my mind about my intended job within medicine, but I know that if I continue to follow my heart and my passion, I will be happy with whatever job that may be. As long as I am making a positive impact for our world one day, I will be satisfied with my work,” Blaine said.

Top 5 Creative DREAM JOBS

  1. Ben and Jerry Flavor Guru (Stevie Salerno)

  2. Third Female National Park Service Director (Erin Wolf)

  3. National Geographic Photographer (Mary Said)

  4. Professional Baker (Patrice Roubidoux)

  5. Music Producer (Haley Narke)

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