The Royalton High School has announced that the following students make up the top 10 of the graduating class of 2014.
Tony Gadacz, the son of Kevin and Lee Ann Gadacz of Morrill, will graduate with a 3.75 grade point average (gpa). During his high school career, Gadacz was involved in football, choir, FFA, wrestling, track, the National Honor Society (NHS), youth group, Central Minnesota Youth Chorale and 4-H. He plans to attend St. Cloud State University (SCSU) to pursue a degree in computer science, then start developing software or join a production company and/or start his own company.
Ashley Hackett is the daughter of Ryan and Jessica Hackett of Royalton and will graduate with a 3.672 gpa. During high school, Hackett was actively involved in FFA, was treasurer of the Business Professionals of America (BPA) and attended the state and national conference, was vice president of 4-H, Just for Kix Dance, was vice president of her church youth group, NHS, peer tutoring and a member of band. She plans to attend Gustavus Adolphus College to obtain a CPA degree.
Deserae Hellickson, the daughter of Adam and Cheryl Hellickson of Royalton, will graduate with a 3.774 gpa. Hellickson’s extracurricular activities included Tech Club, Youth Energy Summit (YES) Club, “We Create Change,” FFA, NHS and Student Council, where she was president in 2012-13. She volunteered at blood drives, citywide cleanups, Meals on Wheels, went Christmas caroling and cooked and served at funerals, while maintaining a job at Tesoro in Royalton. She plans to attend North Dakota State University (NDSU) to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
Bryce Jensen is the son of Mark and Debra Jensen of Rice. Jensen’s list of accomplishments includes being February Student of the Month, taking part in the NHS and being inducted into the Royalton Chapter of NHS. He developed a programming and design process manual for the principles of engineering class in 2014. He also aided as a peer tutor and with robotic designs and programming. He designed, built and programmed a robot portraying a recycling system, received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence and was named Artisan of the Month in 2013. Jensen, who will graduate with a 3.961 gpa, plans to pursue a career path relating to instrumentation and process control and robotics.
Katelyn Kasella, the daughter of Robert and Amy Kasella of Royalton, will graduate with a 3.7 gpa. She took part in volleyball, dance, softball, band and the spring play. Kasella was a member of the NHS and was Student Council president. She coached JV volleyball and softball, was involved in various activities through her church and worked at Twin Pines. Kasella plans to attend Concordia College in Moorhead to possibly major in psychology.
Ciara Kowalczyk is the daughter of Beth and Dan Kowalczyk of Royalton. During high school, she was involved in cross country, Student Council, FFA, NHS, track and field and Just for Kix Dance. She volunteered at her church, at Ruby’s Pantry in Little Falls and helped out with the citywide cleanup. Kowalczyk will graduate with a 3.810 gpa and plans to attend St. Mary’s University to major in elementary education.
Matthew Neu, the son of Irene and Jeff Neu of Royalton, will graduate with a 3.673 gpa. Neu was involved in wrestling and football throughout his high school career, as well as FFA and 4-H. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing outdoors. He plans to attend SCSU to major in accounting with a minor in business management or a marketing field.
Jacquline Nichols is the daughter of Joan and Joey Nichols of Royalton. Throughout her high school career, Nichols was involved in volleyball, basketball, softball, the Yearbook Committee as an editor, Student Council, BPA, 4-H, the We Day Club and NHS. Nichols, who will graduate with a gpa of 3.77, plans to attend Augsberg College to major in either sports medicine or elementary education.
Courtney Popp, the daughter of Tim and Audra Popp of Royalton, will graduate with a 3.996 gpa. During her high school career, Popp was involved in basketball and volleyball, Student Council and the NHS. She was on the yearbook staff and was yearbook editor. Popp was involved in Knowledge Bowl for a couple of years as well. Outside of school, she belongs to a Catholic youth group and played Junior Olympic volleyball and enjoys playing tennis and cycling. Popp plans too attend St. Olaf College to major in biology with a possible minor in religion. After graduating from St. Olaf, she plans to attend medical school and continue the process to become a neonatologist.
Austin Schmitt is the son of Mark and Natalie Schmitt of Royalton. During his high school career, Schmitt was involved in football, basketball, Tech Club, FFA, band, Knowledge Bowl and NHS. Outside of the classroom, Schmitt was involved in 4-H, Minnesota Junior Holstein Association and his church youth group. Schmitt will graduate with a 3.85 gpa and plans to attend the University of Minnesota – St. Paul, to major in animal science. He plans to pursue a career in the agriculture industry and may one day return to the family farm.
Graduation ceremonies at Royalton High School will be held Friday, May 23, at 8 p.m. in the high school gym.