3 girls lead River Ridge graduating class of 2020

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Valedictorian Tova Lindberg, and Salutatorians Faith Schier and Skylar White

River Ridge has announced its valedictorian as well as co-salutatorians for the Class of 2020.

Tova Lindberg is the valedictorian. Sharing the honor of salutatorian are Faith Schier and Skylar White.

Tova Lindberg is the daughter of Jon and Jenny Lindberg, of rural Patch Grove. She plans to take courses at UW-Madison in the fall, though she is undecided upon her major. 

Tova has been active in both academic and extra-curricular activities throughout high school. She was selected as a Badger Girls State representative and attended the Wisconsin Leadership Seminar. She has been a member of the science club, Future Business Leaders of America, forensics, Friends Helping Friends, National Honor Society, and the art club. 

When not in class, she has participated in cross country, dance, track, River Ridge Singers, the Star-Spangled Banner Group and jazz band. 

Tova has also joined various community service projects while in high school, including caroling at nursing homes, helping with a can cage recycling space, working a blood drive and being a peer educator.

Personally, Tova is proud to have grown into a confident and outspoken student who is unafraid to voice her opinion. She said her sister is her inspiration because she was also valedictorian and attended UW-Madison. She looks up to her brothers as well and said they always know how to cheer her up and have fun.

In school, Tova said she has appreciated Mrs. Drone greatly for the impact she has made. 

“I always enjoy talking with her about books that we have read,” she said. “I had a lot of fun in her classes and learned a lot.”

Tova noted, when reflecting on her high school experience, she only wishes she had given herself more opportunities. Keeping that in mind, she’s ready for college because she’s anxious about all the different clubs and activities she will have in front of her.

She also hopes underclassmen can learn from her and take advantage of all opportunities available. 

Looking on to next year, Tova knows she will miss her friends from high school but she’s thrilled about “meeting new people and making new friends in college.”

Faith Schier is the daughter of Bill and Kristin Schier, of Glen Haven. She intends to study pre-physical therapy/psychology at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. 

During the last four years, Faith has kept busy in all aspects of the senior experience. She has been involved in National Honor Society, serving as president. She is her class president. She’s also been the school newspaper editor, participated in FFA and been a member of Friends Helping Friends.

In sports, she played volleyball and basketball, ran track, and was part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was named to the second team all conference squad in basketball and volleyball as a senior, and she made honorable mention in volleyball as a junior. She also tutored fellow classmates and elementary students. 

Within the River Ridge community, Faith has volunteered at church services, cleaned the local cemetery, and traveled on a mission trip to Lorain, Ohio.

She also works part-time at Wyalusing State Park. 

Faith said she has found success throughout high school by managing her time well. 

“I learned quickly that I had to make my studies and homework my number one priority,” she said. “It was difficult to do so with my after school practices and evening sporting events, often lasting late into the night. Also, my study halls were often taken up by my extra-curricular events and school meetings.”

Faith said she is thankful for Mrs. Dilley’s impact on her success as well.

“She reminds me of myself—the most unorganized, organized person. She introduced me to many new things and always pushed me to my limits. She believed in me when I was overwhelmed and when I didn’t always believe in myself,” she shared. ”She always gave me the best advice no matter the situation, and was always there for me no matter how many times I asked her for help or needed her assistance.”

In addition to Mrs. Dilley, Faith is thankful for the inspiration her sister, Hope, and mom, Kristin, have shown her. 

“They always give their all in everything they are involved in and don’t quit until it is perfect. They are very successful women who work hard for everything they have earned and they continually teach me that you must work hard for your dreams to come true,” she stated.

As the school year officially comes to a close, Faith wishes it hadn’t ended so abruptly due to COVID-19. 

She explained, “I wish I had one more lunch with my girls, another cramped hallway between classes with all my peers, and a couple more class periods of distracting teachers from the lesson we were supposed to learn. It all went away so fast; I just want to have a proper goodbye.”

As her classmates will also, Faith will miss the warm, welcoming school community and her friendships. She’ll also never forget the feeling of playing in the atmosphere of the high school gym. 

Sharing advice with next year’s seniors, she hopes they can enjoy every moment they have with their classmates and not get involved in drama.

At college, Faith is excited about the chance to run track at Clarke.

Skylar White is the daughter of Dan and Michelle White, of Mt. Hope.  UW-La Crosse is her chosen college, where she will enroll in clinical laboratory science. 

At River Ridge, Skylar has been as active as anybody. She was involved in the Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, Friends Helping Friends, student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, science club, the school newspaper, and the Star-Spangled Banner group.

She also played volleyball and basketball, participated in track and field and sang in the choir. Her accomplishments in spors are many. She was a three-time first-team all conference selection in volleyball and basketball, a two-time first-team all-state in volleyball and basketball, player of the league in volleyball, a two-time player of the league in basketball, a scholar athlete and a WBCA all-star. Thanks to sports, Skylar feels she’s become a more confident young woman, even making the UW-La Crosse pole vaulting team when she becomes a freshman.

“I was on varsity in volleyball and basketball my freshman year, and it was intimidating,” she remembered. “Each year, I got a little more confident. I know next year will start it all over again, because I will be the freshman but now I know how to handle it.”

Giving back in the community has also been part  of Skylar’s time at River Ridge High School. She took a mission trip to Loraine, Ohio, as a sophomore. She helped with Christmas breakfast at St. Mary’s School. She sang Christmas carols at nursing homes every year. She also volunteered in running a kids sports camp at the school, and raked leaves with Leo’s Club for people in the community.

Reflecting upon her teachers, Skylar is most appreciative for the impact Mr. Sperle has made on her. She went to him for advice, mentorship and support in every aspect of her high school career. 

“When I was a freshman, he told me that I should try pole vault. I thought he was crazy, and I was very scared. I picked it up pretty quickly, and I loved it. I would stay after practice for hours trying to perfect it. I went to state my sophomore and junior year and was hoping to go again this year,” she shared. I have to thank Mr. Sperle for making me try it. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.”

Another influential person in Skylar’s life has been her mom. She feels she is strong, full of grit and a hard worker thanks to her mom. She lives by her advice to never quit something she’s started.

“She has always been my number one fan, but, on the other hand, she is the first person to tell me when I did poorly. I can count on her when things start to go bad or just when I need a good laugh,” she said.

Skylar is pleased to have grown up in a small community. She said she will miss the community support, getting to know her teachers and playing sports with her friends who’ve become like family. Next year, she’s looking forward to exploring new things however.

In advising those who will follow in her footsteps at River Ridge, Skylar hopes her younger peers will get involved and make the most out of high school. 

In her parting comments, she shared her wish was that high school would have come to a finish in the classroom, and not virtually. 

“It is a lot easier to learn in a classroom than at home,” she said. “I miss my classmates and teachers so much.”

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