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Elkhorn students ready to climb next hill

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Elliot Hughes
Thursday, June 9, 2016

ELKHORN--High school graduation speeches are often filled with remarks emphasizing the monumental accomplishments and growth of those with the tassels dangling off to the sides of their faces.

But when Jordan Seitz took the podium to deliver the Elkhorn Area High School senior address Thursday night, he went for the modesty of the moment.

Seitz asked the audience if high school really instills in students “critical life skills” or how to complete tax forms or how to build a nice résumé.

“Not really,” was his answer (But it does teach the importance of the mitochondria to the cell, he said).

Seitz emphasized that high school is just one hill to climb among many in life.

“High school is here to help us learn that we can get over the hill,” he said. “It prepares us for all the upcoming obstacles in our life.”

He emphasized the importance of having a “climbing buddy” to help people navigate life's terrain, so he stressed that his classmates stay in touch for what lies ahead.

“The most important thing is to stay on social media as friends, so we can all stalk each other in five to 10 years,” Seitz said. “That's the best advice I have.”


Those graduating on Thursday had plenty to say about all of the Elkhorn High School teachers and what they did for them, but the math department got several shout-outs for its mentorship.

“They're all very willing to be a companion,” said Abigail Bochat, who plans to attend UW-Madison next year to study medicine.

Natalie Dulaney, bound for UW-La Crosse to become a dietician, said she personally connected with math teacher Becky Rychlak. Dulaney said Rychlak was always willing to help Dulaney with any personal problems she faced.

“I'm definitely going to miss the teachers here,” Dulaney said. “They truly care about the students.”


Associate Principal Daniel Kiel remembers well how he met Johan Cortez. It was prior to Cortez's junior year and he was telling Kiel and others that he wanted something more challenging.

Cortez spent the previous two years attending the Lakeland School, which specializes in working with special needs students. He wanted at Elkhorn to push himself, he said.

Now, Cortez is a fresh graduate with plans to attend Blackhawk Technical College next fall. He wants to become an immigration lawyer.

“I come from a Hispanic family, and I have family in those situations,” he said.

Last updated: 8:32 pm Thursday, June 9, 2016

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