“Work hard and do your homework.”
Those were the parting words of advice to younger students from Joe Bedessem, the Valedictorian of North Crawford’s Class of 2013, as he took the time to ponder his academic success.
Itswa simple, straight forward advice that his peers could agree upon.
Bedessem was joined in achieving the highest honors for graduates by north Crawford Salutatorian Mattias Dworschack. At Seneca, Cierra Dowd was named as Valedictorian and Logan Lessard was the Salutatorian.
All four joined their classmates in finishing their high school careers last weekend. Seneca held their graduation commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 30. North Crawford held its graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 2.
So what drove these students to achieve academic excellence? All credited a work ethic encouraged by their parents and the caring involvement of adults, those at home and those at school.
“All the teachers offered their time outside of class if you needed help, taking time to explain the work,’ Lessard said. “It’s a small school. Everyone knows each other and they come together whenever someone needs help.”
Dowd gave her father much of the credit, saying he was a very involved parent. Like Lessard, Dowd noted that school staff were very supportive.
What does an involved parent bring to the table? For Bedessem, they are the ones he credits with helping him understand the need to work for his accomplishments.
“I put the work ethic into academics,” Bedessem said, citing the Advanced Placement courses as an example.
“It’s pretty satisfying,” he continued. “The fact that you can get college credit and then test and see how well you did.”
Dworschack brought a homeschooling background to his high school career. His first teachers were his parents, with his mother Linda, a former teacher, taking the lead.
“Homeschooling and the unconventionality of its approaches helped open my mind to what I could learn from the teachers at North Crawford,” Dworschack said. “Paying attention is important. Teachers are trying to prepare you for what you need to know to succeed.”
Like many of their peers, all four will spend their summers working before heading off in the fall to pursue degrees. Lessard plans to attend Winona State for nursing. Dowd will attend UW-Madison with plans to head into the medical field. Bedessem and Dworschack will also be at UW-Madison this fall. Bedessem is undecided on his major, but Dworschack already has his eyes set on biomedical engineering.