SHS valedictorian and salutatorian announcedSomerset High School is pleased to announce the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2012.
By: Shawn Madden , New Richmond News
Somerset High School is pleased to announce the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2012. Zachary Edward Ott has been named as valedictorian and Stephanie Marie Berg has been named as salutatorian. Both are exemplary students and citizens and have also been involved in numerous community activities and athletic programs at Somerset High School.
Zachary (Zach) Edward Ott’s quest for excellence has served him well here at Somerset High School. He has proven himself in his educational pursuits and beyond by his outstanding academic record and his involvement in numerous activities, both in school and out in the community. Zach has earned the distinction of being named Somerset High School’s Valedictorian of the Class of 2012. He has also been chosen as the recipient of the State of Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship. Zach holds the highest weighted grade point average (GPA) in the senior class at Somerset High School, which determined his status as valedictorian.
Zach is the son of David and Kelly Ott. His older brother, Mack, graduated from Somerset in 2010 and shares the honor of achieving the status of valedictorian with Zach. Mack is presently pursuing an engineering degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.
After graduation Zach plans to pursue a degree in mechanical and/or civil engineering, following his father’s footsteps into the field of engineering. He has not yet made a final decision as to the college he will attend, but he has narrowed it down to the University of Colorado – Boulder, Iowa State University, Purdue University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, or the University of California – Berkeley. The University of Colorado – Boulder is Zach’s first choice, since it is located in such a “high tech” area and because they have so many internship opportunities available there.
Zach has demonstrated exceptional scholastic performance over the years at Somerset High School. He has taken on the challenge of numerous higher-level college preparatory courses during his high school career and has worked very hard with outstanding results. He has earned several academic awards over the last four years, including certificates, medals and letters. His academic accomplishments also include winning a $1,000.00 scholarship during his sophomore year, demonstrating his exceptional talent in the area of mathematics by testing in competition with 10 other Somerset students. Zach was also a part of the Somerset High School math team of six that competed at UW – Eau Claire during his sophomore and junior school years. The competitions included between 17 and 30 schools and involved individual and group testing.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Zach has been active in athletics during his years at Somerset High School. He was a member of the football and track and field teams during his freshman and sophomore years and played on the golf team during his junior year. He was also the manager of the Somerset boys soccer team during his junior and senior years. His career in sports was cut short because of knee injuries, but Zach still enjoys snowboarding and skiing with some caution. Zach is also active in the golf arena and has worked at the St. Croix National Golf Course for the past two years.
Community and volunteer activities have also had a major impact on making Zach who he is today. Zach spent a month last summer between his junior and senior years in New Zealand and Fiji doing community service work. He participated in activities such as beach restoration, planting trees, building pathways and teaching English. He has also traveled to several locations throughout the world with his family, taking advantage of many cultural experiences in Peru, Belize, Guatemala, Turkey, Egypt and Honduras. This allowed Zach to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of other cultures, which will help him immensely in his career in the years to come.
Zach’s drive and determination in all of his endeavors have enabled him to succeed thus far in his many life pursuits. He is looking forward to meeting the many new challenges that lie ahead of him, we are confident that he will continue to excel on whatever path he takes. We congratulate Zachary Ott on being named Somerset’s Valedictorian of the Class of 2012.
Stephanie Marie Berg is a shining star and has proven her commitment to excellence over the years here at Somerset High School. She has undertaken numerous challenges in her school career and has proven herself as a superior scholar and community member, earning the distinction of being named Somerset High School Salutatorian of the Class of 2012.
Stephanie is the daughter of Sandy and Todd Torrey and Eric Berg. Her brother, Josh Torrey, graduated from Somerset High School in 2008. Her sister, Katie Berg, also attends Somerset High School and is in the ninth grade. After graduation, Stephanie plans to attend the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Her plans are to major in chemistry or some other area of science, as science classes have always been her favorite subject area throughout high school.
Stephanie’s scholastic performance during her years at Somerset High School has been exceptional. She has worked diligently to successfully complete higher level college preparatory classes and has received several awards during the last four years, including academic excellence letters, medals and certificates. She has been chosen as Student of the Month during her freshman, sophomore and junior years as well. Stephanie was also a part of the Somerset High School math team during her junior year, competing with her six member team at UW-Eau Claire. In addition, she has been a member of National Honor Society for two years and has been vice president during her senior year. The group has been involved in varied activities during that time, including blood drives, character education activities and collecting donations for holiday meals and gifts for local families. During her junior year in the spring of 2011, Stephanie also attended the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., meeting with other students from across the country in gaining a greater understanding of their roles in democracy and the responsibilities of leadership.
Her drive and determination has also been evident in many other school activities throughout Stephanie’s years here at Somerset High School. She has been a Student Council representative for the last four years, and has been involved in Mock Trial for the last three years—two years as a witness and one year as a lawyer. During her freshman and sophomore years, she was a member of STAND—Students Taking Action in a New Direction. In her sophomore year, Stephanie was also active in the Friends Helping Friends group. This group is designed for students to enjoy each other’s company and consists of regular education students and special education students. The group met weekly to engage in games and other activities and went on bowling field trips and volunteered at Feed My Starving Children. Stephanie has also flourished in the area of athletics during her high school years, as a member of the softball team (four years) and the volleyball team (one year). She earned letters in softball during her freshman and sophomore years.
Music has also been an important part of Stephanie’s education, both in and out of school. She was a member of the Somerset High choir during her freshman year. She also participated in youth choir at St. Anne’s Church during her freshmen and sophomore years and has taken guitar lessons.
Stephanie has participated in local community volunteer activities as well. She has volunteered at the Salvation Army Christmas party, as well as ringing bells for the Salvation Army during holiday times. In addition, Stephanie has volunteered at the St. Croix County Nursing Home and has planted flowers at Grace Place. She has volunteered to assist with the middle school youth group at St. Anne’s Church as well. Stephanie is a part of The Rock youth group at St. Anne’s Church, where she has engaged in community service activities with the group and participated in several mission trips during the last several years. The group took trips to St. Louis; Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota; and Booneville, Ark. She will travel to Chicago, on a mission trip with the group during the summer after graduation.
Stephanie is looking forward to meeting the many new challenges that are in store for her. She has taken an active part in the Somerset School District and is passionate about promoting the well-being and success of those in our own community and beyond. She has prepared well for her future, and we congratulate Stephanie on attaining the honor of being named as Somerset High School’s Salutatorian of the Class of 2012.