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New Richmond high school announces valedictorian, co-salutatorians

Pictured are co-salutatorian Stuart Pearson, valedictorian Carter Hagen and co-salutatorian Michael Skoyen. (Photo by Jordan Willi)

New Richmond High School

The graduating Class of 2017 will not only have a valedictorian in Carter Hagen, but a pair of salutatorians in Michael Skoyen and Stuart Pearson.

Carter Hagen

Valedictorian Carter Hagen was a little surprised that he was named to the school's highest academic honor this year, but he knew that he was in the running.

"It is pretty cool to be named valedictorian this year. It is nice to know that all the time and work that I put in has been worth it," Hagen said. "It wasn't a complete surprise that I was valedictorian, since I knew I had a 4.0, but I didn't know I'd have it or be trying to get a 4.0 before I came to high school."

Hagen will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall to study pre-med, with plans to go into orthopedic medicine.

"I got interested in orthopedic medicine when I was in fourth grade and my grandma broke her hip," Hagen said. "She had to have orthopedic surgery and the surgeon was from my mom's class when she was in high school. I was around when my parents and family talked with him about stuff, and I found it really interesting. It was cool to see the type of impact that you could have."

Hagen was part of the boys soccer team, as well as clubs like Safe Youth, Key Club and National Honor Society throughout his high school career.

"Teachers I'd like to thank would be Ms. (Trisha) Moberg, Mr. (James) Kannel and Ms. (Michele) Haasch," Hagen said. "I'm really looking forward to the new experiences I'll have in college."

Stuart Pearson

Being named co-salutatorian was a surprise for Stuart Pearson and wasn't something he hadn't considered or given much thought to pursuing throughout his high school career.

"It is really cool and is something that I didn't really expect," Pearson said. "I like to learn a lot, so I've really enjoyed most of school and all the things that I've studied and learned about. I'd like to thank Mr. (Jarrod) Hamdorf and my friend Jack O'Boyle."

Pearson is undecided about where to go for college next fall, but is thinking about going to college to study either engineering or teaching.

"Teaching is something I want to pursue because I like working with kids. Engineering and teaching are both jobs where you can make an impact in a meaningful way," Pearson said. "With teaching, you are working with kids who hopefully go on to do cool stuff. And with engineering, I'd hopefully get to build or design things that help people do cool stuff."

Pearson has been a part of the hockey, tennis and cross country teams during high school, as well as being a member of the Academic Decathlon team.

"I'm looking forward to going to college so I can see a lot of things and learn more stuff," Pearson said.

Michael Skoyen

Co-salutatorian Michael Skoyen has been receiving a lot of good news on the academic awards front after being named a National Merit Scholarship finalist as well as being named one of the two salutatorians for the Class of 2017.

"This is a nice reward for all the hard work I've put in, all the late nights spent studying and taking school seriously and working hard at it," Skoyen said.

Skoyen will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison next fall to study engineering, with a focus in chemical or bio-medical engineering.

"I'd like to thank Mr. (Neal) Ziller and Ms. (Trisha) Moberg for all that they've done for me throughout my high school career," Skoyen said. "I'd also like to thank Mr. (Jim) Saliny and Ms. (Michele) Haasch as well. All of those teachers had a tremendous impact on me during my time at New Richmond High School."

Skoyen is a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and tennis during high school.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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