High school goes by in a snap, but it’s a defining moment and milestone for most of us. It was no easy feat to sum up the stories of these amazing students—stellar grades, athletic achievements, arts and service projects are but a few of the outward measures we can use to define what makes one part of the prep elite. We know they didn’t do it alone: Behind any student’s success are parents, neighbors, teachers, coaches and their religious faith shaping these fun-loving, creative and thoughtful kids who are making a positive impact on our community. Their stories are powerful, inspiring and let us know that our village did one heck of a job.
Mahtomedi High School
Although she’s a self-proclaimed introvert, Aimee Krebsbach is a fierce competitor in every sense of the word. From hockey, golf and cross-country running to academic leadership in the National Honor Society and Real World Design Challenge—a contest where students compete to solve a real-world issue—Aimee has set her sights on success. Her plans? Biomedical engineering, medical school and a future in orthopedic surgery. “I like the idea of surgery as engineering within the human body. I also have an interest in working in prosthetics,” says Aimee, who is considering UW-Madison, University of Michigan or Johns Hopkins as her possible next steps. She says she her motivation comes from within: “I’m my biggest critic.” However, it’s her personal “hakuna matata” philosophy that helps her keep perspective. “I like it partially because The Lion King is my favorite movie, but I tend to have some perfectionist qualities and I think it’s healthy to remind myself not to stress. I try my best and do what I enjoy.”
White Bear Lake Area High School-South Campus
How does White Bear Lake’s star quarterback Trey Anderson start his day? “My dad makes us smoothies every morning. I think he takes all the random vegetables, fruits and spinach we have in the house and blends it all together,” says the football captain, who is also on the school’s basketball and track teams. A leader on and off the field, Trey also spearheads a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Bible study group with teammates. His greatest influence? “My dad. People are always saying he’s the best guy and best encourager. It made me think, what would I want people to say about me? It’s important for me to be positive and keep things upbeat.” Trey also shares how upperclassmen have had a positive influence on him. “I started playing varsity football as a sophomore, and seeing the seniors lead had an impact,” he says. “It made me notice the influence you can have and made me make more of an effort to make the day better for others.” Voted most valuable player last season in football, Trey has received All-Conference and All-Metro awards in football and was All-Conference honorable mention in basketball. He has been selected for the Elite Athletics camp in Chicago and is interested in a football scholarship. What about the pressure? “I just do the best I can do. I usually have a scripture in mind that helps me not to put so much pressure on myself.” One of his favorites? Joshua 1:9. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
White Bear Lake Area High School- South Campus
School, swim, eat dinner, homework. This is the daily routine for superstar swimmer Linnea Johnson, who has dedicated her life to the pool—and wouldn’t have it any other way. She has lettered five times, which means the first time was in seventh grade. It was one key match in ninth grade that solidified Linnea’s aquatic ambition. “I was swimming against a girl in the 100 free [a metered measure of freestyle swimming].We were neck-and-neck throughout the whole race. I won by 1/100th of a second. I couldn’t believe the audience was screaming and cheering for me. It was amazing,” says Linnea, who has also been named All-Conference three times and is looking toward a swimming scholarship at a Division 2 school. Linnea also enjoys hanging out and playing sports with friends and family, especially swimming with her siblings. (“They are great competition,” she says.) What does she to de-stress? You guessed it. “I just go to the pool and get out of my head.” Linnea is interested in a career in physical education and coaching.
Liberty Classical Academy
Jake Crandall’s list of achievements is long and impressive, but they are not the true measure of what makes him tick. He has cultivated a worldview that is not defined by being at the top of his class or the vice president of student council, but rather by how his actions benefit others. While his family vacationed in Florida over spring break, Jake chose instead to take a service trip to Haiti. “I just felt like I needed to have my eyes opened. We have such a limited middle-class view, with no awareness of suffering. It’s not the view I wanted.” Jake says it is his faith in Jesus that inspires his drive to seek experiences to reach and impact others. “I’m not claiming to be perfect, but I’m inspired by that kind of sacrificial love.” Jake’s passion for a good theological or philosophical debate is offset with a regular break in the weight room. “I lift five to six days a week. I usually just turn the music up way too loud and afterwards I can relax,” he adds. He plans to attend a small liberal arts university and would like a career working with people.