Herald JournalHerald Journal, May 12, 2003

Two seniors just points apart as graduation nears

By Julie Yurek

The pair are only a hair's width apart in points, but only one can emerge as valedictorian of the 2003 graduating class.

Holy Trinity seniors Brian Guennigsman and Jessica Scherer are number one and two, respectively, in their class of 27 students.

With graduation only two weeks away Friday, May 23, the valedictorian has yet to be chosen because of the close nature of the two's cumulative grade point average (GPA).

Guennigsman's GPA is 3.99 and Scherer's is 3.95.

Guennigsman is the son of Roger and Karen Guennigsman and Scherer is the daughter of Lawrence and Linda Scherer.

The friendly race for the number one spot started in 10th grade, Scherer said. Scherer caught up to Guennigsman that year, she said. "He had a head start in ninth grade."

She got Bs in two classes that year, she explained.

Since the competition for valedictorian has been ongoing for years, how do the pair react to it?

"We're both used to it," Guennigsman said.

Friends ask Scherer which one she is. "'Are you number one or two?' they ask," she said.

Guennigsman and Scherer are in almost all the same classes and received comparatively the same grades, Scherer said.

The only classes that differ is band for Scherer and accounting for Guennigsman.

They will be supportive if the other wins, Scherer and Guennigsman said together.

"Then I wouldn't have to make a speech," he said with a laugh.

"You still would have to!" she replied.

The one not chosen for valedictorian is named salutatorian, Scherer said.

"Usually by now, we know who the valedictorian is," said Principal Todd Stejskal.

In his 11 years working in schools, he's never seen so close of numbers, he said.

The student ranked third in the class is one whole point behind Scherer, which is a big gap in terms of getting valedictorian, Stejskal said.

Cumulative GPA starts in seventh grade, Stejskal added.

Both students are heavily involved in school activities

Scherer is in volleyball, band and choir, one-act play, spring play, track, student council, National Honor Society, knowledge bowl, and economic challenge.

In her spare time, she gives piano lessons on the weekend at her home and spends time with friends, she said.

Guennigsman is in football, baseball, National Honor Society, knowledge bowl, and economic challenge.

In his spare time, he works at Glenn's SuperValu and also with a local landscaping company.

As for future plans, both will be leaving Winsted this summer, early fall.

Guennigsman is leaving in mid-July for Norway for one year, he said. He and his girlfriend, who is from Norway, will travel through Europe and then come back to the US and attend a four-year college, he said.

He is thinking about going into civil engineering or business, he said.

Scherer is accepted to the College of St. Benedict's in St. Joseph, where she will be studying music education.

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