May 11, 2019

Good morning! I’m Preston Kohlhaas!

I’m Gabe Trainer!

And I’m Laurel Degen! Thanks for joining us for a special “Bear Facts”, where we’re saluting the Class of 2019 here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

Tomorrow thirty-three seniors will be walking across the stage to receive their diplomas. The Class of 2019 is the 60th class to graduate from Bishop Garrigan. They’re far from the largest, but they’ve definitely made their mark on the school. It says something that two-thirds of the seniors received awards from the Top of Iowa Conference that honored their combined accomplishments in both academics and sports. The school also racked up thousands of leadership hours through the school’s Christian Leadership program.

The seniors will graduate without ever having lost a regular season football game. The Golden Bears went four full seasons undefeated. The Bears also continued their long string of state championships in dance, and this year they also won state championships in cheerleading and vocal jazz.

The Class of 2019 is one of the tallest classes we’ve had at Garrigan, and they used that height to advance to the boys state basketball tournament for just the third time in school history. Garrigan also made it to state in track, golf, cross-country—as well as speec h, drama, band, choir, and the Envirothon.

The Bears won their home quiz bowl tournament for just the second time in school history, and they continued their reign as the only team to win the Top of Iowa quiz bowl championship. Those wins qualified them to make their twentieth trip to national quiz bowl this summer. Seniors were also a big part of DECA, the business group that qualified for nationals this spring.

The different departments at Garrigan announced their awards at baccalaureate last Wednesday. Billy Erpelding won the math award, Sami Darling received the art award, Caroline Bradley was the top business student, and Laurel Degen earned the English honors. Bryce Capesius and Gabe Trainer split the science award, and Caden Berte was named the top vocational student.

Aidan Koob received top honors in social studies. For speech and drama, the award went to Caroline Bradley. Logan Heying won the service award from the music department. In theology Caroline Bradley and Madelyn Cink earned the academic award, while Bryce Cepesius and Gabe Trainer were honored for their service.

A new award this year was for bi-literacy, or mastering a foreign language. After taking an extensive battery of tests that demonstrate skills in speaking, writing, listening, and reading, Sami Darling received this prestigious award. Congratulations to Sami, our top foreign language student.

Several other big awards were also announced at baccalaureate. T.J. Schnurr received the school’s Scholar Athlete Award, while Gabe Trainer won the Bernie Saggau Award from the Iowa High School Athletic Association. The Marine Corps honored Luke Bormann as an Outstanding Athlete and Eric and Emma Thul for Scholastic Excellence.

Billy Erpelding and Laurel Degen were presented the Army Reserve Scholar Athlete Honors. John Capesius, Tristan Furgeson, John Meis, and Madison Illg split the PRIDE Award. G-Club Honors went to Preston Kohlhaas, Sam Vaske, Aidan Koob, and Madelyn Cink; and the Athlete of the Year Award went to Brad and Bella Capesius.

For twenty-three years now, Garrigan has presented pins for students who excel in a wide range of activities. This year John Capesius and Logan Heying were presented with bronze pins; while Megan Bronk, Ashlyn Harrington, Madison Illg, Aidan Koob, and Eric Thul earned silver pins. The top honor is the gold pin, and for 2019 those went to Laurel Degen, Sam Vaske, Gabe Trainer, Layah DeLange, John Meis, and Emma Thul.

Last week we also celebrated our annual honor society induction. This year twelve junior girls were inducted as new members in the honor society: Katie Noonan, Aubree Altman, Amanda Miller, Madison Meister, Julia Berte, and Emma Fogarty; as well as Carolyn Hough, Kenzie Meister, Jenna Heinen, Emma Lichter, Bailey Kollasch, and Jordan Hansen. Congratulations to all the honor society inductees.

Our final Senior Spotlight of the year salutes Lauren Kenyon. Lauren is a Whittemore native whose biggest activities at Garrigan have included choir, drama, and large group speech. She’s very interested in photography and is looking at going to college at Iowa Central. Best wishes to Lauren and to all the members of the Bishop Garrigan Class of 2019!

On our Golden Bear calendar this week, the softball team is having a camp this morning, and then tomorrow at 2pm is graduation for the Class of 2019. Gabe Trainer will give the senior address, and you can hear the ceremony here on KLGA.

Giving Back Day is scheduled for Monday. Students from both Garrigan and Algona High will be helping with service projects in the community that day. There’s also girls golf sectionals that day.

Tuesday is the Top of Iowa Conference Art Show. We’ll have an all-school barbecue that day to celebrate the end of the school year. Then on Wednesday semester tests begin for the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

There’s a special schedule for finals, with open campus when no tests are scheduled. State track starts next Thursday in Des Moines, and Friday—the last day of the school year—there will be boys district golf.

That’s wraps up our “Bear Facts” salute to the Class of 2019. Next week some of our younger announcers will be here with one last show, wrapping up the year and looking forward to summer here at Bishop Garrigan High School.