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Waupaca’s top achievers

Four valedictorians, one salutatorian selected

Four valedictorians and one salutatorian will participate in Waupaca High School’s commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 28. in the gym.

Micaela Porod, Max Menzies, Robert Durfee and Larkin Hooker-Moerich are the valedictorians. Ryan Dayton is the salutatorian.

Micaela Porod
Porod plans to attend the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where she will major in art and pre-med.

She said she wants to go to medical school while staying involved in the art community.

Porod is an award-winning artist whose work has appeared at the Waupaca Community Art Center, the Waupaca Art Show and the local library.

Porod has taken Advanced Placement classes in U.S. history, psychology, biology, statistics and calculus AB.

Her extracurricular activities included Art Club, Forensics, National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions, band and soccer, where she was a captain on the JV team.

When asked what she most appreciated about Waupaca High School, Porod mentioned the variety of activities offered.

“The staff is always very supportive of our decisions, our activities,” she said.

Ryan Dayton
Dayton plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and major in secondary education.

“I plan to teach middle school or high school in the Waupaca area,” Dayton said.

Dayton has taken AP classes in English, communications, English 101 and statistics.

A pitcher for the Comets, Dayton has played baseball for Waupaca for four years. basketball for four years and Saturday morning baseball for three years. He is also a member of Spanish Club.

He said he most appreciates the extracurricular activities and the nice people at Waupaca High School.

Max Menzies
Menzies plans to attend the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and major in mechanical engineering.

He hopes to attend graduate school and “find a job that’s not too far away from this area.”

Menzies’ AP classes included statistics, physics, calculus AB and calculus BC.

“They offer a lot of opportunity for harder classes, like AP or CAP courses,” Menzies said. “You can push yourself as hard as you wish for your own education.”

A member of NHS and student council, Menzies played baseball and hockey for four years, has been captain on the hockey team, and a football player for three years.

Robert Durfee
Durfee plans to major in computer science and electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

After college, Durfee said he would like to launch a startup or work as cryotologic analyst for the CIA or NSA.

His AP classes included calculus AB, calculus BC, physics 1, physics 2, chemistry, statistics, American literature, communications and U.S. history.

In addition to being captain of the debate team and co-president of student council, Durfee has been a member of NHS, the math team, Solo and Ensemble, pit orchestra, jazz ensemble, the golf team and Forensics.

He has won District and State first-place awards in Solo and Ensemble, Michigan Tech Summer Program, acceptance into the Stanford Summer Academy and two-time consecutive state champion with Dakota Marlega in WHSFA Debate.

He is a National Merit Scholarship finalist and award recipient.

“The staff was really flexible with different paths you could take throughout high school,” Durfee said.

Larkin Hooker-Moericke
Hooker-Moericke plans to attend Michigan Technological Univeristy in Stoughton and major in chemical engineering.

After college she would like to work in cosmetic or food production.

She has taken AP classes in calculus AB, calculus BC, statistics, physics 1, chemistry, U.S. history and Spanish.

A member of student council for four years, Hooker-Moericke served as co-president her senior year.

Her other extracurricular activities have included four years with SADD (two as co-resident), two years in National Honor Society (one as co-president), FFA and 4-H with expertise in horses, Badger Girls State, Michigan Tech Summer Program, three years in soccer (one as captain), four years in curling, two years in Spanish National Honor Society, three years in pit orchestra, three years on the math team and one year on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support committee.

Hooker-Moericke has also been a member of the city of Waupaca Parks and Recreation Board for four years and served with Young Neighbors in Action for two years.

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