Regina High School 2020 Valedictorians

Name: Claire Niedermaier

What grade school did you attend? St. Thecla Catholic School

What college are you attending in the fall? I will be attending the University of Michigan as a Stamps Scholar, a merit scholarship based on grades and achievement within the arts and sciences that covers the full cost of attendance for four years.  I will be a dual-degree student within the School of Music, Theatre, & Dance and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.  From the moment I stepped on the U-M campus, I felt a sense of home that I hadn’t felt at any other school.  I was intrigued by the idea of a large university setting that would offer me a vast area of study in esteemed programs.

What do you want to study? I will be studying both Sound Engineering and Art & Design.  Throughout my life, I have always enjoyed math, science, music, and art.  When I discovered these two majors, I thought it would be the perfect way to combine all of these interests.  I’m extremely excited to take courses such as calculus, physics, music theory, creative coding for music, and studio art classes in various concentrations.  While I don’t have a set career path yet, I hope to incorporate everything I learn in school in the music or entertainment industries.

What was your favorite class at Regina? Why? I have enjoyed so many classes at Regina!  It’s hard to only choose one, but I think I enjoyed my AP Chemistry class the most.  I had so much fun with my two other classmates and Mr. Mayer, especially when we were able to conduct interesting experiments in the lab with various equipment.  I’d like to give honorable mentions to my AP U.S. History and AP European History classes as well.  Mr. Dasin and Mrs. Portnova were able to make a subject I usually don’t like fascinating and engaging with their own passion for the material!

What will you miss most about being a student at Regina? Without a doubt, I will miss the people who make Regina what it is.  My teachers have been so supportive of me, both in and out of the classroom, and I cherish the relationships I have with them.  I will always remember the lessons they taught me, the advice they gave, and the funny conversations we had.  I will also miss my classmates who have made my high school experience so memorable.  The friendships I have from Regina will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at Regina? I’ve been involved in various activities including Class Officers, RHS Ambassadors, National Honor Society, The Regina Players, Choral Ensemble, the De La Salle Wig and Mask Society, and the De La Salle Concert Band. 

What are you taking away from Regina? Regina has helped me to realize my own capability through the hard work I’ve done and the new opportunities I’ve tried.  I’ve not only realized my own capability, but also the capability that each girl at Regina has.  I’ve learned to support my sisters and celebrate their victories with them.  I have learned that by empowering the women around me, I empower myself as well.  I will always carry this lesson of sisterhood with me. 

In addition to the Stamps Scholarship at the University of Michigan, Claire also received the True Blue Merit Scholarship at the University of Michigan – Flint, the Presidential Scholarship at Lawrence Technological University, the Gold Presidential Scholar Award at Oakland University, and the Warrior Award at Wayne State University.  She was also accepted to Michigan State University.

Name: Josephine VanBerkum

What grade school did you attend? St. Paul on the Lake Catholic School

What college are you attending in the fall? I will be attending Hillsdale College this fall; the close-knit community there really spoke to me, and their dedication to learning and the truth is very inspiring.

What do you want to study? I’m going in undecided; I love a lot of things, so I plan to use the required classes to pinpoint what exactly I want to do in the future.

What was your favorite class at Regina? Why? I greatly enjoyed all the history classes I took at Regina, but my favorite class always ended up being Art. I was able to take two art classes this last semester, and it was a wonderful way to relax during the day and express myself through something I love.

What will you miss most about being a student at Regina? I will miss the friends I made over the four years, and the dedication the teachers had to truly knowing and understanding their students.

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities at Regina? I ran cross country all four years, and did track freshman and sophomore year; I was planning to do it this year as well, but the season was cut short. I joined NHS sophomore year, started doing Eucharistic Ministry this year, and participated in Science Olympiad for two years.

What are you taking away from Regina? Regina truly helped me to better understand myself; I am confident in who I am, and in my place in the world.

Jo received a Merit Scholarship from Hillsdale. She was also accepted into Valparaiso University and received the Presidential Scholarship; and into Aquinas College, where she received a scholarship from the Spectrum Scholarship Program.