Open Book

Many of the students of the senior class have known each other for many years, and some students have even been in school together since kindergarten. Although they think they know everything about their fellow classmates, there are still some secrets that have not been overturned… until now.

George Muench, Reid Spanbauer, Nataly Neitzel, Regan Kraus, Zhai Yuchen

By Raechel Russo - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

George Muench: 6’6” senior George Muench’s passion is found on the basketball court, and it’s no surprise since Muench grew up in a family of former basketball players. Muench said, “I started to show interest in basketball at a young age.” Muench has cute photos of himself dribbling a basketball as young as the age of three. Muench said, “My goal for this basketball season is to go back to state, but this time we’re going to win a gold ball.”

Reid Spanbauer: Senior Reid Spanbauer spends much of his time playing football or working out, but his hidden talent happens to be folding origami. Spanbauer said, “I’ve been interested in origami ever since I went on a field trip in third grade.” Spanbauer said he witnessed an elderly man “strangely” folding paper at a booth on a field trip, and he was intrigued. Spanbauer said, “I like to fold animals, and my favorite animal to fold is a duck.”

Nataly Neitzel: Senior Nataly Neitzel is a dancing icon at Julie’s Touch of Silver. Nataly is certainly passionate about dance but also enjoys the traveling benefits of her sport. “My vacations revolve around my recitals and competitions.” For her dance competitions, Neitzel has traveled to Norway, Sweden, and Italy. Neitzel will be traveling to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Iceland in the upcoming months. However, when Neitzel is in the not dancing or traveling abroad, she likes to read books, watch romantic movies, and hang out with friends.

Regan Kraus: Senior Regan Kraus is a bright, young woman who loves to swim. Kraus has been swimming competitively for the past eight years, and she’s made it to sectionals each season. Kraus will continue to swim at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Below the surface and behind the goggles, however, Kraus is an animal lover at heart. Kraus said her favorite animal is a dog because “they don’t care if you're an old, smelly man; they still like you.” For her career, Kraus hopes to become a veterinarian because her heart wants to help the lives of sweet animals.

Zhai Yuchen: Zhai Yuchen is a foreign exchange student from China, but his friends and teachers at Lourdes call him Casual. Casual loves to read, and his favorite book genre is action. Casual said, “I like reading because I feel like I’m in a new world.” Casual started his passion for reading four years ago after his teacher gave him a book as a gift.

George Muench has had a passion for basketball since he was three years old.

Reid Spanbauer not only loves playing football but also enjoys creating origami ducks.

Nataly Neitzel dances around the world.

Regan Kraus has a passion for swimming and animals.

Causal enjoys reading action novels.

Caden Chier, Claire Vandenhouten, Sophie Jensen, May Dunn, Sanatagul Dikambaeva

By Regan Kraus - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Caden Chier: Many students know senior Caden Chier as a football, basketball, and golf extraordinaire, but not many people know about his culinary talents. Caden is a talented chef, and has been cooking since he was just six or seven years old. He said he also enjoys cooking for his family. “I like cooking because I can do it as a chore and make my sister do everything else,” Caden said. Although he may be using his talent against his sister, he is using his passion to serve others.

Claire Vandenhouten: Senior Claire Vandenhouten loves her pet. She does not have the typical dog or cat because she is allergic to both of these animals. Instead, Vandenhouten has a bird named Blueberry Pancake, or Finny for short, who is a sassy and playful finch. Claire says that she loves Finny and she wishes she could adopt another pet into her flock.

Sophie Jensen: Senior Sophie Jensen is an outgoing person, but many students do not know about her hidden passion: reading. Sophie’s favorite author is Ruta Sepetys and her favorite genres to read are historical fiction and dystopian. Sophie loves that books can take anyone’s mind away from the troubles of the world. “You can escape from the troubles of the real life by diving into the author’s mind,” Sophie said.

May Dunn: May is a quiet senior, so some students do not know very much about her. May is originally from China, and her parents adopted her when she was a baby. May does not remember very much about living in China and only knows a few words in Mandarin. She says that she is grateful for her parents and all of the opportunities she is blessed with.

Sanatagul Dikambaeva: Sanatagul, or Sana for short, is one of Lourdes Academy's international students. She is from Kyrgyzstan and has an interesting story. In America, Sana is not actually a senior but is a junior. Back at home in Kyrgyzstan, she has already graduated from her high school. Sana is 17 and her grades at Lourdes are not counted toward her education at home since she already graduated. Students also may not know that Sana is a Muslim, and she says that going to a Catholic school is an interesting change. “I only saw Catholic people on TV, so I was worried if I went to a Catholic school I would lose my faith,” Sana said. Now, she says she realizes that everyone is very friendly. She is happy that Lourdes students are welcoming of her religion.

Sophie enjoys reading while sipping coffee at her favorite cafe.

Caden has a passion for cooking.

Claire loves her pet bird Finny.

May is grateful to her parents for adopting her from China.

Sana (with antlers) is enjoying her time at Lourdes as an international student from Kyrgyzstan.

Victor Du, Keely Mains, Rosa Natalia Melendez, Noah Resop, Annie Schraa

By Noah Ralofsky - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

VICTOR DU is a foreign exchange student from China, and he loves to cook. He prefers to cook American food as opposed to Chinese cuisine. His favorite dish to make is a meal with sausage and rice. Du said that the flavors between the two nations are very different, but he likes to cook dishes from both cultures.

KEELY MAINS works at Christianos Pizza in Oshkosh and is a master pie maker. Yes, he throws the dough up in the air and catches it like in the movies and commercials. His favorite pizza to make is a BBQ chicken pizza, but his favorite pizza to eat is a classic pepperoni.

Originally from Guatemala, ROSA NATALIA MELENDEZ is the youngest of 23 first cousins. Aside from the 23 first cousins, Melendez said she also has at least 40 extended cousins. While all of her cousins live in Guatemala, Rosa’s family immigrated to the U.S. when she was three years old. Although she has never met any of her cousins, she plans to take a trip to Guatemala to meet all of them in the near future.

NOAH RESOP has a knack for tickling the ivories. Since sixth grade, Resop has been taking lessons and playing melodious music on the piano. His favorite song to play is “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars, a slow and somber tune. He also enjoys playing “Candy Paint” by Post Malone, an upbeat and fast-paced song.

ANNIE SCHRAA and her family enjoy traveling the United States and have visited all but two of the 50 states. When Schraa’s older sisters were still in high school, she and her family would pack into their RV and drive off on road trips. While visiting all the states except Alaska and Hawaii, Schraa’s favorite city was New York City. She said she loved the business and diversity throughout the city. Outside of the United States, Schraa’s favorite destination was the Bahamas. She appreciated the calm and relaxing atmosphere and the perfect beaches with warm water and “soft-as-silk sand.”

Victor Du shares his love of Chinese cuisine.

Keely Mains: pizza chef.

Rosa was born in Guatemala.

Noah by the piano he first learned on.

A young Annie in her childhood RV.

Sydney Kelly, Ellen Moore, Nathan Barfknecht, Tate Fabish, Eric Liu

By Grace Syson - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Sydney Kelly is a huge soccer fan and loves playing the game, but she was once a fan of sailing. Kelly started sailing at six with her dad who “taught me everything I needed to know.” Her favorite aspect of sailing was “getting tan” and spending time with her family. Kelly said she stopped sailing after a friend chipped her tooth while sailing one summer.

Ellen Moore loves running, but when she’s not running she's hitting the slopes. Moore started skiing when she was four years old and learned to snowboard at the age of six. Moore said, “My family and I go up north to Indian Head during the winter, and it is a lot of fun for us.” Moore still loves to snowboard and spends much of the winter shredding the slopes.

Sign Nathan Barfknecht up for a circus act! This man can juggle! Barfknecht learned to juggle late last year when he and his dad were playing corn hole. He learned his juggling skills by using the bean bags from the game. Barfknecht said, “It’s not something I do often, but it’s a cool trick I have.” Who knew Nathan could juggle more than a soccer ball?

Tate Fabisch is not only a skillful student, but he is also a skillful carpenter. Fabisch and his family recently completed remodeling a house that they started working on in June of 2019. On average, Fabisch said he spent at least 12 hours each week at the house remodeling and rebuilding the home. Fabisch said, “It was good family bonding for us, and we all really enjoyed it most of the time. We are all super proud of the final look.” The Fabisch’s remodeled home is for sale on Murdock Street in Oshkosh.

Eric Liu loves playing video games; in fact, he says when he's not sleeping, he’s gaming. Just recently, Liu said he purchased a new monitor for his favorite video games. Liu said, “It’s really nice, and I enjoy it a lot.” Liu said the monitor is a really important piece of equipment for gaming so players can see the games on a bigger screen. Liu also said a quality monitor helps with the graphics. Liu said he also recently purchased a new headset so he can hear his friends when he plays games with them.

Sydney Kelly sails with one of her friends.

Eric Liu: the gaming master!

Ellen Moore takes a break after snowboarding last winter.

Nathan Barfknecht: the best juggler at Lourdes.

Tate Fabisch's remodeled house for sale in Oshkosh.

Gavin Meyers, Addison Masini, Georgeanna Chier, Noah Ralofsky, Jillian Yang

By Raechel Russo - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Lourdes Academy High School seniors have grown up together, but even close friends have secrets. Most seniors who attend Lourdes Academy have been in the school system since the potty training days. Seniors Gavin Meyers, Noah Ralofsky, Addison Masini, Jillian Yang, and Georgeanna Chier share some of their secret talents and passions in "Open Book."

GAVIN MEYERS has been a part of the Lourdes family since kindergarten and has a secret involving fast cars, mechanics, and adrenaline. “I drag race because my grandpa gave my dad and me our first race car, and I want to make him proud,'' Meyers said. Starting at the age of 14, Meyers has enjoyed fixing engines and burning rubber.

ADDISON MASINI has a secret desire to be a “Cali Girl.” Masini said, “I want to go to college in California, and I’ve been to California about 25 times in my life.” From her beach blonde hair to her “gnarly” surfboard, Masini has tried to bring California culture to Wisconsin by wakeboarding behind her boat. She wants to move to California because of the culture, warmth, and beaches.

GEORGEANNA CHIER has traveled to the east coast to discover her paradise: New York City. Chier, like Masini, also plans on attending college out of state, Chier wants to attend college somewhere in New York. Chier said, “I love New York because of all the cute shops and because it’s the city that never sleeps.”

Chier could be shopping for leggings and sweaters, but many are unaware of fashion icon NOAH RALOFSKY's secret for pulling off any look. Ralofsky enjoys shopping at Ron Jon Surf Shop and Vans. Ralofsky said, “A fashion mistake I regret was in fifth grade when I wore my neon yellow shoes everyday. I’ve changed my style since then by wearing less sweatshirts and more flannels.”

JILLIAN YANG is a returning international student from China who back home is a competitive ice skater. Yang said, “I have been ice skating for 14 years. Ice skating makes me feel happy but, surprisingly, I don’t feel cold.” Yang said her favorite ice skating costume is a deep blue color with sequins.

Georgeanna Chier enjoys a giant cookie on the streets of New York.

Noah Ralofsky poses for an artsy picture wearing Ron Jon Surf Shop.

Jillian draws her ice skating costume.

Addison Masini surfs with family behind their boat.

Gavin Meyers drives his grandpa's car before a race.