A Lasting Mark


Marissa Hanson

This years inductees of the Wall of Inspiration

This morning, 12 students and staff members were inducted into the Wall of Inspiration. The Wall of Inspiration was created in 2004 for students and staff who have made a difference in the life of others. It was started by the Kuphal family in memory of their son Josh Kuphal, who died shortly after graduation due to complications in surgery. The Kuphals wanted to create something to remember the people who inspired their son and continue to inspire others. Since 2004 157 people have been inducted into the Wall of Inspiration. Every inductee gets a plaque to decorate to represent themself and what they stand for; then, their plaque is added to the wall to permanently leave their mark on the school. 

Nevaeh Wacholz, a ninth grader, is the youngest of this year’s inductees. She described being nominated as an honor. 


“It’s quite the honor to have people think of me as inspirational, because sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that myself but to be on the wall for it makes it feel more real,” said Walcholz.


Wacholz said she is inspired by her family, friends, church members, fellow athletes and coaches. On her tile, she has the Bible verse Matthew 5:16, which reads, “In the same way, let your life shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” She also has a quote “stressing the importance of mental health and how people can be going through battles that you know nothing about.” 


“I think it is just a really important thing to know that kindness goes a long way and to not treat people any differently based upon their background or what you may feel about them,” she said. “[It’s important] to treat them with kindness because you never know what battles they are going through.” 


Senior Mason Buendorf was another of this year’s inductees and was described by his nominator as a great role model and leader both inside and outside of school. Though nominators’ identities are confidential, several anonymously praised their nominees.


“He has shown wonderful leadership in all of his sports and wonderful dedication and drive,” said the source. “Overall he’s someone you can really look up to.”


Buendorf said that he was “pretty stoked” and “didn’t really expect [to be nominated].” He said he just tries to be the best version of himself, and his tile represents that. 

“The meaning around my plaque is to just push to be your best self everyday and exceed your limits,” he said. 


Fellow senior and 2022 inductee Leon Kong explained that he believes it is important not to let others’ opinions affect how you act or treat others. He prides himself on his individuality and work ethic. He described his tile as simple but meaningful. 


“It’s not the most colorful, but I feel like I put a lot of creativity and a lot of what I enjoy into it,” he said. “I think it really represents me.” 


Kong also noted how honored he is that someone found him inspiring enough to nominate him and how special it is to have a tile on the Wall. 


“There’s nothing like leaving a lasting mark, a piece of myself, on the Wall forever,” he said. 


Chemistry teacher Wendy Keszler was one of the staff inductees. At first, she was surprised about being nominated, but recalled all of the distance-learning students she was able to help and was proud to have made a difference. On her plaque is a quote that reads “There are things in life that you only own once, and then you give those to others.” The three things depicted in drawings are life, light and wisdom. 


Dean of students Sean Gaston’s nominator spoke of how his willingness to step into all sorts of roles to help others is inspiring. They also noted that working with him is an honor, and they are inspired by how driven he is.  


Paraeducator Lori Larsen’s nominator spoke of how they always see her busy working with others and helping them with anything they need. She is always smiling in the hallways and saying hello to people by name, making every greeting special. They admire her positivity and how she always remains focused on helping students be their best. 


Other inductees of this year’s Wall of Inspiration ceremony are as follows: Leah Rognes, Garang Dual, Rebekah Crissinger, Abby Chalmers, John Schneider and Morgan Anfinson.