WO’s a lifechanger

Emily Wallace

As Instructor Ken Strobel likes to say, “There is no better gift than your education.” With seemingly infinite opportunities at WOHS, students’ time here is invaluable. Current seniors share their experiences that have most shaped them during their high school careers at WO.


“PALs in training helped me really get out of my comfort zone. I became more confident in the person I am and more willing to put myself out there. Open discussions, doing skits, and the games required me to be more outgoing than what I typically would be. And that just helped me become more comfortable in my own skin and to worry less about looking a little silly. Basically, I’m not afraid to be the one to initiate a conversation, keep a conversation going, etc. because that’s what we have to do with our contacts. The freshman version of me wouldn’t have been able to do that.”

  • Sr. Kailie Wielenga


“Percussion has changed me the most during my four years of high school because I improved a lot as a musician, but also I have learned to be a committed person. I notice that I follow through with what I say. I also have become more open and willing to put myself out there because music has helped me be more comfortable to express myself.”

  • Sr. Andrea Nguyen


“Towards the end of freshman year, I realized that you get what you put in when it comes to grades. I had a rough freshman year because I got lazy and didn’t do all of my homework. That bites now because those ‘not so good’ grades are on my transcript. Now, I’ve gotten better about my homework and I realize that if I put in the work now, the good grades will pay off in the end.”

  • Sr. Christopher Stevenson


“Before, it was easy to disregard my peers on a daily basis, but after working as a team so often through theatre, I understand that by engaging with others, you can come in contact with so many unique personalities that help you become a better person. It challenges you to think in the mindset of another person and cooperate as an ensemble with others. The most eye-opening show was definitely ‘The Good Soul of Szechuan’ because we were challenged each day to notice ‘good’ things in the world. It changed my perspective on why people act as they do and made me appreciate the genuinely ‘good’ people in my life.”

  • Sr. Becca Bruins

WO Renaissance

“Being in WO Renaissance has significantly impacted my high school experience. In every meeting we are inspired to be our best selves and encourage others to do the same. We really work to recognize everyone in the school, not just the athletes and honor roll students. Being in Renaissance has shown me that I have a passion for volunteering and  talking with people one on one. Because of Renaissance, I’m a more understanding, confident person who enjoys helping people in any way I can.”

  • Sr. Marissa Lindstrom

Volunteer Work

“Volunteering at Holland Hospital and interning at Mapleview Animal Hospital helped me to gain a strong understanding of what I wanted to pursue in the future. I had a lot of experience in patient interaction, and it made me more empathetic and understanding of other people.”

  • Sr. Paige Buhl


“I went into freshman year constantly stressing myself to death over growing up and understanding life. Throughout my time at WO, I realized that the teachers and administration were just as guilty of ‘faking’ their ways through life as their students. Seeing this took a lot of stress off my back- knowing I’m not the only one- but also challenged me to apply myself to work because I couldn’t always rely on my teachers to know what they were talking about. I learned to think for myself.”

  • Anonymous


“I started high school without too many serious plans for the future. My sophomore year, I met someone who showed me a whole new way of seeing life that inspired me to live freely and have dreams. We hope to get married soon after graduation.”

  • Sr. Harrison Gugino