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Seniors Gabby Bayness and Cole Nicholas Reflect on Time at Lutheran West and Future Plans

Jessica Miller | Monday, April 15, 2019
Cole Nicholas '19Cole_Nicholas.jpeg

The Lutheran West community congratulates Cole Nicholas, senior, on his recent acceptance to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Cole's stellar academic record and involvement in the Lutheran West student community have provided him with this exceptional opportunity.

Throughout the past four years, Cole has been a student-athlete and leader on Lutheran West's wrestling and football teams, serving as a captain of the football team. While not in a Longhorn uniform, Cole continued to lead his peers as a member of Student Council, serving as Vice President in his senior year.

His football coach and English teacher, Frank Petroff, says, "It has been my privilege and pleasure to work with Cole over the past four years both in the classroom and on the football field. Concern for others, dedication, desire, motivation, creativity, and leadership are words that come to my mind when I think of Cole. Cole will not surrender to the powers of popularity to compromise the principles he believes are true. He expemplifies excellence and upholds high standards of being a student. Cole is traditionally religious in his deep Christian faith; his honor is impeccable and his effervescent spirit warms the hearts of people that have had the privilege to know him."

Cole says, "While at West, I most enjoyed my math and science classes because I really enjoy that line of thinking." His affinity for math and science will come into play as he pursues his desired college major, mechanical engineering, at West Point. After graduating from West Point, Cole plans to serve our country as an Army Officer before beginning his engineering career. 

As a Lutherarn West community, we congratulate Cole on his achievements and wish him and his classmates in the Class of 2019 the very best in their future pursuits.

Gabby Bayness '19

Lutheran West would like to congratulate Gabby Bayness, senior, on her recent acceptance to the University of Chicago. Gabby plans to attend this fall as an economics major, although she says her major may change as she explores subject areas in college.

During her years at Lutheran West, Gabby was a highly involved member of the student community as a student-athlete and leader. She ran indoor and outdoor track for all four years, serving as a team captain for three. She also ran cross country for three school years, captaining the team in her junior and senior years. Gabby served as Student Council secretary for all four years of her high school career, in addition to serving as the National Honors Society president in her senior year. She has been a member of the Senney Honors Academy and began a new program at West in which seniors can create and showcase their own seminars on various topics ranging from education to health sciences to athletics. Outside of her own studies, Gabby tutors other students in mathematics.

Gabby says she has enjoyed her classes at Lutheran West. She says, "Mr. Jim Fenske has had the biggest impact on not just my high school career but my life as a whole. I was in his AP English class for two years and his Ethics class this year. Not only have I become a more clear and concise writer, but my outlook on life and my relationship with God have grown as well. He's constantly been there to answer all of my interesting -- and sometimes weird -- questions, whether they were academically related or not. I can firmly say he made me a more complete individual who is ready to be challenged by the world."

Although Gabby says she appreciates all of the faculty and staff, she makes a point to say that, "Mrs. Kathy Ruic has been one of the absolute joys of my life. She recognized my affinity for art and she never fails to encourage me when I'm hard on myself and challenge me when I don't push my skills enough. Last year, she helped me create pieces for a portfolio that I included in my supplement materials for the University of Chicago, and I think that creative edge rounded me out as an applicant."

Gabby also says that her high school years were greatly enriched by Mrs. Becky Slack, who serves Lutheran West students as a guidance counselor, Academic Dean, and Director of the Senney Honors Academy. Regarding Mrs. Slack, Gabby says, "She may not be a subject teacher, but she taught me how to navigate my way through interviews, applications, resumes, college options, and mysteries of life itself."

Gabby's Lutheran West experience has been, in her own words, "simply and rightfully noteworthy." She says that although she hasn't yet graduated, she can already tell that her years as a Longhorn will be a phase of her life upon which she looks back fondly and continues to learn from for years to come. She is proudly taking her accomplishments and lessons learned with her to college, and she knows that her classmates in the Class of 2019 will do the same. "I think our class as a whole is incredibly clever and pretty strange (in a good way), and I always had something to learn from each of them." 

Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

Phone: 440.333.1660
Fax: 440.333.1729

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