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Rochester Central Lutheran School


theme verse collage
Robin Kaufmann
8th grade class in PE

Earlier this week, RCLS held what is a unique ceremony in our area: a graduation for our 8th-grade class. Each year on the day after Memorial Day, we mark the end of the foundational years of education and bless a class of 8th-grade graduates as they progress on to the next stage of life and learning: high school!

This year, we’ve celebrated 20 graduates, a smaller class than we typically have, but an enduring (and endearing) group of kids, nonetheless. We welcome you to applaud them with us.


Liesl A. joined her RCLS class in 6th grade. Since then, she has made some great friends at RCLS and likes any time that she gets to “hang out” with them. She also has enjoyed playing soccer and volleyball in middle school, and like many of her peers, she enjoys fields trips and especially RCLS’s Field Day. As she matriculates to Century High School in the fall, she looks forward to making new connections and taking classes such as French, which she anticipates will broaden her horizons. We’re sure Liesl will thrive in high school and beyond.

8th grade year in 3 words: Fun, informative, creative

Dream job? Liesl imagines working as a historian or a pilot after college.


Lovinsky Burmester, too, joined this class in 6th grade shortly after he immigrated to the U.S. He loves to run, so it is no surprise that his favorite time of year is track season. He leaves RCLS with fond memories of Field Day. Lovinsky is a polite, earnest young man. He is easy to like and has learned to communicate well with his teachers, so he expects to get along well with teachers at Century High School. We’re quite sure this will be so.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Awesome, great, fantastic

Dream job? Lovinsky is not yet sure what his “dream job” might be, but he’s got some time to figure that out.


Sophia Grivna came to RCLS for 5th grade. She has enjoyed some of what is unique about RCLS: a Field Day that involves the entire school and some co-ed sports teams, which she was grateful to see return to RCLS this past fall and spring after so many canceled activities in the past year. Sophia enjoys playing tennis outside of school, being with her friends, and language learning. A conscientious student, Sophia thinks her time management and sense of responsibility about homework will help her do well at Mayo High School.

8th grade year in 3 words: Memorable, fast, fun

Dream job? Translator for the FBI


Jazzlyn Hanenberger has spent her entire academic career at RCLS. She started as a 3-year-old in Preschool. Now, she is a hardworking, determined 8th-grader who wants to exceed at everything she puts her mind to do. Most recently, this avid runner has been competitive on the Century High School track team, even taking 2nd place in her distance at the Big 9 Girls’ Meet. Impressive! She looks forward to high school and meeting new people there, but she sure appreciates her years at RCLS and takes many happy memories with her.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Fun, exciting, eventful

Dream job? Jazzlyn thinks she might like to work as a Pharmacist.


Anna Henrichsen also has spent all of her school days at RCLS. She lists Chapel Families and the Winona Track and Field day among her favorite memories of RCLS. She has been enthusiastically involved in many of RCLS’s extracurricular activities, but she also keeps busy with dance outside of school. We have no doubt that Anna will do well at Century High School, where she anticipates her ability to plan will help her successfully manage the rigor of classes and the demand of many activities and a busy schedule.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Different but fun

Dream job? Anna hopes to be a Medical Doctor.


Evan Kuball came to RCLS as a kindergartner. Like so many Bobcats, his favorite day of the school year is RCLS’s Field Day, something he is grateful we were able to have this year. Evan  plays both baseball and basketball, and he looks forward to playing on his high school basketball team. This fine young man gives credit to his teachers for training him to be responsible with his homework and obligations at school. He expects to carry that sense of responsibility with him to John Marshall, where we think he will be a leader among his peers.

8th-grade year in 3 words:  We made it!

Dream job? Evan imagines working as an Engineer or as a Police Officer.


Avalyn Lenton became a part of RCLS in 6th grade. She loved Track and Field Day that year, and though half of her RCLS experience has been “different” (thanks, Covid!), she has found RCLS to be a safe place to land. She is a soccer player and a writer, two talents she will take with her to Lourdes High School, where she looks forward to meeting and making new friends. We’re grateful to have spent the last three formative years with this thoughtful student, and we expect great things from her.

Dream job? Avalyn dreams of being an Author.


Owen McMaster started at RCLS as a 3-year-old in Preschool. The Winona Track and Field Day is “definitely” one of his favorite among many beloved school traditions. He enjoys volleyball outside of school and he looks forward to “new people and more freedom,” he says, at Century High School. Owen says he is not sure what it will take to be successful in high school, but as a hardworking, intelligent, young man––he is the class valedictorian, after all––we’re quite sure this young man has what it takes.

Dream job? Owen imagines he might enjoy being a Software Engineer.


Josiah Niederstadt started at RCLS in 5th grade when his family moved to Rochester. He is a sports fan and has enjoyed RCLS basketball. He also always looked forward to parties that his class had to celebrate holidays and other seasonal events. Josiah is not shy. He enjoys hanging out with family and friends, so it makes sense that what he is most looking forward to at Century High School is getting to know the many people he will meet––primarily on athletic teams, he thinks. We’re sure he will bring grace and goodness to those teams.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Fun, loving, crucial

Dream job? Josiah hopes to be a Veterinarian.


Wyatt Ross is another “lifer” at RCLS. This pleasant young man joined our school way back in Preschool. Like so many of his classmates, Wyatt thinks the spring track traditions––Field Day and Winona Track and Field Day––are among the best days of the year. Outside of school, he enjoys fishing and playing sports. Wyatt will attend Century High School, where he looks forward to meeting new people and taking new classes. He thinks the preparation he has received at RCLS, together with the sage advice of his older sister, will help him succeed in high school.

8th-grade year in 3 words: It was awesome!

Dream job? Wyatt might like to be a Biomedical Engineer.


Olivia Schmitz just joined her RCLS class this year, so she does not have a lot of experience with our annual traditions since so many were canceled this year, but she is grateful for the friends and classmates she found here. Olivia is a volleyball player, and she thinks involvement in athletic teams at Century High School will be a great way to get connected and settle into high school. She thinks she’s got good study habits in place so as to not procrastinate, so she should do well in the classroom, as well. We have been so grateful to have Olivia at RCLS this year.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Fun, challenging, memorable

Dream job? Olivia says it is her dream to be a Sports Reporter, a Professional Athlete, or a Photographer.


Niko Sicotte started in Kindergarten at RCLS, so he has many years of memories of RCLS’s beloved Field Day to take with him. He also has enjoyed participation in athletics at RCLS and looks forward to a wide range of sports teams at Century High School. There, he will be eager to have a range of choices for classes, too, and he thinks he manages time well enough to make high school “less stressful” than it could be otherwise. We expect great things from Niko!

8th-grade year in 3 words: Different but good

Dream job? Niko imagines holding a job that would have him filming, editing, or managing an online business.


Jessica Strohschein has been an RCLS student since Preschool. She, too, has a treasure chest of memories to take with her, but the spring track days are the dearest of those memories. She dances outside of school. Jessica anticipates “growth” as she enters the next stage of learning and meets new people in her classes at Century High School, and she thinks she takes some level of confidence with her to high school––something that surely will serve this honorable young woman well.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Eventful, surprising, interesting

Dream job? Jessica imagines being an Interior Designer.


Hope Thomas has been one of our favorite Bobcats since age 4 in Prekindergarten. She names all of the activities of National Lutheran Schools Week each year among her most memorable RCLS days and, most recently, the selection and significance of their class verse: Isaiah 43:2––When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…. Hope enjoys her book club and being active with sports outside of school. She will attend Mayo High School, where she looks forward to a variety of History classes, an area of special interest for Hope, and to connecting with other students who wear hearing aids.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Best, fun year

Dream job? Hope thinks she’d be a great Audiologist.


Abram Thorstenson started at RCLS in 4th grade. He has particularly loved Science at RCLS, and he thinks his preparation in Math will help him do well in high school all the way through Calculus. Abram is an active teenager and enjoys climbing and sports outside of school. We think Century High School will appreciate this fine young man.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Challenging, motivating, leader

Dream job? Abram thinks it would be exciting to be a Meteorologist and/or a Storm Chaser.


Evelyn Timimi joined our 8th-grade RCLS class just this year. She has been a great addition to the class and has settled in to make herself at home with friends and activities at this school. She will long remember playing “eagles egg” at RCLS, she says. Eva competes in Nordic skiing here in Rochester. She looks forward to seeing more of her cross-country skiing friends at Mayo High School in the fall, and she’s excited to take on the rigor of high school and to manage her time and commitments in that context.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Singing, happy, silly

Dream job? Eva has dreams of a career in Pediatric Cardiology or in something at NASA.


Hannah Tupper started RCLS in 4th grade and has enjoyed her time as a Bobcat. She has fond memories of the Hallelujah carnival and really, she says, just “everyday laughing” with her friends. She’s looking forward to being a student at Mayo High School, where she anticipates her planning and time management practices will keep her on-track with the demands of the next stage of learning. High school classes seem interesting, and she even hopes to make time for special classes such as Ceramics. Hannah will make a great high school student.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Laughter, fun, adventure

Dream job? Always up for an adventure, Hannah imagines working as an EMT or 911 operator.


Nicholas Uhlmann started as a student at RCLS in 1st grade. He’s a thoughtful guy who likes to listen to audiobooks in his free time and who has a clever sense of humor. His favorite memory of RCLS? Well, that’s easy. He once submitted a pineapple for the pumpkin carving contest at the Hallelujah Carnival, he says. That still makes him laugh! Nicholas will attend Lourdes High School in the fall and will do well, he hopes, as he takes with him an “ability to think”––about things that matter and otherwise!

8th-grade year in 3 words: Wait, that’s dubious!

Dream job? Nicholas thinks it would be cool to work as a firefighter.


Madeline W. started at RCLS in Preschool. She remembers participating in the spelling bee at RCLS––and being one of the top winners more than once. She enjoys both English and History classes, so she looks forward to more of those in high school. She also enjoys art in her free time, so we suspect art will find its way into Madeline’s school day, as well. She’ll be at Century High School in the fall, and we think they will be better for having her.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Funny, caring, amazing

Dream job? Madeline would make a very fine Archeologist


Samuel Williams joined his class at RCLS in 2nd grade. Like others in his class, his favorite traditions at RCLS include the Winona Track and Field Day and the RCLS Field Day. In his free time, Sam enjoys music. At Century High School next fall, he looks forward to meeting new friends and taking on classes and responsibilities that will engage his ability to stay organized.

8th-grade year in 3 words: Masks, fun, friends

Dream job? Sam would not turn down the opportunity to work as a Musician.


8th grade class in tie-dye tshirts

RCLS Class of 2021

Valedictorian: Owen McMaster


Salutatorian: Niko Sicotte

1st Runner-up: Anna Henrichsen

2nd Runner-up: Hannah Tupper

Class hymn: "Crown Him with Many Crowns"

Class verse: Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Class Psalm: Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil

Class color: Tie-dye

8th grade students as babies