Zoe Lipke

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to say for my final farewell to FHC. To be honest, it’s been extremely difficult to form into words. Not because I have nothing to say, but because I have too much. These people and this school have played a massive part in making me who I am, and it’s so hard to say goodbye. 

Throughout these past four years, I have been blessed with the opportunities to meet so many new people. Whether it was through student council, Ranger basketball, soccer, or sports report, the people I have met here at FHC will always hold a special place in my heart. Each of them deserves countless thanks. 

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about my four years here at FHC is Ranger basketball. This program single-handedly brought me my best friends, role models, and memories. I didn’t know what to expect my first year as the only freshman on varsity, but these girls were people that anyone would be privileged to know. They not only made me a better person on the court, but they were also great role models off the court as well. However, the biggest thanks I can give is to my coaches Kristina and Kate. These two have been with me since the sixth grade, and without them, I wouldn’t have made it this far. Kristina, thank you for instilling the confidence in me to break out of my shell on the court. You truly are my biggest hype-man. As for Kate, thank you for never taking it easy on me. I have grown so much under your guidance and learned how to be a leader from you. There are also two teammates I have had the privilege of playing with for three years and growing up with through AAU basketball. Theryn Hallock and Remmie Ingraham, you two have been the best teammates and friends. From being on the court together to everything outside the gym doors, you two were always there for me. I know you two have insanely bright futures, and I am so happy I was able to be a part of it. 

Switching gears to a class that will forever hold a special place in my heart: the FHC Sports Report. I joined this class on a whim freshman year, and little did I know that these people would be the ones to bring me the most joy every day. The past years on sports report never had a dull moment, and this year was no exception at all. In a year that felt like nothing could go right, I would walk into sixth hour and immediately feel better. Mr. George deserves the biggest thanks here because, without him, I wouldn’t be here; I wouldn’t have made the people I consider to be some of my best friends. To Matthew, thank you for being patient with me these last three years. You did more for the class than we can ever thank you for, and in return, I promise I will continue to learn how to use a comma. To Jacob, thanks for keeping Cohort A in check, even if we did give you a hard time. You will do big things at Michigan State next year. To Cam, my freshman year boyfriend, thank you for always being so kind to me. To Mason, we can agree to disagree that I would win in a fight. However, thank you for making me laugh. To Gwen, I have literally known you for so long. I love every memory we have had together. I am so happy you joined the class junior year. To Pierson, go Steelers. Most of all, I appreciate how you were always willing to listen to my stories. To Tate, frenemies for life. You rock, and sorry I almost killed us when driving to Krispy Kreme. To Thomas, I am also sorry about the Krispy Kreme thing. Thank you for being such a friendly face in sixth hour. To Adam, “Hop the Cop,” to be exact, thank you for being so hard-working. We all know you will be a big help next year. To Joe, these last two years on staff with you were the best. I am so grateful to be friends with you. To Mac, my favorite ginger ever. Thank you for matching my energy level, and thank you for becoming one of my best friends. To Owen, thank you for those kind words and for bringing some life to the sports report room. To TT, you take everything like a champ. I hope your ankle gets better too. To Levi, thank you for being there for me and for going on Starbucks runs with me to fuel my caffeine addiction. Lastly, a big thank you to Sydney. From freshman year to now, you have always been someone I can count on. You are one of the kindest souls I have ever met, and I cannot wait to visit you at Wisconsin next year. 

Despite the fact that we literally live in the same house, there is one more final goodbye I would like to share. Originally, I wasn’t 100% sure I would enjoy having my mom up at the high school with me. However, I can confidently say that it is truly the biggest blessing. Thank you for being my biggest supporter, and I guess a pretty cool mom as well. From our daily lunches in between bio to having coffee together every day, these are small moments that I will cherish forever. You’re the best. Having extra opportunities to hang out with you these last four years was one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for. 

As a whole, these past four years at FHC have been better than I ever could have asked for. Everyone always talks about how badly they want to be done, and yes, I am ready for my next step. With that being said, though, I wouldn’t trade my time as a Ranger for anything. I will miss my walks down every hallway and always showing up late to a class because I somehow seem to get caught up in a new conversation every day. I will miss the student sections at every game and playing on the West Gym court and the stadium field. But most of all, I will miss the people, students, and staff, that have made my time here at FHC unforgettable. I may be headed off to Wheaton College to become a Wheatie, but I will always be a Ranger at heart. 

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