(l-r) 2017 Valedictorians: Vanessa Schweiterman, Bishop Luers High School; Robert C. Medina, Jr., Wayne High School; Elizabeth Gustin, South Side High School
Bishop Luers, Wayne and South Side High Schools have announced their top students – the Valedictorians and Salutatorians – for 2017.

The high-performing students at local high schools have a wide range of interests and will be attending various colleges next year.

At Bishop Luers High School, 333 E. Paulding Road, this year’s Valedictorian is Vanessa Schweiterman.
The Roanoke resident is the daughter of Michelle and Steve Schweiterman. She plans to attend Indiana University this fall, and wants to major in biology to pursue a career in medicine.

While at Luers, her extracurricular activities included journalism, World Culture Club, and the Future Business Leaders of America. She even worked as a waitress at the Country Post restaurant while attending school.

The senior, whose Grade Point Average was a 4.3606, said her Catholic education gave her the opportunity to grow “not only academically, but also allowed me to strengthen my relationship with Christ.”

The Salutatorian at Luers is Abby Nicole Ulman. The Fort Wayne resident is the daughter of Anne and Dennis Ulman. She plans to attend Purdue University next year and double major in biomedical engineering and political science.

At Bishop Luers, Abby was part of National Honors Society, the Future Business Leaders, World Culture Club and the Academic Super Bowl. She also played soccer and tennis for the Knights.

At Wayne High School, 9100 Winchester Road, the Valedictorian is Robert C. Medina, Jr., he plans to attend Ball State University this fall to major in architecture.

The Salutatorian for Wayne is Brendan Oechsle. Brendan hopes to attend Purdue University in the autumn to study chemical and bioengineering.

At South Side High School, 3601 S. Calhoun Street, the top student (Valedictorian) is Elizabeth Gustin. Elizabeth aims to attend Indiana University this fall, with hopes to major in Secondary Education, hoping to teach Chemistry.

This year’s Salutatorian for South is Marisabel Sanchez. She wants to go to Purdue University later this year and tackle a double major in Biology and Spanish. Her ultimate goal is to become an OBGYN doctor.

Fort Wayne Community Schools will celebrate commencement with more than 1,800 members in the Class of 2017. Before embarking on their new adventures, FWCS commencement ceremonies will be held in the Memorial Coliseum at the following times: South Side – Friday, June 9, 6 p.m. and Wayne – Saturday, June 10, noon.

The members of the Class of 2017 leave their high schools with varied future plans. Some will pursue higher education at institutions such as Indiana University, Purdue University, University of Houston, DePauw University and Michigan State University. They will study biochemistry, electrical engineering, education, linguistics, pre-med, criminology and much more. Some graduates will enter the military, including one graduate who will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, or continue working on the technical training they need to start a career in trades such as carpentry or automotive mechanics. Still others will jump right into pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams, focusing on building their own businesses.

Michael Morrissey
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Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer