Senior Claire Goedde celebrates graduation a semester early


Jenna Mercer

Goedde is escorted by her parents at senior night for volleyball. “My favorite memory of Claire was how excited she would be when we hadn’t seen each other in a while which could mean 24 hours,” former volleyball coach Kristin Judd said. “She would get a huge smile and run over to give me a hug and then start talking faster than most could understand.”

One of just three students in the class of 2018 to graduate in the first semester of their senior year, Claire Goedde celebrated the end of her high school years early.

“When I was registering for my senior classes junior year, I noticed that I had fulfilled a lot of my credits,” Goedde said. “I looked into it and saw that early graduation was easily a possibility for me. So I started pestering my counselor about it.”

In order to graduate early, Goedde had to get signatures for an accommodation form with an explanation as to why she wants to graduate early.

“It took forever to convince my counselor that I really wanted to graduate early because there are a lot of others options, such as early and late dismissal and going to school for half a day, but I was set on graduating,” Goedde said. “We had to change my schedule so I had all the required classes to graduate in my first semester which was more difficult than I had previously imagined. I wanted to take certain classes like French 5 and AP Comparative Government, which were limited spaces. I also needed other credits to graduate such as Personal Finance and two English credits, so I wound up in AP Lit and Debate instead of regular English and Creative Writing. After filling out some paperwork to get my early graduation approved, all I had to do was not fail any of my classes.”

With more free time, Goedde had to analyze how to fill the time where she would have been at school.

“What early graduates do with their time is up to them,” counselor Chris Lorenz said. “Some pick up additional work hours as they earn money to pay for college starting in the upcoming school year. Some pick up college classes at surrounding campuses. It depends on their plan.”

In her free time, Goedde elected to focus more on selecting her college, working and playing volleyball.

“I am the receptionist at Pilates plus Yoga, I play volleyball for the club Show Me and I am trying to explore my college options.” Goedde said. “I don’t know what college [I am going to] yet, and I am not sure what I’m majoring in either. This is something I hope I will be able to figure out this semester.”

Goedde played volleyball in the fall, but because she has graduated, she will not be able to run track in the spring. She is undecided as to whether or not to play a college sport.

She has been a great leader and role model over the past few years in our little kids’ volleyball camps. She brings so much energy to whatever she does that it becomes contagious. I know that I am going to miss her when she moves on to her next adventure.”

— Kristin Judd

“I will miss track. I loved jumping, all my coaches and fellow jumpers, and going to the trainer just to say ‘hey,’” Goedde said. “I’m not sure if I would like to play volleyball or run track [in college], but it really depends on where I end up going to college. I have had offers from some colleges, so it is definitely a possibility.”

Volleyball coach Kristin Judd, who has known her both inside and outside of the classroom, coached Goedde for four years.

“Claire is a loving, bubbly introvert who is a great mentor for younger students. She took a solid workload all four years and always put 100 percent into each class,” Judd said. “She tends to be the mothering type. Despite acting like she prefers to be alone, Claire has always been welcoming to others and has a way of being open and sharing that makes people trust her and come to her for advice. She has been a great leader and role model over the past few years in our little kids’ volleyball camps. She brings so much energy to whatever she does that it becomes contagious. I know that I am going to miss her when she moves on to her next adventure.”

Although she will miss her final season of track and seeing friends and teachers on a daily basis, Goedde does not regret her decision.

“I feel like it’s up to each person [about whether to graduate early or not]. I asked around when I was trying to decide last year, and I heard both sides of people who wished they had and people who said that they were glad they didn’t,” Goedde said. “Personally, I made the right decision and I will never regret it. Most people fear that they will miss out on second semester senior year stuff, but what they don’t realize is they [still] have the option to participate in almost everything.”