Southwest Metro Outstanding High School Students

These high school seniors are poised to change the world for the better.

Morgan Fogarty Chaska High School Morgan Fogarty likes to kick it. She’s played varsity soccer for the Chaska Hawks since freshman year, has lettered every year and was elected all-conference last season. Still, Fogarty considers being team captain a huge honor. Fogarty also enjoys supporting fellow athletes at high school sporting events and attending school dances. “Chaska High School is like a family,” says Fogarty. Fogarty makes a point to participate in other activities to stay active and have fun. She went out for lacrosse and basketball having never played either sport before. “I thought it would be fun and just jumped in,” says Fogarty. “I didn’t even know Lacrosse rules but had a great time and met new friends. The same was true with basketball. That experience was a highlight of my high school life.” Service and leadership define much of Fogarty’s extracurricular pursuits. She’s active with student council, National Honor Society and Key Club, has won a Community Service Star Award for tutoring third graders and will travel to El Salvador this summer for a 12-day mission trip. She says, “I enjoy mentoring and think it’s cool to know I’m making a difference for young people.” Her future plans include playing college soccer, possibly studying abroad, having a family, having fun and having a positive impact on the lives of others. —AJ FUN FACT: Fogarty loves pineapple pizza.   Luke Johanson Southwest Christian High School Luke Johanson finds golf to be a great stress reliever even when he’s under the stress of playing in state golf tournaments. This co-captain of Southwest Christian High School’s golf team has been awarded all-conference and all-state awards in golf as well as an all-conference award in varsity basketball. “I have definitely enjoyed my sports teammates and learning from my coaches,” says Johanson. Johanson is also a 4.0 student and his favorite subject is AP English with Mrs. Hoklin. “She makes English interesting and engages the whole class,” says Johanson who also credits his physics teacher, Mr. Lentscher, for helping him grasp that difficult subject. “Physics is hard to understand,” says Johanson. “I was only successful through repetition and lots of study support.” After graduation, Johanson hopes to play college golf and pursue a degree in business or possibly architecture. He says, “So far, I’m looking at Texas Christian University or Arizona State.” Until he decides, Johanson says he couldn’t ask for a better group of friends or teachers. —AJ FUN FACT: Johanson is pretty good at Ping-Pong and lawn mowing.   Bridgette Grobe Chanhassen High School Bridgette Grobe is goal-oriented, has a heap of achievements and a laser focus on future aspirations. She has lettered in Key Club, academics and athletics. As a member of Chanhassen’s Link Crew, Grobe guides freshman tours. She participates in Deca, a business club that participates in research and marketing campaigns similar to competitions on The Apprentice. Last year, Grobe and her Deca partner took fourth place in a statewide Deca event. Swimming and diving are at the center of Grobe’s athletic life. Her best event is the 100-meter breaststroke. Grobe credits her teammates and coaches for helping her overcome doubt after missing the cut time at a junior national preliminary swim meet. She got another shot this past March and not only did Grobe achieve her goal of making the junior national cut, she dropped her time by nearly two seconds. “It took all my energy to believe I could reach that goal,” says Grobe. Grobe’s determination and positive attitude also guide her volunteer coaching efforts with the Special Olympics. And her combined success in academics, athletics and service earned Grobe the Chanhassen’s Excel award in 2013. Grobe hopes to pursue a career in medicine. —AJ FUN FACT: When Grobe was little, she loved dinosaurs and wanted to be a paleontologist.   Will Farner Holy Family High School Will Farner is a math and science wizard and hopes to study physics in college. His high school math league has made it to the state tournament three times. His Knowledge Bowl team has advanced to sub-regional and regional meets. Farner has lettered in both of these activities, as well as overall academics. He’s a member of National Honor Society and last year attended Carlton College Summer Science Institute where he spent three weeks doing original research with a professor. The camp culminated with the creation and presentation of his academic research. Running and playing soccer keeps Farner fit outside of the classroom. He competes in the 400-meter race with the Holy Family High School track team and has played soccer since he was 6. “I’m happy with how I’ve developed as a soccer player,” says Farner. “Experiencing my first winning season last year was pretty cool, too.” When Farner was in fifth grade, his parents suggested he take up the cello. He stuck with it and plays for his school orchestra. “I enjoy the challenge of perfecting and performing familiar music,” says Farner. Farner is also on his way to completing his Eagle Scout project, the renovation of a church space to create a youth lounge. In his free time Farner loves to read and play strategy board games. —AJ FUN FACT: Farner’s favorite book is The Simarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien   Kevin Khieu Eden Prairie High School “My goal in life is to simply make a difference in the world we live in,” Kevin Khieu says. “When I grow old, I want to be able to look back and say that I had a positive impact on somebody’s life. I’m not exactly sure how I will accomplish this, but I feel like as I get older and more mature, I’ll begin to see ways I can accomplish my goal.”     With a full-load of extra-curricular activities and a sparkling academic record (4.0 GPA; ACT score of 34), the Eden Prairie high school senior has already made impressive progress towards this goal. Khieu proudest high school moment comes from an event he planned as a part of the Eden Prairie High School Student Council during his junior year. He and other students spent months organizing the Charity Dream Date event, which involves auctioning donated gift packages from local businesses for charity. “After all the work we put into this project, it was rewarding to see all of our efforts come together on the night of the event,” he says “We raised over $4,500 for the American Cancer Society and the Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools.” Khieu has also been a student of Tae Kwon Do since he was 4 years old, earning his 3rd degree black belt in November 2012, and he started teaching Tae Kwon Do to children and adults in 2010. So how does he balance student council, National Honor Society, Math Team, Chess Team, DECA and more and keep up his academics? “My strategy for keeping up with everything that I do is to save all the ‘fun’ things for later in the night,” Khieu says. “I do all my work right when I get home, and once I have free time, I just chill.” After high school, Khieu plans to study engineering at a university and then go on to law school. —LP FUN FACT: According to Khieu’s friends and family, his singing skills resemble that of a dying cat.   Lexi Willems Waconia High School To a casual acquaintance, Lexi Willems might seem pretty laidback and easy-going, which is true to a point. But if you’ve seen Willems on the track or taken a peak at her academic record, it’s clear that this friendly, outgoing high school senior is also a competitor with laser focus. Willems stays busy throughout the school year with cross-country in the fall, show choir in the winter and track and field in the spring. She was named the Most Valuable Runner on the track team during her sophomore year. She was also selected to be a part of the chamber choir, a select group of singers. Singing as a soprano in show choir provides a much-needed mental break from running, Willems says. Although she’s busy with extra-curricular activities throughout the school year, she’s still managed to maintain a 3.84 GPA and stayed on the ‘A’ honor roll every trimester since her Freshman year. “I’ve always been really picky about my grades,” she says, noting that balancing school and activities does get stressful and it makes for some late nights. After high school, Willems plans to go to college and to pursue a career in the medical field because she enjoys science and math. “I love math. It’s my favorite subject,” she says. “I get it. It just kind of flows.” —LP FUN FACT: Willems started running 5ks with her dad and older brother when she was in fifth grade.