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Signing out: Park High School event celebrates seniors’ college plans

Nearly 300 Park seniors autographed a wolf’s paw with their name and college destination. (Bulletin photos by William Loeffler) 1 / 2
Dominic Slininger, 18, of Cottage Grove participated in a college signing ceremony at Park High School on May 7. The event was organized by school counselor Jodi Danielson. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)2 / 2

Nearly 300 Park High School seniors took part in a college signing day ceremony May 7 in the school’s activities center.

Senior athletes at Park had their own signing day earlier this year when they put their name on a contractual letter of intent to play football, soccer or other sport at the college of their choice. But this gathering was a tribute to all college-bound members of the class of 2014.

Similar academic signing days are becoming popular at other high schools around the country, said Park High School counselor Jodi Danielson, who organized the event.

“We thought it was great way to celebrate students and highlight what their plans are,” she said.

Students printed their name and that of their college on a piece of paper cut to resemble the Wolfpack paw print.

A row of black posters on the wall were soon covered in fluorescent green wolf tracks as each student pasted their paw to paper. They’ll be hung near the media center where everyone can see them, school counselor Kris Moe told the students. 

“We want the undergraduates to be inspired by all of you,” he said.

Park High School senior Anna Keys, 18, will attend Minnesota State University, Mankato. She said the process of choosing and applying to colleges was daunting at first. She winnowed the list down to a manageable number by focusing on “average size” colleges with programs in the medical or educational fields.

“It’s overwhelming at the beginning,” said Keys, who lives in Cottage Grove.

Seniors Karly Asher and Maddy Holtan, both 18, each autographed a paper paw print. Asher said she plans to study nursing at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis. Holtan said she will major in elementary education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

“I’m excited and nervous,” said Asher, of Cottage Grove. “It’s a whole new atmosphere. You’re on your own.”

“I’m ready for a new experience, meeting new people,” Holtan said. “I’m nervous for the classes, how they’re going to go.”

Dominic Slininger, of Cottage Grove, said he will attend the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. He said he applied at five schools and was accepted at all of them, but that “I knew from the time I visited that I would go there.”