Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Bay top students friends with little in common
Stilin, Fries were co-valedictorians as eighth-graders

by Chris Schultz

June 02, 2011

Williams Bay — As of a week ago, the valedictory for the Williams Bay High School graduating class still was not done.

But don’t worry, valedictorian Allison Stilin and salutatorian Sara Fries, are working on it.

They promised to have it ready for the June 2 graduation ceremony.

And you can pretty much bank on it.

The two of them also gave co-valedictorian speeches during their eighth grade graduation.

Allison and Sara have been friends since preschool.

They grew up together from kindergarten through to now, just short of graduation from Williams Bay High School.

Allison is the daughter of Scott and Patti Stilin of Williams Bay. Sara’s parents are Mark Fries of Milwaukee and Meta Dreiser of Williams Bay.

The two are best friends, and it shows. They often talk over each other and complete each other’s sentences, sometimes making it hard to directly quote either one.

What they have in common is talent, intelligence and the desire to get involved in extracurriculars.

But they base their friendship on being diametrically different. Or so they say.

“We have nothing in common,” said Sara.

“So we have nothing to compete over,” added Allison.

“We can be supportive of each other because we never want the same thing,” Sara advanced.

“So it works out,” confirmed Allison.

“Our graduating class is very helpful,” interjected Sara. She said all of her classmates helped each other during their time in high school.

“We’re very uncompetitive,” Allison affirmed.

Their major difference is in interests. Sara is very much talented in the performing arts. Allison’s strengths are in math and science.

Sara was Cinderella in the Williams Bay High School’s production of “Cinderella” this year.

She was also a member of every ensemble group in the school, accomplishing this even though she admits to playing “only” six instruments, French horn, the guitar, bass guitar, the upright acoustic bass, the mellophone and piano.

Sara was a founding member of the school drama club and directed two shows this past school year.

She plans to attend the University of Miami and major in theater.

Allison will attend Cornell University, where she will major in animal science.

“I’m into the sciences,” said Allison.

This year, Allison is interning at the Lake Geneva Animal Hospital as part of the school’s senior internship program.

She’s also into swimming. Allison is co-captain on the Bay-Badger Swim Team, and has been on varsity all four years.

Unsurprisingly, Allison was also on the math team, which has taken first every year over the past four years.

As for goals and dreams, Sara said that if she could have anything, she’d want to work on Broadway.

Realistically, though, Sara said she’ll settle for owning a bakery, while doing music and community theater.

Wait. She bakes?

Yes, said Sara. She’s been doing that for a couple of years now. She said she got tired of making box cakes and tried a from-scratch carrot cake with homemade sour cream frosting.

Nailed it first try.

Now she’s digging into family recipes, like her grandmother’s Georgian caramel cake.

Not for those on a diet, Sara warns.

Allison, who preferss to stick with box cakes, has other aims.

“I hope to either be working in a small animal clinic or in wildlife rehabilitation,” she said.

She said the Lake Geneva Animal Hospital takes in some cases from Fellow Mortals, the wildlife rehabilitation hospital in Walworth County.

“That’s different from cats and dogs,” Allison said. “They have baby owls. They’re so cute.”

She said she would also like to study abroad, in either Africa or Australia and learn about the wildlife there.

Allison and Sara will be top among 32 who will graduate from Williams Bay High School this year.

In addition to being the valedictorian this year, Allison was also named a Wisconsin All State Scholar and a Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholar.

Grant Luberda won the Kohl Scholarship; David Dowling and Caroline Brown were the school’s representatives to Badger State.

Allison and Sara were also Gold Cord Honor Graduates, with grade point averages of 3.75 (on a 4.0 scale) and above. Joining them as Gold Cord graduates are Grant Luberda, Stephanie Tadje, Heather Grosso, Beljeanne Forester and Kayla Dehart.

Sara and Allison are also Presidential Award winners, as are Kayla DeHart, Beljeanne Forester, Heather Grosso, Grant Luberda, Ryan O’Regan and Stephanie Tadje.

Silver Cord Honor Graduates, with grade points between 3.25 and 3.75 are Hannah Surges, Abbey Landgraf, Ryan O’Regan, Chad Pharris and Scott Holmes.

Athletic award winners are:

- Football, MVP (most valuable player) back, Jorge Huerta; MVP lineman, Brock Baumbach, and Most Improved, Jeremiah Pantojas.

- Volleyball MVP, Claire Canda.

- Boys Basketball MVP; Lawrence Crement.

- Girls Basketball MVP Stephanie Tadje; Most Improved, Josie Bauscher; Bulldog Award. Claire Canda and Leah Newell.

- Ski Team MVP, Caitlin Sitter; Most Improved, Krysten Ong.

- Cross Country, MVPs Alyssa Alheid and Danny Butler; Most Improved, Noah Mailloux.