Six Columbia Heights High School seniors reflect on their most memorable memories, post-graduation plans and advice for incoming freshmen. Columbia Heights seniors will walk across the Dick Borchardt Field stage to accept their diplomas on Friday, June 6.

Q: What was your most memorable experience in high school?

Ben Rogorzke: The school walk-out my freshman year.

Aidan Smertneck: It’s not an experience but I’m very grateful to have gotten great teachers and friends that made high school fun.

Destiny Vaughn: My most memorable experience in high school was going through my four years and being able to an independent person and not follow after your friends.

Antonio Triplett: When I got my first touchdown in football.

Juan Garcia: Playing soccer under the field lights.

Abduselam Regassa: Scoring three goals in soccer against Fridley.

Q: What are your plans after high school?

Rogotzke: Going to St. Olaf to play football and get a major in economics.

Smertneck: I am going to be attending College of St. Scholastica. Planning on studying PT (physical therapy).

Vaughan: My plan after high school is to go to Grand Canyon University in Arizona and study elementary education.

Triplett: I plan on going to a college in Arizona. If not, I am going to take a year off and save up and do YouTube on the side.

Garcia: I’m planning to go to a four year college (Concordia University).

Regassa: Attend Gustavus Adolphus College.

Q: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?

Rogotzke: Do your work on time and create a relationship with all of your teachers.

Smertneck: Freshman year is the most important year in high school so don’t screw it up.

Vaughan: My advice for incoming freshman is to not procrastinate when you are a freshman because if you fail a class it will catch back up to you.

Triplett: Make sure you stay on your work. Don’t let anyone get in your way. Stay focused on yourself.  

Garcia: Chose the right crowd and do your homework.

Regassa: Get everything out of the way so you don’t have to worry about it later.


Juan Garcia


Abduselam Regassa


Ben Rogotzke


Aidan Smertneck


Antonio Triplett


Destiny Vaughan

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