Happy Mother’s Day! Congratulations to the Class of 2024 on graduation. This year, both special events fell on the same day, Sunday, May 12,... 2024 MHS Grads Honor Their Moms on Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! Congratulations to the Class of 2024 on graduation. This year, both special events fell on the same day, Sunday, May 12, in Milbank. Of course, sharing is nothing new to your mother. She has been doing it forever or at least as far back as you can remember.

She shared your good times and your not-so-good. The day you took your first step, and the day you fell down and skinned your knee. The day you got your driver’s license, and the day you got in a fender bender. Every year brought a dozen more rites of passage and Mom was there to guide you.

Today, we also applaud her for watching you receive your diploma. It’s time for you to leave the nest and time for her to share you with the world. It won’t be easy.  But the day you were born, your mom experienced the miracle of life. She also learned the miracle of sharing – the more you share the more you have.

You learned important things, too, and will learn a million more. But regardless of how far away you go, your mother’s voice – even if you just keep it in your heart – will always bring you home. 

We asked the mothers of the new graduates what two things will always remind you of their son or daughter.  We asked the graduates what was the most important thing your mom has said to you or taught you that you will remember for the rest of your life. This is what they said:

Sandra Fonder
Two things that will remind me of Nicholas are t-shirts with funny sayings and tractors. Since he was a little boy, he has loved tractors.
Nick Fonder
My mom has taught me to make the most of everything in life and take every opportunity that I can.

Nancy Kruger
Pole vaulting, cameras, and candles. For the past four years, Maggie has dedicated her out-of-school time to learning the sport of pole vaulting and she’ll continue to do that in college next year. Cameras –  video or stills – she is crazy about all of them. She loves a good shot at dusk. And finally candles, if I smell a different smell in the house it’s got to be Maggie burning a candle. When Maggie likes something she puts her heart and soul into it!
Maggie Kruger
My mom has taught me the importance of slowing down and taking everything in. The importance of savoring the moment. It is probably the most valuable thing she has taught me.

Amber Fraasch
Two things that will always remind me of Aubrey:   Lollipop. Lollipop is a winter hat that also looks like a snow leopard. She wore it for many years. The other would be her determination. She goes after what she wants with energy and a smile. She stays true to who she is and what she believes.
Aubrey Fraasch
My mom has always taught me to get up one more time than I have fallen. Setbacks in life are inevitable, but the choice to get back up again and to keep pushing forward even in the face of adversity is where the real differences in the world can be made. She would tell me that throughout the journey to always give thanks to God for the opportunity to grow in his image.

Laurie Batchelor (James Batchelor)
The animals from Runnings. James loved all their toy animals and played with them for hours creating epic battles.
Monarch butterflies. James used to wait for them to hatch after finding the caterpillars.. .. along with catching frogs, salamanders, and spiders! But the rule was the spider container never came into the garage (or house)!

Dena VanLith
When I hear ANY Taylor Swift song, I think of Mia. She has been a fan from the first time she heard Taylor. When I see a hummingbird, I think “Mia would be terrified”, but yet she  has every episode of Criminal Minds memorized.
Mia VanLith
She taught me that even when people can be awful you need to be the better person and not fall into being just as bad as they are

Sara Johnson
When I think of two things that remind me of Jayden, I think of Bruno Mars and Rubik’s cubes.  Jayden’s favorite artist for a while was Bruno Mars, so as a birthday present I bought him his first concert tickets.  He was so excited that he cried.  I think of Rubik’s cubes because he could solve those puzzles so fast that it was crazy!  It was something that he shared with his cousin, Hunter.
Jayden Johnson
My mom always tells me “make good choices” and every time I have to make a decision that thought goes through my head.

Susan Karels
Every time I walk in our kitchen I will remember Hope with her wonderful smile. Whenever I see a tennis court, it reminds me of Hope’s determination and her working hard to give 100 percent.
Hope Karels
The most important thing my mom has taught me is to work hard even when life is hard. My mom is always busy going from one thing to another, but she still never stops. This motivates me to be a hard-working individual. I am grateful my mom introduced me to all things 4-H and music. I am busy with activities and, because of my mom, I work hard at all of them. Without my mom, I would not be as hard working. She has also shown me that if you work hard, you will succeed.

Tara Mertens
Anything to do with sports reminds me of Garrett.  He has always loved sports. He watched reruns of other countries’ baseball games instead of anything else when he was little, and he had a favorite sports broadcaster by the time he was seven or eight.  One of my favorite things to do is to watch him play his sports.  He has the ability to make teammates around him better and add excitement to the game that makes you wonder “How did he just do that?”Another thing that reminds me of Garrett is laundry. He has always had so much laundry.  He wears a lot of clothes and thinks something needs to be washed no matter what after he wears it –  even if it’s for five minutes.  Even though he has had to start doing some of his laundry now, I still get asked, “Mom, can you move my clothes from the washer to the dryer?” I have a feeling he will realize this fall when he’s at college that he may have to wear some of his clothes more than once. Otherwise, he’s gonna need to get a job just to pay for his laundry! 
Garrett Mertens
My mom has taught me that if you don’t try something you will never know if you can succeed.

Angelica Bello
Two things that will always remind me of Camila are bows and chocolate. Whenever I would do Camila’s hair, I would always put a bow in it. This went on until she started growing out of it because she wasn’t a little girl anymore. Chocolate reminds me of her because when we lived in Mexico City, she would always want a small chocolate treat after school.
Camila Monroy
Something I will remember for the rest of my life that my mother taught me is that being a hard worker will always pay off. When we first moved to the US, my mom couldn’t necessarily work at all, but as time went on, my family started our own business (MnB Cleaning Services) and ever since my mom has been putting so much time and effort into it. From the early mornings to late nights, she definitely shows that hard work pays off.

Claire Frazee
Jairek’s giant heart. Jairek has always had a huge heart. He has a way about him that can make anyone feel better.  The “ I don’t knows!”  Anytime in his high school years we asked him a question, he said “I don’t know.” Also, Jairek’s smile and laughter.
Jairek Frazee
My mom taught me how to be a good person.

Sara Nelson
Victoria is always taking sunset pictures (and sometimes sunrise pictures), especially after we saw the amazing mountains in Alaska.
Victoria Nelson
The most important thing my mom told me was to surround myself with good people that will make me smile and have a good life.

Cindy Pillatzki
Dancing.  Abigail has danced with Pivotal Joy Dance since she was a preschooler and has learned discipline, grace, and dedication.
5:30 to 6 p.m. – this is the time Abigail would get home from her day of school and sports. She would share her day with me and confide in me about grades, classes, friendships, lunches, victories, frustrations and any other daily events. I will miss this time with Abby every day.
Abigail Pillatzki
One thing that my mother taught me was to always be myself. If you don’t fit in, it doesn’t matter. You will always have family around you that loves and cares for you. You always have your people back home. And never, ever forget to call your mom when times get rough. She makes all the stress go away just when you say hello. I will always remember that I have my family when times get rough because of her.

Chelsey Wiik
The first thing that reminds me of Connor is the Disney Cars movie.  I think we know all the lines of that movie. It was on a continuous loop when he was little. Second thing is his shotgun. He really loves target shooting and it’s fun to watch him.
Connor Wiik
The lesson would be “Go take on the world and I’ll be right here if you need anything.”

Hillary Schwagel
Chicken strips and road trips to horse shows.
Brooke Schwagel
My mom has taught me the importance of kindness and generosity. You should always treat people with kindness because you don’t know their story. A simple smile or saying hello may brighten someone’s day. After all, you never know what someone else is going through. She has also shown me courage and that I am capable of overcoming the obstacles I will face over the years. I will forever be grateful for her courage and the many other things she has taught me.

Renee Shelstad
Daniel has always been a super kid. He has a huge heart and is always looking out for his friends and family. I guess if I have to think of one thing, he hasn’t had the best of luck with his cars and animals. Daniel was driving home after work one night and a deer ran into the side of the car and wrecked his first car. The second car he had met head-on with a cow. Thank God he was fine, but the cow and car were not. Best of Luck as he gets his degree in welding.
Daniel Shelstad
My mom has taught me to be the best and do the best at whatever I do.

Becky Paczkowski
Most definitely horses. She has grown up around and on them since she was four days old.
Cats….anytime I see a stray cat, I instantly say, “Kynlee would take that one home.”She honestly just has a love for all animals, but those two always remind me of her.
Kynlee Speidel
The most important thing that my mom has taught me is to make sure I stay true to myself and to make sure I continue to do the things I love.

Pamela Vogel
Anytime a movie quote will pop into my mind, I will be reminded of Bella. She is always quoting a movie and having us guess where it’s from.
Rocks. Bella has quite the rock collection, and they ALL have come with us on every move.
Isabella Vogel
It’s difficult to put into words what my mom has engraved into me throughout my life.  I carry all of those lessons with me every day. One of the biggest lessons is to know my own self worth, as well as when to step back and ask for help. I couldn’t put into words the worth of my mom and what she has taught me.

Susan Sime
My daughter’s determination and love for animals are truly remarkable. She shows pigs and cows at competitions and treats them like they are part of our family. Her dedication to caring for these animals and showcasing their beauty is inspiring. Cailey truly is a compassionate soul who brings joy and love wherever she goes. I am so proud to have such a loving and determined daughter.
Cailey is also a shining example of resilience and determination.No matter what challenges she faces, she always maintains a positive attitude and doesn’t let setbacks get her down. Her unwavering optimism inspires me every day, and I am so proud to call her my daughter.
Cailey Sime
The most important thing  my mom has said to me is, “I know ending these chapters of life can be hard, but it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.”

Jody Skoog
I know I will eventually come to miss picking up Skyler’s dirty socks from the living room floor or her Reese’s wrappers off the coffee table, but I know I will miss the sound of her running up the stairs when she hears me about to leave the house. No matter where I go, whether it be just to the gas station or to run errands, she wants to ride with me.  What I will miss most, though, is her random, big hugs where she squeezes as tight as she can. That girl can light up a room! And she’s my favorite part of every day!
Skyler Skoog
My mom has taught me to always be kind to others because you don’t know what their lives are like. Since she is a nurse, she experiences many different situations that others have been in that their peers would have never guessed. From some of the stories she has told me, she changed my perspective on how to view people. Now, every time I look at someone, I think they are strong for everything they have been through even though I don’t know their stories.

Carrie Novy
The color green. It has been Landon’s favorite color for as long as I can remember. And probably cowboy boots as he has always loved wearing them!
Landon Novy
I would have to say that my mom taught me she loves me, she comes to all my stuff and supports me in all my decisions.

Nikki Street
Ballerinas and pickles. Jacynda started dancing in grade school and will be doing a ballet solo this year to Swan Lake. She watched Barbie Swan Lake on repeat for many years.  When she was little, I swear she could’ve lived on pickles. I would find them half-eaten under her bed and in her toy boxes. I had the pickle jar sitting out and she grabbed it and took a big swig of the juice and made the funniest face and this puckering sound and I thought for sure that was not good but then she let out an awwwww  and took another sip. I just giggled.
Jacynda Street
One thing my mom has always taught me is to be honest. Without it you will never grow.

Heidi Schell
New Year’s always reminds me of Rylee. She was the first baby born in Milbank in 2006.
Cats. One of her nicknames, when she was little, was “Crazy Cat Lady”. Any and all cats were not off limits and were all “hers”. SDSU needs to allow emotional support animals so she can take her two cats with her (lol).
Rylee Schell
One of the most important things my mom has taught me is to never conform to another’s wants or expectations, but to do things for me and never settle for anything less than what I deserve.

Amy Thue
Two things that will always remind me of Nadia are music and art. Nadia is always singing. I will always think of her when I hear certain songs that she loves, especially Beauty and the Beast. And her art is sprinkled throughout our home. As well as a lot of her art supplies.
Nadia Thue
My mom has taught me to go for my dreams. She has always been my biggest supporter. In all of my self-doubt, she made me feel capable. She pushed me to pursue what I love, especially in the arts. By starting a business, she showed me how much is possible, too. My mom continually inspires me with what she accomplishes and creates. When I don’t believe in myself, she is always there to hold me up. Through her loving eyes, I know I can do anything I set my mind to.

Janelle Huber
Two things about Kaitlyn… cooking  –she was always fixing something, especially if it involved pickles and cheese. Her determination… having five older siblings with four of them being older brothers, she never lost.
Kaitlyn Huber
One thing my mom has taught me is to always work hard to achieve your dreams and anything is possible when you put your mind to it!

Dr. Jessica Graham
Laughter. The name Isaac means laughter and he is quite the jokester. Great food. Isaac is a foodie, and he loves his seafood and Wagyu steak.
Issac Graham
One thing that my mom taught me was to be kind and respectful to other people. While taking me to school every day, my mom always reminded me to be a good person and to be kind to everybody. This is really important because it has helped me make friends and form connections.

Susie Wendland
A few of the million things that will remind me of Olivia and Stella are making nachos and popcorn together, going on walks with Gertie, listening to them laugh, and most of all having the privilege of watching them grow up ❤️❤️
Olivia Wendland
The most important thing my mom has taught me is how to effectively pack a car.
Stella Wendland
My mom has taught me by her example how to put 110 percent into everything and the importance of being open-minded.

Kris Street
Lydia’s amazing heart for God and sharing news of His love with others. Also, how many clothes she can leave in the laundry room at one time without running out of clothes to wear!
Lydia Street
One thing that my mother has taught me that I will always take with me are four important rules. 1) Love and Follow God. 2) Be kind. 3) Be kind. 4) Be kind.

Jennifer Wiik
Two things that remind me of Jaclyn are her carefree and laid-back demeanor, stemming from being the youngest of four siblings, and her adventurous spirit. She enjoys exploring new places, trying new experiences, and embracing life with a joyful spirit.
Jaclyn Wiik
My mom taught me the importance of embracing my true self and striving for excellence. Despite any external influences, her guidance emphasized the significance of being true to my values and convictions. She always encouraged me to make decisions based on my own beliefs rather than succumbing to societal pressures. Her wisdom has been instrumental in shaping the individual I am today.


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