New students at Wakonda School maintain enrollment by Amber Skjonsberg Although 13 Wakonda students graduated last year, a few new students have helped to keep Wakonda School's population about the same: 154 last year compared to 149 this year.
This year's new kindergarten class has a total head count of 11, and with three new elementary students and six new and returning students in junior high and high school, the school's population is holding steady.
Samantha Ekeren joined the first graders from Lead. Her parents, Jeff and Tanya, have two other children, Chase, who is 4 years old, and Hunter, who is 1 1/2.
Coming from Yankton, Spencer Brown Jr. is adding to the fourth-grade class. His parents, Spencer Sr. and Lisa Brown, have two other children. Sarah, who is 19 and works at the nursing home here in Wakonda, and Alexander, who is attending preschool.
The fifth-grade class has two new students, Nick Taggart and Michael Piper. The scariest thing about starting a new school for Nick is that he doesn't know anybody, while Michael seems to think the school is haunted.
Returning to Wakonda School from Sioux City, IA, is D.J. Taggart. He believes that the best thing about coming back to school here is doing his homework.
Eighth grade has added three new students to their class. Dustin Ridgway and sister Kayla Ridgway have transferred here from Gayville-Volin. You might see their parents, Eric and Lori, at one of Kayla's volleyball games, or future basketball games or track meets. They could also be seen at Dustin's football games.
Also attending the eighth-grade class is Rich Howard. He and his mom, Marcia Morrison, moved all the way from Everett, WA. When asked what he thought about Wakonda so far he replied, "I think it's a nice little town which is really friendly."
Returning to Wakonda from Viborg is senior Meghan Martz.
"Coming back was a good choice for me. I get to spend more time with my friends and be back in the same school as my younger brother Bo," said Meghan.