It can be a proud moment for a parent to find out their child is graduating as class valedictorian but what about all five of your kids?
Five siblings in Galion all graduated as class valedictorian – a family tradition that’s now left behind at Colonel Crawford High School. The oldest sibling graduated in 2002 and the youngest last Sunday.
All five of the Striker siblings grew up in a home in Galion. The youngest, Elizabeth graduated this past Sunday. By the time she graduated it was pretty much expected she would graduate as class valedictorian, just like her brother and sisters.
“There was a little bit of pressure my parents would always say that there wasn’t pressure from them but I didn’t feel like it was but definitely seeing the pictures of all my siblings on the wall at school as I was walking down the hallway and teachers there was definitely some pressure,” said Elizabeth.
She says her family wouldn’t have thought any less of her if she didn’t make it.
“There would have been some jokes probably but (laughs) they wouldn’t love me any less I know that.”
The 4th sibling Michael was not able to make it for the interview as he lives in California but did attend Elizabeth’s graduation on Sunday.
It all started with the oldest sibling Valerie as she was the first Striker to graduate as class valedictorian in 2002.
“Like Lizzie said we all tried to do our best and that was really our driving force,” said Valerie.
As she watched the rest of her siblings graduate through the years.
“It was really fun I mean it’s neat to be able to take your kids down the hall at school and say there is mommy, there is aunt Kristin, there is aunt Sarah, there is uncle Michael and that’s where Lizzie’s going to be,” said Valerie
Kristen was second to graduate in 2005, Sarah in 2008 and Michael in 2010.
The second to graduate out of the family… Kristin (Striker) Weisheit, “I’m probably the only one who didn’t want to be valedictorian because I hate giving speeches so I told my grandpa that I was purposely going to get a B in the class because I didn’t want to give a speech and he very sternly told me if you’re not valedictorian I’m not coming to your graduation and he’s serious we have that kind of relationship.”
So what do their parents think of this tradition? Both say it’s a blessing.
“It’s a blessing that’s really how I feel about it it’s not something we expected,” said Kathy Striker.
“We never really had to tell them to do any studying well maybe the son just one or two times you know but not really they just worked real hard and that was their reward to be valedictorian and it was really special for us and a blessing,” said Dave Striker.
Valerie studied Journalism in college and enjoys bookkeeping, accounting and freelance design work while being a stay at home mom.
Kristen is also a stay at home mom who adds home marketing and writes for a newsletter for nonprofit.
Sarah is also a stay at home mom who did digital arts at north central and fine art through consignment and auctions for church.
Michael works for Tesla and Elizabeth plans on attending Cleveland state in the fall for engineering. Her dream job is to work for NASA.