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McDonell senior Abi Pieper used quarantine to better herself

McDonell senior Abi Pieper used quarantine to better herself

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Abi Pieper

McDonell Central Catholic High School senior Abi Pieper used her final two months of her senior in COVID-19 quarantine to push herself academically and prepare herself for her college career this fall.

While the 2019-20 has been one of the most unconventional school years in modern history, one local senior used the down time to continue to push herself before she takes the next step in her academic career.

Abi Pieper is a senior at McDonell Central Catholic High School in Chippewa Falls who has had to deal with unprecedented circumstances to persevere and walk across the graduation stage.

During her four years at McDonell, Pieper was a part of Student Ambassadors for four years, contributed to the stage crew for several school plays and was involved in the volleyball program the first half of her tenure.

More than half way through her senior year, the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly forced the closure of all academic establishments and thrust her learning online in quarantine.

“It was pretty disappointing,” Pieper said. “But it was nice to have school at home so we could start later in the day. But not being at school and able to see friends and teachers made it hard. Overall, the experience wasn’t too bad for me, but I just had to stay motivated to finish homework because no one was there to monitor you.”

Rather than ruminate in the negative aspects of the involuntary evolution of her learning process, Pieper decided to take a proactive approach to continue to push herself academically.

The strategic and logic-based math lover put her education at the top of her priorities list throughout her time at McDonell and plans to continue on this train of thought when she begins her post-secondary education.

“I challenged myself academically to do as well as I could,” Pieper said. “When my grades weren’t quite as good as I wanted them to be I’d work extra hard to get them to where they needed to be. I’d stay up late and not spend as much time with my friends to achieve my goals.”

With a graduating class significantly smaller than that of neighboring Chippewa Falls Senior High School, McDonell provides a more intimate learning experience for its students.

Pieper said she enjoyed her stint at the school because she was able to get to know more people personally and receive more attention from her instructors.

When Pieper wasn’t pushing herself to succeed at McDonell, she spent her time working two-part time jobs, reading, watching movies and learning responsibility by taking care of her pet rabbit.

These life experiences have informed her decision to attend UW-Superior in the fall where she will major in math and explore her career path options. Her hope is to experience new things at the university while meeting new and captivating individuals along the way.

While COVID-19 threw a wrench into her perfectly envisioned senior year, Pieper said her time at McDonell wasn’t tainted by it and she is thankful for the experiences she had at the cozy Catholic learning environment. She said if others want to walk in her footsteps and find success in high school all they need to do is simply believe in themselves.

“They should find a goal they want to work towards and fight for it,” Pieper said. “But they have to believe in themselves and believe they can do it, otherwise it won’t happen. The key is just to believe in yourself.”


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