By Shelly Conlon
When senior Logan Johnson started at New Technology High School, he was not sure where he would end up.
Public speaking, talking with others outside his comfort zone and interviews were difficult. But what he learned at the project-based learning campus at the Southeast Technical institute pushed him out of his shell, he said.
And as he grew into an accomplished Academy of Finance student, his work landed him more than 20 hours of college credit by the time he graduated Sunday morning at the Sioux Falls Arena.
Johnson was one of 72 students in his class, and one of 1,533 Sioux Falls seniors to get their diplomas this weekend overall. He has been in the district since pre-school, he said.
“It means I’ll be able to start my advance classes a lot quicker,” Johnson said. “And if choose, I can graduate with my undergrad a year early. Had I not gone to New Tech High, I don’t think the opportunity would have been there, and I’m not sure I would have had the drive either.”
His dedication also landed him a job right after high school because of his work on a summer internship last year, Sioux Falls Communication Specialist Ben Schumacher stated in an email.
Johnson is also one of the Sioux Falls School District’s 248 National Honor Society members who graduated this weekend, and one of 375 seniors who earned the President’s Award of Educational Excellence.
His accomplishments fall in line with the school’s theme of “Dream Big,” Principal Dolly Ellwein said during her speech at the commencement ceremony.
“Even though this theme encompassed only your last year at New Tech High, I know there are so many big dreams in the future of your class,” Ellwien said. “Maybe you will go on to be an inventor, a scientist, a teacher or an entrepreneur, a minister, an artist. Whatever you do on your path, love what you do. Strive to make a difference.”
Johnson will go on to attend the University of South Dakota this fall, and had this advice for those following in his footsteps:
“Work hard,” Johnson said. “Go beyond just your required classes. If you have the opportunity to graduate early, think about if that’s something you really want to do because I used that extra time to get a head start on college. Definitely evaluate all your options.”