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No regrets: Sophia Cole looks back on school career

Sophia Cole is an active student in the Ellsworth School District. She played soccer in River Falls, volleyball, track, and tennis during her time in school. Cole played doubles in tennis and made it to sectionals this year. Photo courtesy of Sophia Cole1 / 3
Sophia Cole will graduate May 25 from the Ellsworth Community School District. Cole is seen here posing with her llama. Cole is in 4-H, where she shows pigs, llamas, bunnies, chickens, and ducks. Photo courtesy of Sophia Cole2 / 3
Ellsworth High School senior Sophia Cole and her class will graduate on May 25. Cole said she'll miss her classmates most of all. Cole will go to UW-La Crosse in the fall to study physical education in hopes to someday become a physical education teacher. Photo courtesy of Sophia Cole3 / 3

Sophia Cole almost didn't graduate from the Ellsworth Community School District.

During her freshman year, Cole had decided to attend River Falls High School, where she played soccer, making the varsity team during that time.

Since the ECSD doesn't offer soccer, Cole had to make a lofty decision: return to Ellsworth to be with her friends with whom she'd grown up or stay at River Falls and continue to play soccer?

The choice was difficult, but Cole picked Ellsworth and hasn't looked back.

The senior will graduate from Ellsworth High School on May 25. Cole plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the fall to study Physical Education Teaching.

Cole will also take a minor in coaching and health education, following in the footsteps of her mentor, Julie Graber, a physical education teacher at the high school.

Graber, who is set to retire at the end of the year, is someone Cole has turned to often when she's needed help, relying on her in tough situations.

"She has been my role model ever since I got here," Cole said.

Cole became emotional when describing her relationship with Graber, looking to her as a mentor and friend. Cole said Graber's impact not only affected her, but the entire class.

"She's always been there for us," Cole said. "I always want to be there for her."

Graber is a big part why Cole hopes to become a physical education teacher. However, Cole said her motivation in teaching students is about helping students reach their full potential.

"I want to help kids push past their limits, but push them enough that they know they can be better," Cole said.

To call Cole outgoing would be an understatement. She is involved in Student Council, National Honor Society, choir and band, just to name a few. Cole is also the senior class president this year.

This go-getter is also a multi-sport athlete, playing soccer in River Falls, but also competing in volleyball, track, and tennis.

Cole loves to be active as often as she can. Cole, along with a friend, even helped revive the Ellsworth Dance Team. Cole could only participate for one year, before realizing her plate was too full with other activities.

One of her greatest achievements was starting the Valentine's Day telegrams program at EHS. Male students at the school deliver flowers and serenade people throughout the school, visiting a variety of classrooms.

Cole said that when she comes up with ideas, her class helps realize those dreams.

As far as why Cole is such an outgoing person, it's pretty simple.

"I don't want to have any regrets," Cole said. "I want to be the person that I am today ... and then never give up on myself. I want to be the best person I can be. And that's what my parents have always told me, 'try your hardest and achieve your goals, until you're the best that you can be.'"

The biggest thing Cole will miss from high school will be her classmates, even though she said she's looking forward to graduating.

"Our class ... we bond so well and get along so well," Cole said. "There's the athletic people, there's the smart people, we all just mix in. We're just a huge family."

The Ellsworth High School graduation will take place on May 25 at 7 p.m., in the Ellsworth High School New Gym.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism. 

(651) 301-7873
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