When asked what her favorite classes were in high school, it didn’t take Briana Mikla long to respond.

“Family Consumer Science classes with Mrs. Schmoker,” the 2020 Baldwin-Woodville Salutatorian said. “She has such a kind and loving heart! She is also the best storyteller! I really enjoyed these classes because they were hands on, and we got to bake and cook a lot. From these classes, Mrs. Schmoker has taught me so much about life!”

Mikla is still amazed that her high school life is in the past tense thanks to COVID-19, shutting down public schools in March.

“I would do anything to go back to high school for one more day,” she said. “I miss going to school to see all my friends and going to class to interact with my teachers, rather than doing lessons online all day. I miss going to track practice and pushing myself and my teammates for the better.

“I don’t feel like a college student because we haven’t graduated high school officially yet. I can’t believe I won’t be going back to BWHS, it breaks my heart. Who knows how long all of this will go on and how it will impact the start of next year’s school year.”

Mikla, the daughter of Mark and Sue, will be attending UW-La Crosse in the fall, or when college resumes in-session. She can thank her older sister Brooke, as the affection started when Briana helped Brooke move in.

“I immediately fell in love with the campus,” Briana explained. “I like how close everything on campus is and that it doesn’t take long to get from one building to the other. It provides a greater sense of community and togetherness. I am also found of the overall ambience and scenery of campus.”

She will be studying Exercise Science there.

“In my future career, I look forward to helping and educating others about health,” she said. “I want to find a job that I enjoy going to everyday and hope to attain happiness for myself and others while doing so. I find pleasure in educating people on the importance of health and wellness. I find it incredibly satisfying to watch a person make progress and push forward past their challenges and weaknesses. Through pursuing a degree in the health field, I look forward to positively impacting many people’s lives.”

Mikla was heavily involved in athletics and activities during her high school years.

She played volleyball, basketball and ran track. She was part of SOS (Students Offering Support Club), Art Club, forensics and the Baldwin Wide-Awake 4-H club.

At the same time, she always made time for academics, which resulted in her second place standing.

“As I went through school, my goal was to receive all A’s, however, I never thought about being entitled salutatorian until my junior year of high school,” she continued. “I realized I was ranked high in my class,

So, I made it my goal to finish strong. I gave my best effort in all of the classes, and the hours I put into my school work have definitely paid off.”

Not surprisingly, Mikla would like to take part in a graduation ceremony and is willing to wait for how long it takes (Editor’s Note: B-W High School Principal David Brandvold announced last week, the District is tentatively planning to host a full graduation ceremony with limited attendance 10 a.m., Saturday, July 25.)

“Our whole class has worked so hard for many years for this day,” she said. “It would be a shame to be unable to celebrate such a special day with my classmates, friends, and family. However, I understand we need to follow what the state says for our safety. I appreciate everything the district has been doing for the 2020 seniors at this hard time.”

She was also quick to respond on what she will remember about this period five years from now.

“I will never take a moment with my friends and family for granted again, because it has been hard not being able to see them during this tough time,” she said. “I will never forget how many things got taken away from me: track, state forensics, prom, senior prank day, senior party, and possibly a formal graduation. I am trying to think about the positives though, like how thankful I am for the fun times I had in high school."

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