FMC 2023 High School Graduates

Celebrate with us these 2023 high school graduates who, after years of joyful life with FMC, will soon be off to college!

Greta Amstutz

Shy little, dark-eyed, Greta has always been a good student from the very beginning. She is happy to have graduated with good grades (honors) from North Central High School that got her into a nursing program. She plans to live happily with a group of good friends at Marquette University in Milwaukee.

The part of school she enjoyed the most was talking to classmates and becoming acquainted with peers and teachers she wouldn’t likely know outside of school.

Extra-curricular activities at school have been many: running cross country, tennis, swimming, playing her French Horn in wind ensemble (band and orchestra).

Greta’s free time is taken up with lifeguarding, hanging out with her many friends as much as possible, and her boyfriend.

 Summer plans include lifeguarding, some travel, enjoying friends, and preparing for college in the fall. Marquette University, here she comes with plans for a nursing career with a minor in Spanish.

Greta’s most embarrassing moment happened in school, back in grade 3. She was reading her friend’s book when she suddenly threw up all over the book. Oh my! She ended up getting a replacement book for her friend.

Some of Greta’s favorites:

  • Food: salmon from Delicia, or her mom’s
  • Show: Gilmore Girls
  • Books: Daisey Jones and The Six
  • Musician: Taylor Swift
  • Movie: Parent Trap, or Mrs. Doubtfire
  • App: Pinterest

Greta, along with her parents Lon and Heidi, have always been a part of FMC. Greta’s favorite hymn is “My Soul is filled with Joy.” She, on her French Horn, and friend Jonah on his euphonium, accompanied the congregation singing this song at church. It was lovely.

When asked about fond memories of FMC, she mentioned Steve Thomas as pastor and Miss Lu (Culp) and Mark Sherer as Sunday school teachers. Making unleavened bread in class was special. Sue Turner had students write to themselves and put it in a time capsule—a fun remembrance. More recently Mary Liechty and Marcy Major were great teachers. Vacation Bible School and tie dying were also fun. The MYF farm trip in 2022 with sponsors Marilyn Stutzman and Jason Schmucker was a special highlight.

Greta’s happy place

Her advice to JYF: get to know all the peers in the group really well, especially since it is a small group. Her advice to adults is to be open-minded to new ideas and new people.

Greta hopes and expects that in five years she will be working in a big city as a nurse.

We wish her well!

by Priscilla Boschmann

Rowan Hayes

Over her high school years, Rowan Hayes was on the run – literally.  As she graduated from Brebeuf this spring, Rowan cited track as her extracurricular highlight. “I’ve met a ton of my friends at Brebeuf through the team and it gets me to actually exercise. Communal suffering has brought us together.”

Meeting people is a theme of Rowan’s high school experience as she has enjoyed getting to know people from all different backgrounds, noting that there are some people she met through school that she never would have encountered otherwise but was grateful that she did.

As she thinks back on her time in JYF and MYF, she fondly remembers snow camp tubing – the year there was snow.  She encourages JYF to “Go on the youth group trips!! They’re super fun!”  When asked about advice for FMC grownups, Rowan notes that “I’m not sure I’m in a position to advise adults, but as long as you guys stick around and keep supporting us, I will be content.”

When she isn’t running or doing homework, Rowan enjoys reading, baking, hanging out with friends, and playing/listening to music. If you are looking for some new music to listen to over the summer, Lana Del Rey is Rowan’s favorite musician (and has been for years) yet she also listens to all kinds of music. When it comes to favorite books, Rowan’s go to is “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” which is also her favorite movie.

Known for her kind smile and reflective spirit, Rowan’s favorite scripture passage comes from Genesis 3:19 “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” as she finds it comforting that “all humans came from the same place, and we’ll all suffer the same fate.”

Her plans after graduation include attending Saint Louis University where she will double major in English literature as well as psychology and be in a learning community based on community service. 

Rowan’s happy place

When asked to look down the road five years, she speculates she may find herself in grad school, but “Who knows at this point? I hope I am making at least a little bit of money to sustain myself.”

There’s no doubt this bright young lady will stay in motion, hopefully slowing down to enjoy a bowl of miso soup and catch an episode of The Great British Bake-off.

FMC wishes you all the best, Rowan!  

by Kenda Friend

Andrew Kauffman

Andrew’s years at North Central High School have been marked by academic achievement, good times with friends, and an abundance of sports. When asked to reflect on highlights of high school, Andrew said “playing soccer, and going to watch other sports like basketball, football, volleyball, and wrestling.”

Four years ago, Andrew’s goals as an incoming freshman at North Central were to graduate with an Honors diploma and make the varsity soccer team. With determination and discipline, he achieved both, playing varsity soccer his senior year and graduating with Honors in June.

Andrew is an affable and easygoing young man. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, hanging out with friends, and going to the gym. He and his friends love soccer so much that they play in their free time too! He’s also quite good at ping pong – I (Jason Schmucker) will never forget the time he handily beat me during the FMC winter retreat ping pong tournament!

Andrew likes a wide range of music and media—his favorite bands are from a few decades ago: Sting, Counting Crows, REM, and Nirvana. He enjoys watching shows like The Office, The 100 and The Walking Dead and movies like Interstellar, Good Will Hunting, and The Shawshank Redemption. He’s a bit of a sci-fi/fantasy fan too and likes reading Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and Island of the Lost.

Andrew immensely enjoyed the summer 2022 MYF trip to Hungry World Farm and all the bonding that went along with doing dirty work together: tending a multiple-acre blueberry field, weeding the market garden, and spreading mulch along a path through the woods. Togetherness like that is so fulfilling for this generation of students whose highschool years were marred by pandemic isolation. Snow camp 2023 is another fond memory for Andrew. Even though there wasn’t snow this year, there was much fun to be had playing basketball, Borrow the Balls, ping pong, foosball, and learning to play euchre courtesy of Jonah Rosner. 

He advises the younger FMC kids to “participate in school and church activities because that is where you will make a lot of your friends and make long lasting memories.” May your memories of FMC be a blessing as you navigate your exciting future, Andrew!

What does the future hold for Andrew? He will attend Goshen College in the fall and study biology. His vision for five years from now is to attend graduate school or find a fulfilling job. Congratulations, Andrew! We send you into the world with all FMC’s love and best wishes!

Andrew’s happy place

by Jason Schmucker

Jonah Rosner

During worship at First Mennonite Church (FMC), Jonah Rosner can typically be found sitting quietly in the back corner of the sanctuary, tapping keys on a laptop.  No, he is not checking out the latest NBA scores or watching the preview of a Colts football game (although he is a fan). Instead, he is assisting Jason Schmucker with the intricate running of the sound and technology equipment for both in-person and online worship. Jonah has been a willing behind-the-scenes tech volunteer almost every Sunday for the past 18 months or so, even arriving early to help prior to worship. 

Jonah became interested in technology and computers while attending North Central High School. In his junior and senior years, he had the option to take two AP Computer Science classes. This opportunity showed Jonah that he enjoys the problem-solving of coding and has an affinity for it.  Although Jonah enjoys being around friends and family, coding as a future job has the added benefit of not having to constantly interact with people, which can be draining for this introvert.  He has been accepted as a direct admit into the computer science program of the College of Science at Purdue University.  He will head to Purdue in mid-August, staying in a dorm that is in a data science learning community.  This summer Jonah is working hard at a full-time job with Home City Ice (after being recruited by his older brother) where he helps to deliver large quantities of ice to vendors around central Indiana. Due to the job’s hours, you may not see Jonah at church on Sundays as often. 

Jonah has been an active part of FMC all his life. Some of his favorite memories include having fun at the Fall Party at Cindy and Allen Mast’s home, playing sports and games at the annual church retreats, and attending snow camp with the JYF and MYF. Although his youth group time was unfortunately curtailed by the pandemic, one of his MYF highlights was participating in Live-In at the church.  He wishes he would’ve had more opportunities to do that (which only happened during his freshman & senior years) as he liked hanging out with the other youth and sponsors, playing sardines and volleyball, eating together, and staying up late watching TV shows. 

A big interest Jonah has had since middle school is learning and playing the euphonium.  During the past seven years, he has taken regular private lessons, performed in recitals, played in a variety of school bands, performed ISSMA solos and ensembles (earning many gold medals), and accompanied congregational singing during worship at church.  Two music highlights were when he was selected for and participated in the Jr. All-State Band weekend his freshman year and the All-State Band weekend his senior year.  Jonah’s involvement in band has definitely impacted his life. Not only did he learn to enjoy playing and making music with a group, but he says it “introduced me to a lot of new people and helped me make long-term friendships, some of which I’ll continue to enjoy at Purdue.”  He plans to play in a Purdue band and hopes to be selected for one of their top concert bands.

Besides music and coding, some of Jonah’s favorite things to do include hanging with friends, playing video games (Minecraft, Oxygen Not Included, Civilization 6), reading, playing sports (basketball, baseball, football, etc.), and climbing rocks/high places.  He loves climbing the mature trees in his yard, indoor rock climbing at places like Hoosier Heights and outdoor treetop adventures like Go Ape!  He is looking forward to his family’s planned trip in July to Colorado where he can do some outdoor rock climbing.  Much to his mother’s dismay, one of Jonah’s future bucket list items is to go skydiving!

Jonah’s happy place

To give you one more glance into Jonah, here is a story from his elementary school days.  When he was in second grade, his friend Noah came to school with nail polish on his fingernails. Unfortunately, Noah was made fun of and teased about his fashion decision by other kids. (This was about 10 years ago when times were different, even in an urban school setting.) Observing this situation bothered Jonah greatly.  So that evening at home, Jonah asked for help in painting his nails so he could stand with his friend the next day. We were glad to help him, but also prepared him that he might get teased as well.  But if memory serves, when both boys showed up in class with painted nails, the teasing petered out and stopped.  I learned so much from my son that day, and he continues to teach me as he has grown into a responsible, caring and smart young adult.

by Carmela Rosner

Previous article | Contents | Next article

One Comment

  1. Lu Culp

    Wonderful essays on four wonderful Seniors!
    I actually shed a few tears knowing they are leaving us as weekly participants and a few more tears wishing all four a great Freshman school year!!
    Lots of ♥️ and 🙏s and loud 👏!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *