Family of Valedictorians - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Family of Valedictorians

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Graduation day is coming this weekend for many high school seniors in the region.

At Harvey, the class of 2013 is led by Todd Selzler.

He's the valedictorian this year.

And, as Jim Olson reports, he's carrying on a family tradition.

(Carol Selzler, Todd's Mother) "He's always been a bright kid and very ambitious."

(Todd Selzler, Harvey Valedictorian) "I've always wanted to be the best I can in everything I do."

We met Todd Selzler a few weeks ago in our Student Spotlight - he's the valedictorian of his class of 32 at Harvey.

(Carol Selzler, Todd's Mother) "He's always been an overachiever, one of those kids who, he's got 99% and he'll do the extra credit just to get the extra credit."

Turns out he's not the only successful student in his family. His mom Carol was also at the top of her class of about 60 kids back in 1986.

(Carol Selzler, Todd's Mother) "I don't know, I don't remember being quite that ambitious."

But she's being modest. Not only was she her class valedictorian, but she maintained her grades while her youngest brother - Tim - was in Minneapolis being treated for leukemia

(Carol Selzler, Todd's Mother) "My little brother was sick at the time he was treating for leukemia during my four years of high school."

the disease that took Tim's life at age 12 when Carol was in the middle of her senior year. And Carol's mother knows it wasn't easy for her.

(Patty Sauter, Carol's Mother) "It wasn't just going to school like a lot of kids do - she had to help with chores since we have a dairy farm so it was no easy task."

Carol's mom - Patty Sauter - knows a bit about tragic loss and still excelling - her mother died when Patty was eight, leaving her father in charge of a family of eight kids.

(Patty Sauter, Carol's Mother) "My dad raised us and we all got to high school."

And Patty thrived in school - finishing high school as Harvey's valedictorian - back in 1948 with a class of about three dozen.

(Patty Sauter, Carol's Mother) "I was quiet like she was quiet, I didn't belong to too much. But, I liked school."

Quite a family - current graduate, mother, and grandmother - all finishing at the top of the class. Oh - and there's more. Patty's mother, Carol's grandmother, Todd's great grandmother - was also the valedictorian of her class at Harvey High School. In 1913.

(Patty Sauter, Carol's Mother) "This was in 1913 so it's exactly 100 years so that makes it something different."

But right now, Patty's focused on her grandson's big day.

(Todd Selzler, Harvey Valedictorian) "My grandma is pretty excited about this."

(Patty Sauter, Todd's Grandmother) "He had one 'B' in third grade so that was the last time he had a 'B' so I always waited - I didn't say anything to him but I waited and waited to see if he'd make it and he did!"

(Todd Selzler, Harvey Valedictorian) "It's really important to her to see me get this and it's been really cool to finally be able to have this happen."

Cool indeed - and lots of family members will be there Sunday when Todd continues the century-old tradition of education excellence. In Harvey, Jim Olson, KX News.

>>

By the way, Carol Selzler's sister Julie was also a valedictorian at Harvey High in the 1980s.

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