No regrets: Ellsworth senior looks back on her career shortly before graduation
Editor's note: This story is part of a series highlighting outstanding graduating seniors. Find more profiles here.
ELLSWORTH — Sophia Cole almost didn't graduate from the Ellsworth School District.
Back 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 Ellsworth doesn't offer soccer, Cole had to make a lofty decision: return to Ellsworth to be with her friends that she's grown up with or stay at River Falls and continue play soccer?
The choice was difficult, but Cole picked Ellsworth and hasn't looked back.
The senior will graduate from the district on May 25. Cole plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the fall to study physical education teaching.
Cole also will take a minor in coaching and health education, following in the footsteps of her mentor, Julie Graber, a physical education teacher in 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 and Graber's relationship. Cole said Graber 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 in why Cole hopes to become a physical education teacher. However, Cole said her motivation in teaching students is about help 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.
Cole is involved in student council, National Honor Society, choir and band — to name a few. Cole is the senior class president. She is also a multi-sport athlete, competing in volleyball, track and tennis.
Cole said she loves to be active as often as she can. Cole, along with a friend, 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 Cole's greatest achievements at the school was starting the Valentine's Day telegrams program.. Male students deliver flowers and serenade people throughout the school.
Cole said that when she comes up with ideas, her class helps realize the dream.
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 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 7 p.m. May 25 in the Ellsworth High School New Gym.