Following a family passion for learning, reading
AMHERST A strong focus on education and weekly trips to the library with her mother stoked a passion for learning in Lily Kraft that she has carried throughout her high school career.

Lily, a senior at Amherst High School, carries a 3.982 GPA with a class schedule that includes advanced biology, honors calculus, AP U.S. history, and AP literature and composition. She also takes classes in math and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Lily has also been a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, the Portage County Teen Leadership Program and student council. She donates her time to events and organizations and events including local blood drives, Operation Bootstrap and the Iola Old Car Show. She competed in cross country, and this year was co-captain of the Iola Winter Sports Club team that won the first Wisconsin High School Nordic Skiing Championship in the 18 years of the program.
Lily Kraft

Age: 18
Residence: Amherst
School: Amherst High School
Parents: George Kraft and Susan Wurzer
College Plans: Attend Michigan Technological University to study biomedical engineering and pre-medicine
Hobbies: Reading, skiing and running

After high school, she plans to study biomedical engineering and pre-medicine and has already been accepted to Michigan Technological University in Houghton.

Lily said there was always a premium on education in her home, and it began with her parents. Her father, George Kraft, is a professor of water resources and director of the Center for Watershed Science and Education at UW-Stevens Point. Her mother, Suzan Wurzer, is an educator with the Hospice Organization & Palliative Experts of Wisconsin, which comprises hospice and palliative care programs throughout the state.

“Academics were always important, but it’s not something that I ever felt got pushed on me. I wanted to do it,” Lily said.

Her passion was fueled by books. Lily began reading voraciously when she was around 4 years old and can recall her mother taking her on weekly trips to the Portage County Public Library, where she filled a bag with books on a variety of subjects. Wurzer said she believes teaching and encouraging reading in any child from an early age is essential.

“I think the crux of the support and belief in education is giving a kid the opportunity, the tools, to learn as soon as they can pay it enough attention,” Wurzer said.

As she moves on from high school, Lily has no plans to lighten her workload or activities. Along with what will be a heavy dose of coursework in the classroom, she will compete in cross country running and cross country skiing for Michigan Tech.

“I am motivated by my passion for knowledge and my instilled belief that talent isn’t enough,” Lily said. “Success requires dedication, perseverance, and a positive attitude.”

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