Cade Girardi has a dream of making a difference in the community. Girardi was named The Report’s Outstanding Senior (Submitted/The Report).

Girardi’s mission earns him Wilmot’s Outstanding Senior

By Jason Arndt

Cade Girardi just wants to reach out and make positive contributions in the community even if it carries a risk.

Girardi, a recent Wilmot Union High School graduate, said you don’t have to be a celebrity or hold a specific title to help others.

“My dream is to open the eyes and hearts of people to be more grateful, positive and powerful. We all have the ability to make a change and spread happiness,” he wrote in his Report Outstanding Senior application. “I want to encourage people that to be a hero, you don’t have to be a huge celebrity or have a big title.”

Girardi acknowledged being a hero only takes helping one person.

“You just have to touch one person’s heart. I feel that there is no risk when you after your dream and its all reward,” he said. “However, there is tremendous amount of risk in playing it safe which in turn leads to incredible levels of regret.”

Since his freshman year at Wilmot, Girardi has seized every opportunity, participating in multiple clubs, sports and community service drives.

Girardi, a recipient of the Kenosha County Good Humanitarian Award, earned induction in the National Honor Society, held Student Government leadership posts, played multiple sports while working three jobs through his four years.

Girardi, son of Kami and Jaremy Girardi, is the younger brother of Quintin. He attributes his family for continuous support amid a challenging course load and co-curricular activities.

“It gets difficult at times, but I got support, I got family that encourages me to keep going,” said Girardi.

For Girardi’s efforts, he has been named Wilmot’s Outstanding Senior by the editorial staff of The Report.

Class leader
Within Wilmot, as a senior, Girardi became involved in Paw Prints, where he served as manager, Panther Productions, participated on the Be The Change team and joined the Gamers Club.

Additionally, he continued membership on the Spanish Club, which he joined as a sophomore.

Girardi, a four-year Student Government member, was vice president from freshman to junior year before rising to the ranks of senior class president.

Meanwhile, he became a founder of Priceless Pancakes, a school club dedicated to serving breakfast to other students.

Girardi, the vice president of Priceless Pancakes, has also been involved in the group’s outreach efforts to the homeless community.

The student leader served as DECA vice president and student liaison during School Board meetings as a senior. Girardi participated in Key Club during his sophomore year.

Girardi, a member of the school Homecoming Court, earned High Honor Roll recognition while serving in these various community roles.

Girardi found a way to stay active in athletics, playing basketball his freshman year, joining the golf squad for three years.

The multi-sport athlete, meanwhile, earned three varsity letters in his four years with the Wilmot volleyball program.

All business
Outside of school, he contributed to his family’s business, The Pizza Joint and More in Antioch, Illinois for the last six years.

Girardi, who plans to study business, said his first exposure to the trade happened while working at the Pizza Joint.

Girardi, as a senior, earned his real estate license at 18 and joined Bear Realty.

“That was such a big accomplishment because I put so much effort and work into that class,” Girardi said regarding his real estate license.

Along the way, he opened his first business, Masterpiece Photography LLC.

He used his family business as foundation, noting he learned about positive customer service, and applied these traits to his real estate career and photography business.

“Anything that I learned, I can immediately apply it to the business that I started, or at Bear Realty,” he said.

Maintaining his dreams
He plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison and study business.

Girardi, however, said he doesn’t have any set plans, but indicated he wants to find a career he is passionate about.

“I want to do something I am passionate about and touch as many hearts as I possibly can,” he said.

“With my dream, I want to leave a mark on our world, I will take every opportunity to be that ‘hero’ and touch the most lives possible, and I don’t see any risk in that.”

A look at the other nominees
Here are capsules on the other three nominees for Report Outstanding Senior from Wilmot Union High School:

Logan Pye
Pye, son of Josh and Kristen, was an athlete for all seasons while attending Wilmot.

On the Panther baseball diamond, where he previously told this newspaper he spent time on as a child growing up, Pye earned three varsity letters and served as team captain for two seasons.

Meanwhile, with the baseball team, he received Southern Lakes Conference and All-County recognition.

If that wasn’t enough, Pye was a four-time letter-winner on the wrestling team, serving in a leadership role as captain. Additionally, the former team captain won two WIAA Division 1 regional wrestling titles and earned a spot on the Southern Lakes Conference team.

In the fall, meanwhile, Pye played football all four years, collecting two varsity letters while achieving conference, All-County and All-Area recognition.

Off the field, he represented Wilmot in the community, volunteering with the Panther Pals program for two years. Panther Pals connects student-athletes with feeder schools and allows older students to serve as role models.

Pye, a member of the Junior Prom Court, also volunteered as a little league coach for two years and has worked 16 hours a week at Antioch Pizza Shop.

Pye plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to study business and play baseball.

He won the Panther Backer Scholarship, Quarterback Scholarship and was a finalist for the Dennis Maki Scholarship.

Ella Savage-Holst
Savage-Holst, daughter of Scott Holst and Jennifer Savage, notched recognition on the honor roll in all four years she attended Wilmot Union High School.

The honor roll student served as vice president of the school Key Club, International Club and was involved with the Student Council.

Savage-Holst, who ran cross country, also played four years on the varsity soccer team and earned the squad’s Shooting Star award.

Outside of school, she has worked at Cozzi Cafe and Bakeshop in Paddock Lake for two years.

Savage-Holst plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison and study biochemistry with hopes of pursuing a career in dentistry.

The aspiring dentist, meanwhile, credited her parents and Wilmot officials for helping her became a better leader.

“I want to thank the teachers and staff at Wilmot for pushing me to be a positive role leader, as well as my parents, who have let me grow and have helped me achieve the goals I have set,” she wrote in her Outstanding Senior application. “I couldn’t be the person I am today without looking up to all of these role model. I appreciate all of you.”

Marcus Wolff
Wolff, son of James and Elizabeth Wolff, was a high honor roll student from freshman to senior year, earning multiple academic awards and scholarships.

While he earned $35,500 in annual scholarship from Michigan University, where he plans to attend in the fall, Wolff was an AP Scholar with Honor and achieved a $10,000 Herb Kohl Student Excellence Scholarship.

He also picked up an Educator’s Credit Union Scholarship, Advia Credit Union Scholarship and Adams-Columbia Cooperative Scholarship.

At Wilmot, Wolff served as National Honor Society President, Key Club Webmaster and participated in multiple other activities, including a tenure on the school Academic Decathlon team.

As a decathlete, Wolff was a three-year captain, and made his mark on the school record books.

“While in Academic Decathlon for three years, I managed to help my team win three Wisconsin state titles and a national championship, becoming Wilmot’s all-time leading scorer along the way,” he wrote in his Outstanding Senior application.

He was also a member of the Pep/Marching Band (four years), University of Wisconsin-Parkside Geography Bowl, Tri-M Music Honor Society and Conference Academic Bowl.

Additionally, Wolff was a member of Link Crew, mentoring incoming freshmen on Wilmot student life.

Outside the classroom, he played baseball for two years, and took on several part-time jobs within the community.

Wolff worked as a clerk at Festival Foods, accounting for 10 hours a week, before becoming a grade school math tutor.

He plans to study Electrical Engineering at Michigan State University.


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