Class of 2020 senior Kieran Ripkin smiling
What grade did you start attending SLP Schools?
What activities were you involved in while you were a student at Spring Lake Park High School?
  • Varsity Swim & Dive, Captain, Junior and Senior years
  • Varsity Tennis
  • Varsity Track & Field; Cross Country
  • National Honor Society
  • Wind Ensemble, Symphonic, and Varsity bands
  • Panther Mentor Program
  • SLP Leadership Council.
What teacher or teachers have had the biggest impact on your educational journey?
Mr. Meier and Mr. Kugler. Both individuals have immensely contributed to my growth as a student and as a person. Mr. Meier is the most outgoing teacher in the school and is truly committed to teaching his students in the best possible way. The passion and energy he teaches with is truly infectious and has always kept me intrigued to learn more. Mr. Kugler has taught me how to be an effective leader and a positive role model for others. The skills he has taught me have allowed me to improve on my time management skills over the years as well. Both teachers have taught me the skills necessary to be a leader in and outside of the building, which is something I am truly grateful for.
What's your favorite school memory? 
My favorite high school memory was my senior year on the swim & dive team. Although I loved all four years that I was on the team, my last year was truly special. The coaching staff does a phenomenal job encouraging my teammates and me to do our best in both the pool and in the classroom. Not only are my teammate's superb athletes but they are more importantly hard workers and excel in the classroom. I have accomplished a lot over my four years on the team but it wouldn't have been possible without great coaches, my teammates, and truly a positive environment.
What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to attend Gustavus Adolphus College in the Fall of 2020 while competing on the swim & dive team. I am currently undecided about what I want to study.
How has Spring Lake Park Schools prepared you for your future?
Spring Lake Park Schools have prepared me for my future by providing a safe learning environment that has allowed me to grow exponentially as both a student and as a person. The staff does an exceptional job of catering to students' different needs and helping them find success, whether it be in or outside of the classroom. I have learned through numerous challenging courses what it takes to succeed in the classroom and the amount of effort it requires. I am leaving Spring Lake Park Schools as a well-rounded individual who is willing to take risks to achieve my goals.
What advice do you have for incoming ninth graders or students new to Spring Lake Park High School?
There are two pieces of advice that I have for incoming students to Spring Lake Park High School. First, surround yourself with peers and mentors that are supportive of what you want to accomplish. Every teacher within SLPHS is more than willing to help you achieve your goals and guide you towards success. Peers that are encouraging and supportive of you will make all the difficult days a whole lot easier to conquer. SLPHS is by no means a scary place but your first few days at a new school are daunting, and that is perfectly normal. Having positive mentors and role models will make the transition a lot easier. Second, immerse yourself within the community. I was hesitant to get involved my freshman year in athletics and activities but once I did, it was certainly rewarding.
What are you doing to stay busy during the pandemic?
I have been biking around my neighborhood frequently and trying to stay as active as possible without a sports season this spring. I have enjoyed talking to my friends over FaceTime and Webex, trying our best to stay connected. I have been watching the Michael Jordan documentary with my family (I would recommend it if you haven't watched it already) and the NFL Draft was entertaining to watch as well.
What makes you SLP Panther Proud?
The community and culture at Spring Lake Park Schools makes me SLP Panther Proud. The staff and students work together to cultivate a positive atmosphere that allows students to flourish during their time at Spring Lake Park and beyond. The opportunities and experiences that SLP has offered me have opened doors and new possibilities that otherwise I would not have known existed. I am proud to have been able to be a Panther.