Mineral Point High School is proud to announce its top scholars for the Class of 2024: Valedictorian Derek Hottenstein and Salutatorians Regan Schuette, Malea Aschliman, and Julianna Cool.

Graduation is set for Friday, May 24 at 7 pm in the high school gym. The biographies below were written by the students themselves.

Valedictorian Derek Hottenstein

Derek Hottenstein is the son of Wendy and Dennis Hottenstein and the younger brother of Drew Hottenstein. Derek was born in 2006 at the Dodgeville Upland Hills Hospital and lived his entire life in Mineral Point. He spent his early years attending daycare and preschool at St. Joseph School and Daycare in Dodgeville before transferring to the Mineral Point Elementary School for Kindergarten and beyond.

He’s been involved in such activities as the MP Musical Theatre and Drama Club, the Dodge-Point Soccer Team, Future Business Leaders of America, Skills USA, Forensics, Mock Trial, Book Club, Math Team, and Vice President of the National Honor Society. His favorite has to be the school’s plays and musicals, where he has played numerous roles in numerous incredible shows. From the precious little Chip in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ his Freshman year to the complex and emotionally charged Narrator/Mysterious Man in ‘Into the Woods’ his Senior year, he takes immense pride in everything that he has done these four years. It hasn’t been easy to handle at times, but he doesn’t regret a single second.

When he isn’t involved in all those school activities, he also can be found helping his father on the family farm near Platteville. But mainly, he enjoys spending time on the down-low. Going to the movies, playing video games with his brother, curling up with a good book, or just relaxing in his hot tub are all ways he likes to unwind.

After school, Derek intends to go onto college but is currently undecided on the location. As for the major, he’d like to pursue something along the lines of Business Finance and Business Communications. Whatever the future holds, he would like to thank everyone for helping him get there. Thank you to the Mineral Point Elementary, Middle, and High School teachers for almost a lifetime of stellar education. A big shout out goes to Mrs. Erika Brunson who has been such a life preserver in wild uncharted waters these last few years. And, of course, Derek would like to thank his friends and family for helping make him the man he is today. Even his brother Drew, who has always been such a presence in his life, for better or worse (but mostly better). Derek has always held the opinion that success is a communal effort. Mineral Point demonstrates that to a stellar degree, and he hopes to make everyone proud as he treads his own path out into that weird, wild, wonderful world.

Salutatorian Regan Schuette

Regan Schuette is the oldest child of Craig and Paula Schuette. She has one younger sister, Faye, a Freshman at Mineral Point and a Dodge-Point Cross Country teammate.

Regan grew up outside of town and has attended Mineral Point Schools since preschool. She is the Key Club President and FFA Secretary. She participates in Math Team, forensics, band, musical theatre, National Honor Society, cross country, and track; she served in student government as a Junior and is now the student body president as a Senior. Regan is also a proud recipient of the Student of the Year award as a Freshman and once again as a Sophomore.

Running is a large part of, and has significantly impacted, Regan’s life. Due to the lack of upperclassmen as a Sophomore and Junior, she took on a leadership role on the team early in her career. As a cross country captain this year, she continued being a role model for her teammates. Regan also hopes her track 4×8 team can return to the State meet this year after her cross country team’s return to State this past fall.

Through both FFA and forensics, Regan participates in various speaking competitions. She has competed in quiz bowl, creed speaking, and extemporaneous competitions for the FFA; she has competed in the farrago and group interpretation categories in forensics. She enjoys learning more about agriculture through the topics she speaks on in extemporaneous contests, even though it is challenging. She also enjoys acting in her forensics pieces.

Though she enjoys acting, Regan is not seen on stage during the musical. Instead, she works on the backstage crew as a flies operator. She loves seeing the musical come together behind the scenes, from the props and scene changes to the choreography and singing. She has worked on ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Chicago,’ and ‘The Drowsy Chaperone,’ and finished her career on ‘Into the Woods’ this fall.

After high school, Regan will attend UW-La Crosse to pursue a career in high school math education. Regan would like to congratulate her classmates Derek Hottenstein, Malea Aschliman, and Julianna Cool on receiving the honors of Valedictorian and Salutatorian as well. She would also like to thank her teachers for everything they have done for her and her peers. Lastly, she appreciates her parents for encouraging her in everything she does.

Salutatorian Malea Aschliman

Malea Aschliman is the daughter of Krista and David Aschliman. She was born in Dodgeville in 2005. She has three older sisters: Myah, who has graduated college and currently lives in San Diego; Mara who is attending graduate school at Bradley University; and Macy who attends Grand Canyon University. She also has a younger brother, Drew, who is a student at Mineral Point High School. 

Malea has been attending Mineral Point Schools since preschool. Malea has been associated with many extracurricular activities including Key Club, Future Business Leaders of America, forensics, student council, Sources of Strength, and National Honor Society. She was the Class of 2024 President for two consecutive years, holds the position of Vice President of the Key Club, and is the Communications Officer for the National Honor Society. She enjoys helping others throughout the community by volunteering with Key Club and the National Honor Society. She is especially excited about the Kiwanis/Key Club Easter Egg Hunt and the National Honor Society-sponsored talent show which she helps coordinate.

Malea participates in volleyball and track and field. She was named a captain of the volleyball team and received 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-Area, and All-State Honorable Mention. She enjoys playing volleyball, not only for the physical aspect but also for the team aspect of growing closer to her teammates. Malea participates in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, and high jump in track and field. She enjoys getting to know new people from Dodgeville as the track and field team is a co-op. 

When she is not at practice or school, Malea loves to spend time with her family and friends. In the summer, she enjoys being outdoors and doing activities like swimming and hiking. She is a lifeguard and teaches swim lessons to little kids. She loves it as she is able to be outside and around children. 

After high school, Malea plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and study Human Biology with an emphasis in Nutrition and Dietetics. She plans on earning a master’s or doctorate degree in a related field after completing her bachelor’s degree. She has a passion for all things health and helping others to achieve their goals and feel their best.

She would like to thank her teachers, all of whom created a lasting impact on her future. She will never forget any of her teachers because of how much they helped her throughout her life. She would also like to thank her parents and family members for giving her constant support and encouragement. She would not be where she is today without them. 

Salutatorian Julianna Cool

Julianna Cool is the youngest child of Terry and Andrea Cool. She has lived her entire life in Highland, where she attended elementary school before switching to Mineral Point in middle school where her dad teaches social studies. She has three older siblings; one sister who is studying music at Lawrence University, one brother who is studying audio engineering and guitar performance at UW-Oshkosh, and one brother who graduated from UW-Madison and is now living in Chicago. 

Julianna has been attending Mineral Point since 6th grade. She is currently in her second year as Drum Major of the marching band, an officer of the Future Business Leaders of America, an officer and founder of the Earth-Wise Environmental Club, and a leader of the Pointer Media team. She is also involved in Forensics, Mock Trial, Musical Theater, Key Club, and Choir. Last Spring, Julianna was accepted into the National Honor Society and was also awarded the Fetal Pig Surgeon award for being the top student in the Biology II class.

From a very young age, music has been an integral part of Julianna’s life. She grew up performing at barbershop shows with her cousins – as in the style of music with four-part chords, not cutting hair. She began taking piano and voice lessons in 2nd grade which allowed her love of music to flourish. One of her favorite parts about Mineral Point is the outstanding musical theatre program. Julianna has participated in the musical during all her years of high school. She played Kitty in ‘Chicago,’ Gangster #2 in ‘The Drowsy Chaperone,’ and finally, this year, Julianna was thrilled to be cast as the Witch in ‘Into the Woods.’ Julianna loved working together with all the cast and crew to make her final show the best experience possible for all, both on and off stage.

Outside of school and extracurricular activities, Julianna works as a certified nursing assistant. She loves spending time with residents and helping them through their day. Working with the elderly has taught Julianna just how valuable time is and how important it is to spend it with those you love. 

Because of her dedication to helping people, Julianna has decided that she will actually be graduating a year early. After graduation, Julianna will be attending Washington University in St. Louis where she will study Molecular Biology and Biochemistry as she hopes to continue a career in the medical field, most likely in the research side of things, where she can help those who need it. 

Julianna would like to thank all of the staff members at Mineral Point High School for making it a place where curiosity and knowledge can blossom; their time and work are vital and greatly appreciated. She would like to thank Mr. Tom Steger and Ms. Erin Sincox for fostering her love of science; she never knew just how big the world of science was until Mr. Steger and Ms. Sincox showed her, and now she can’t wait to keep learning more. Julianna would also like to thank Mrs. Kristin Staver for being a constant source of support ever since Julianna was a 4-year-old girl who wanted to run the music at basketball games. She thanks Mr. Matt Nevers and Mrs. Ashley Calderon-McHugh for providing her with seemingly endless opportunities to grow and expand musically. Finally, Julianna thanks her parents and siblings for their endless support, encouragement, guidance, and love throughout the years.

(Hottenstein photo by Lifka Bennett; Schuette photo by Lifka Bennett; Aschliman photo by Ann Gorgen; Cool photo by Libby Peplinski)