A Farewell to AVR


Madisyn Riste

All Redwings are familiar with this voice over the intercom, calling students and guiding us through our day. It may be rare to see her walking through the hallways, but she can usually be found with a smile in the main office. She’s always up to chat, offer advice, and share her candy. Who am I talking about? You’ve guessed it! The ever lovely South High Secretary, Mrs. Ann Vega-Raatz, also known as AVR.

Farewell AVR
Mrs. Vega-Raatz (left) poses with Attendance Office Secretary, Mrs. Billie Jo Weier (right). Weier will be taking over Vega-Raatz’s desk when we return from winter break.

Vega-Raatz has claimed her position for 12 years now, but 2015 marks the end of her era here at South. Today, Wednesday, December 23rd, is her last day as she leaves to sit in a new throne downtown in the Central Office. During her years here, Vega-Raatz touched the hearts of many Redwings. Senior Jordan Lohse said this was pure fact, adding, Whether it was after the loss of the final game of the soccer season, getting a good grade, or just needing someone to talk to, Mrs. Vega was always there for me, with her warm hugs.” Lohse went on, reminiscing about a time when Vega-Raatz was there for her after a very tough girls soccer regional finals her sophomore year. “I showed up that Monday, after the season was done and all my friends graduated the day before, and I went to the office and she was right there to catch me from my downfall.” Lohse hasn’t been the only one to lean on Vega-Raatz’s shoulder. Senior Erin Gamb stated, “There isn’t a day that she doesn’t welcome you with open arms, and I’m going to miss that the most.” It is true that Vega-Raatz has never turned away a stressed student without offering some comfort. Gamb continued with a message to Vega-Raatz,   “I just want her to know how much she means to everyone at this school, and even though she will be so missed, I am proud of her and glad she’s moving on and doing great things! Once a Redwing, always a Redwing!” Many will agree with Gamb on this, one being Alumni Camber Posewitz. “When I was at South, she always was there for me when I needed her, cheered me on at basketball games and always provided me with something to smile or laugh about during my day at school. She made my time at South so memorable and I’m really happy for her and her new chapter in her life!” This is a common response from South’s alumni. Vega-Raatz always made sure that whoever entered the office sad, left happy. AVR has proven to be helpful during many students’, and staffs’, situations. Being in the main office, she’s in a key area to stop by and chat, which many take advantage of. Senior Tyler Guenther often stops by Vega-Raatz’s desk to share a laugh. “She was always willing to talk, whether it was important or stupid. One time I asked her if all elephants had horns, only to find out they are tusks. She taught valuable lessons!” Guenther recalled. A common theme from those who stop and talk with Vega-Raatz is that it’s always filled with laughter and kind words. Redwings are fortunate to have Vega-Raatz as a school mom, but Vega-Raatz is also a true Redwing parent as well! Junior Lauren Vega shared how she felt about her mom leaving South High. “I will definitely miss being able to just grab the car keys and run out to lunch. But in all seriousness, I will for sure miss her happiness. She is always happy. Whenever I’m in a bad mood, or something went wrong, I can count on her to make me laugh or smile. I will definitely miss my mom being in school with me, but she isn’t that far away.” Mrs. Ann Vega-Raatz has been a South secretary, shoulder to cry on, listening ear, and a ray of sunshine to Redwings for 12 years. We wish her luck on her voyage to Central Office. They are lucky to have you, and we are forever proud to call you a Redwing!

Photo by: Madisyn Riste