LaCrosse High School senior, Madyson Ruzbasan, likes the small town feel of her hometown of Wanatah.
“There’s a lot of corn,” laughs Madyson - who likes to be called Mady. “And I really like that I don’t have to drive very far to visit my friends. It’s really nice here.”
A frequent #1StudentNWI contributor to Valpolife.com, the seventeen-year old moved from Portage with her family when she was three years old. She attends LaCrosse High School, where her favorite class is band.
“I’ve been in band all four years. It’s really good to know that, if I’m feeling down, it’s a good class to go to because you get to do what you want to do, learning-wise. I like that it’s very close-knit and familial here at LaCrosse. We don’t have a lot of big sports, but what we do have here, you get to really be closely involved with.”
Mady is proof positive that small-town life does not equal boring. She is active in several programs in the area, including the Tri-Township Honor Society, Student Council, and the Academic Superbowl.
“It’s really fun! We study for several months, then we go to competition and compete against other schools using the knowledge we gained in English and fine arts. You get to learn about things that you didn’t know about and then put your knowledge to the test.”
Mady says that last year’s competition was especially tough.
“We had to learn about Ancient Rome. We had to study paintings, and that was hard because they were all very similar. Last year was tough, but in my sophomore year, we made it all the way to state.”
She also writes for the LaCrosse Weekly, their student newspaper, which started just last year.
“It’s a weekly thing, and it encourages us to be more observant and more aware of what’s going on in and around our school,” said Ruzbasan.
Mady is looking forward to a career in either graphic design or designing websites and hopes to begin her college career at Ivy Tech, then possibly transfer to a 4-year college.
“Originally, I was focused on graphic design, but I got accepted into a few schools that offer web design too, so now I’m considering that too. Also, I like to draw, so maybe I’ll minor in animation or something like that,” says Mady.
An active contributor to Valpolife.com, she has written several articles featuring her experiences and news in and around LaCrosse High School.
“My English teacher recommended that I write for Valpolife,” said Mady. “I thought that it would be a good opportunity to learn more about what’s going on in the community and tell others about it.”
Her favorite article was the one she wrote featuring her math teacher, Mr. Roslansky.
“He’s a pretty cool guy. He’s had a lot of experiences to talk about.”
When she’s not learning about Ancient Rome or learning about her community, Mady spends time at home with her parents, Suzette and Mark, and their two dogs, Buddy and Bebe.
“Buddy’s a beagle. He’s like a sausage roll - he’s pretty fat,” she laughs.
They also have two cats, Junior and Caramel.
“We just found Caramel like a month ago. He’s pretty fat too.”
Mady has plans for the upcoming summer: she’d like to make it out to Pierogi Fest in Whiting.
“It sounds really cool!” she says.
Finally, when she feels like just curing up with a favorite movie, she says her #1 pick is The Iron Giant.
“The animation is really well done and I really enjoy the story,” says Mady.
Helping others, giving her time and helping the community. That’s Madyson Ruzbasan.