Always smiling and happy is how classmates describe one of Wapakoneta High School’s top five students for 2012.
“We knew we didn’t have a chance against him for prom king,” a classmate Chris Schwartz said of Ryan Kremer. “He smiles all the time and everyone likes that.”
Kremer, 18, who plans to attend the University of Toledo (UT) to study either chemical or mechanical engineering, said he chose UT because of its extensive cooperative program, which would allow him to go different places and see different things, all while improving his knowledge in the field he’s studying.
He noted it’s a program that also almost guarantees him a job after graduation, something that weighs heavily on his mind.
After his freshman year, Kremer will spend every other semester participating in the co-operative part of his education as part of his 5-year degree as he follows in his father’s
footsteps. His father works as an engineer for Perry’s Heating & Air Conditioning.
Ryan is the middle child of Pam and Marvin Kremer, of Wapakoneta. He has an older sister, Megan, who attends Bowling Green State University, and a younger brother Nathan, who is a freshman at Wapakoneta High School this year.
Active in school, Kremer serves as treasurer of the National Honor Society, played in the chess club during its first year of inception, was a member of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) at school and the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) at his church, ran track, swam, and performed community service through the Octagon Club.
“My parents pushed me to be involved in a variety of things and my sister was a good example,” Kremer said.
He said he looks at the opportunities with which he has been presented as a blessing.
“I want to do the most I can with what I have,” Kremer said.
Speaking about his involvement in community service through the Octagon Club, Kremer said he wants to give back and help those in need. Through the club, he regularly visits nursing homes, where he and other students made cookies and played bingo with the residents.
“I’ve been blessed in my life and it’s my obligation to give some of that back,” Kremer said, noting high school has only laid the foundation for community service he expects to continue throughout his life.
First joining a competitive swim team as a freshman, Kremer said he never swam much before that, but now holds records in the individual medley, backstroke and butterfly.
With a shrug of his shoulders, Kremer said he caught on quick and had the right body type for swimming, but in college he plans to concentrate on academics.
Kremer, who competed in the high jump and jumped hurdles for track, said one of his favorite high school memories is competing in the relay at the state meet last year.
Also ranking high up in those memories is arriving at this year’s prom with that same group of guys, decked out in American flag-themed tuxedos and being crowned prom king.
“I always hope for the best, you have to approach life with a positive attitude,” Kremer said.
What he will miss most after graduation is having fun with the friends he has made, and sports, too, which have always made him push himself to go all out in competition.
When Kremer addresses his classmates at Wapakoneta High School’s graduation on Saturday he said sports will be a part of his speech.
“There’s a sports attitude that everyone can be successful if they use what they are given to the fullest and work hard,” Kremer said. “That applies to all parts of life.”
Being in the top of his class was never really an option, Kremer said. It’s been a goal he strived to achieve since he was in middle school. With favorite subjects of math and science, Kremer said it has taken a lot of work, a lot of studying, and a lot of time, but it was worth it.
This summer before heading to college, Kremer plans to again coach swimming and find himself atop the lifeguard chair at the Wapakoneta WaterPark.
Whether he will someday make his way back to Wapakoneta for more than just a visit after that, only time will tell, but no matter where he ends up, Kremer said he would like it to be a small town like this, where he grew up and was shaped into the man he will become.