LAKEVIEW — Angela Krul doesn’t say much. Even those who know her say they don’t know her well.
Angela, who joins her fellow Lakeview High School graduates at commencement this Sunday, is one of those kids who swim quietly through the academic waters, creating few ripples. She works hard for her grades, but doesn’t make a show of it.
Like a lot of girls her age, she has her share of problems; family issues, mostly. These she also chooses to keep to herself.
The poet John Donne wrote that “No man is an island.” Then again, John Donne never knew Angela.
Her quiet demeanor makes it all the more impressive that she has managed to rise above some serious adversity, adversity which might have caused a weaker soul to throw in the towel.
In elementary school, Angela was consigned for the most part to special education classes. A fairly serious speech impediment, along with an inability to keep up academically with her classmates, kept her out of the school’s “mainstream.”
“I had problems learning,” Angela says. “But I worked past that. When I was in middle school I had a stepmom for a while who helped me through that.”
It turned out all Angela needed was a little extra help with academics, help she had previously not received. Despite the slow academic start, her grades through high school have been more than acceptable. She wants them bad enough to put in the work.
Angela admits senior year, especially, has been difficult for her, if not academically, then socially. Until senior year, Angela attended Greenville schools.
Problems at home, however, forced her to seek other accommodations. For a while she lived in a car, then with a friend. Finally, she moved in with a friend who lives in Lakeview and started school there.
Making friends, for Angela, has always been a slow process and being the “new kid” didn’t help.
“I have two friends,” Angela says. “Only a couple. It’s tough to move in your senior year.”
Lakeview High School Principal Gary Jensen — an administrator well known for maintaining a keen interest in the well-being of his charges — admits that Angela was a tough nut to crack.
“She is a very quiet young lady,” Jensen says. “She’s just very unassuming. It took a while before we realized she was living in a car and just kind of bouncing around. But now she’s working two jobs and basically, just kind of doing it all on her own. But you’d never know it; that’s how quiet and unassuming she is.”
Jensen shares the story of bumping into Angela at one of her jobs, working as a clerk at Leppink’s market in Lakeview.
“I said, ‘Angela, how are you doing?’ and she was so surprised I would even know her name,” Jensen says.
According to Angela, she has enjoyed her brief time at LHS; the teachers are friendly and helpful, she says. Statistics class she lists as her favorite. As far as least favorite class, she says she does not have one.
This fall she will attend Baker College, where she plans to study veterinary medicine. Having spent many years on a small farm, she feels at home with livestock and hopes to one day find work as a vet’s assistant with a large animal clinic.
There are a lot of miles between special ed student and veterinary technician and navigating them for the most part alone could not have been easy.
“She could have chosen to throw her hands up at any time in her life,” Jensen says. “But she’s been a trooper. She’s handled high school, now she’s off to Baker. She’s going to have a great life.”
Angela herself, true to form, doesn’t have much to say about what life might send her way after graduation from Baker. Just as she has for the past 18 years, Angela plans to walk into her future quietly, one step at a time.
This is the seventh of a series profiling local graduates from the Class of 2013.