By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Erdman earns Sierra valedictorian honors
Sierra High valedictorian Michael Erdman, second from left, is joined by his mother, Shelley, sister Julia, and father Mike Erdman during his return to campus on Wednesday.

Michael Erdman was back at the golf course.

Not too long after the recent re-opening of the Manteca Park Golf Course, the Sierra High senior got in a round with friends.

“It was surreal,” he said on Wednesday. “I was happy to be out there with friends but it was a different world with everyone doing social distancing.

“It was nice to get back some that old normal and, at the same time, it was kind of weird.”

Erdman, who earned the highest academic honor at Sierra High as valedictorian for the Class of 2020, has been making the most out of the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm spending my time playing guitar and song writing. I'm hanging out with friends, virtually," he said.

SHS Principal Steve Clark applauded his effort, saying: "He's achieved the highest level, academically, and was able to do so with the support of his parents and multiple people."

Clark along with administrative staff of vice principals Anthony Chapman, Ann Marie Shaw and Andrew Lee made a surprise visit to the Erdman house to personally congratulate him for his efforts.

“I knew they were coming,” said Michael Erdman, who overheard the phone call conversation from the SHS administrators to his folks by being in the next room.

When he was a sophomore, he remembered a substitute teacher being impressed with his efforts in the classroom.

That substitute teacher called him “a potential valedictorian.”

Michael Erdman earned that honor with his 4.32 GPA. His sister, Julia, a sophomore at SHS, appears on that same track, according to Clark.

He's not going too far for college.

Erdman, who is the son of Shelley and Mike Erdman, will be attending the University of the Pacific in the fall. He's looking to major in Bio Chemistry while looking at a possible career as an orthopedic or heart surgeon.

He was also accepted to UC Merced, UC Davis, Stanislaus State, Sonoma State and Sacramento State.

His involvement in school included serving as secretary for the National Honor Society, Interact Club, Jazz Band Chess Club and Science Bowl.

As a four-year member of the Timberwolves golf team, Erdman had a best in the high 40s in nine-hole Valley Oak League competition at Manteca Park, and fired 104 playing 18 at Brookside Country Club.

He has an interesting take on distance learning.                                                                                  

“There’s always been a separation between my home life and school. Now, they're all one in the same. My room is also my classroom,” Erdman said.