Written by Cindy Radosevich
It has been said, “You can measure height, but you can’t measure heart.” ~Howie Dickenman
Wolfie Sandtner measures high on both! This about-to-be-2020-graduate reflects on a lifetime of homeschooling with characteristic warmth and vision. “Homeschooling has made me who I am,” asserts this 6’6” senior who grew up surrounded by nothing but healthy influences and a Godly, safe environment, “What more could I need to have a solid start in life?” Though born in Pennsylvania, Wolfie moved to the Flathead Valley in 2004 where his little sister, Raina, was born. Wolfie is free and sincere with his heartfelt praise for “the best little sister I could ever have and someone with whom I love spending time.”
The Sandtners’ home was built nestled among the trees atop a Kila mountain, providing majesty and freedom of nature as a perfect context for learning. “I will always remember the laughter and joy around the table as my cat Penelope would encroach on everyone’s papers.” However, in 2010, tragedy struck as the family returned home from church to find their house burning to the ground. “Although it was a trying time for me, the lessons I learned about mortality and earthly possessions have grown me more than any amount of reading or lectures ever would have.”
Eventually, Wolfie’s love for science, computers, and math made for a perfect segway for his Running Start debut at FVCC. Professor James Goudy—who quickly became a respected mentor as well as a valued friend—together with a whole cache of talented colleagues, provided a virtual haven for the exploration and application of everything from algorithms, coding, and robotics to designing and releasing computer games. As an officer in the FVCC Computer Club, Wolfie’s vision inspired their recent project: a realistic robotic hand that can be both programmed or controlled by a wearable glove. Watch out world! Wolfie awaits!
Not willing to be confined to academics only, Wolfie has participated in a wide variety of activities. Historically he has enjoyed rollerblading, martial arts, Parkour, Homeschool Theater Club and being a part of the Homeschool Herald journalism team. He is an adept teacher at the Flathead Enrichment Classes, imparting understanding and tools in computer programming, game development and website development.
We all know that the kind of height and heart this young man has achieved comes from far more than algorithms! Wolfie recognizes this in his ardent gratitude first and foremost to his parents. “They have always encouraged me and through their sacrifices have made me who I am. I couldn’t be more thankful for their help and the imparting of their faith and wisdom. I love you both, and thank you!” He continues with gratitude for others who have “helped me become the man I am: Ken Veasey, Cindy Radosevich, Lyn Campbell, and Joel Landis—it was with your encouragement that I am where I am today.”
For Wolfie, graduation can only be described in one word: “Superastic!” He is eager to spring full throttle onto the college path that will eventually lead him to a doctorate in computer science with an A.S. in engineering. Building his own company—and eventually his own house—are also on the docket for this determined young man.
Reflecting on his first 18 years of life, Wolfie shares a word of encouragement for those yet to graduate: “First, ground yourself in God. You can never spend too much time in prayer or in His word. It really does change you… for the better of course. Second, take the advice of C.S. Lewis: ‘True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.’ Keep yourself humble and people will see the good in you. Finally, do hard things. A great leader must first be a follower, but don’t let yourself follow a bad influence. If you find yourself faced with a dilemma with family, friends, or social groups, pray about it. And if you find that doing the right thing goes against the group, then do it. Don’t let your biggest regret be knowing you didn’t stand up to something. Instead, let your biggest reward be looking back and seeing how you stood up for Christ and showed that you were stronger than the world.”