April 19, 2024

In spirit of Valentine’s Day, our senior spotlight highlights not just one, but two seniors. These two seniors have not only been together all four years at Wittenberg, but during high school as well.

Josh Link and Ashley Gottschalk grew up in Granville, OH, and went to school together their whole lives. It wasn’t until the summer before sophomore year at Granville High School that they officially started dating. The couple shares that they ended up in the same driving school classes, and it all started there.

“He asked me to be his girlfriend by writing on my car,” Gottschalk said. “When I went out to my car, the entire front windshield was covered in blue paint, and the back said ‘Will you be my girlfriend?’”

The two have been together for six and a half years. They both enjoy working out together, football and cheerleading. Gottschalk has been cheering on Link while he plays football all throughout high school and college.

“He pushes me to be the best I can be in all areas of life,” Gottschalk said. “He always keeps me motivated and inspired. He never settles for mediocrity, and that has made our relationship so strong. He also has an amazing heart.”

Gottschalk also added, with a wink, that “the back muscles are just a bonus.”

Link shared that Gottschalk is caring and compassionate “to not only me, but others around her. I like that when [she] receives constructive criticism, she takes it to heart and is always striving to better then before.”

Link shared that she will drop what she is doing without question to attend to a need of Josh’s, “even if that involves her running [him his] practice shorts in the rain all the way to the HPER minutes before practice.”

Throughout the last six and a half years, their relationship eventually resulted in an engagement going into their junior year at Wittenberg. Gottschalk’s parents moved to Texas and the couple experienced long summers without each other. The airport became “a very bittersweet place” for them. The summer going into junior year of college, Link came to Texas to visit Gottschalk. But little did Gottschalk know, Link had asked her parents permission to marry her.

A couple weeks later, Gottschalk flew to Ohio with her family to visit Link for his birthday. She got off the plane and was given a yellow lily, her favorite flower, by a South West employee.

“I was confused, but just assumed [Link] was excited to see me,” she said.

She took the escalator down to baggage claim, and he was at the bottom holding flowers. His whole family was there behind him with cameras and huge smiles.

“He pulled me aside, started talking, which I can’t even remember now what he said because I was so surprised,” Gottschalk said. “He got on one knee and asked me to marry him. As soon as I saw the ‘blue box’, I was shocked.”

Everyone in baggage claim started clapping.

“Now, the airport is a very special place for us both,” Gottschalk said.

After school, Link plans to pursue law enforcement while Gottschalk is hoping to work in healthcare focusing on marketing. They plan to move back to their hometown of Granville and hope to get married next summer.

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