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Seniors up and Out of School

Brendan Sheehan l Associate Editor

The typical senior experience is one many are familiar with, including a second semester filled with freeing activities, anticipating graduation in June.

Some seniors, however, have decided to get a head start on their future by taking the opportunity to graduate early.

13 seniors attended an after-school graduation ceremony at 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, surrounded by family and friends. According to guidance counselor Jennifer Knight, this is the largest early graduate class the school has seen.

“I believe that each of our graduates are using early graduation in their own unique way to advance themselves in their futures,” said Knight. “Whether it is to go into the workplace full time, heading off to college or moving to another state to begin a new life, each of them feel prepared to begin their lives after high school early.”

To graduate early, seniors must speak with their counselor prior to their senior year to earn one full English credit in their first semester. Seniors can do this by taking two half-credit English courses, which include honors speech, English 12 CP A and English Comp 101 CHS.

Students must also get a form signed by Principal Chris Groff before the start of one’s senior year.

Senior Allison Hess decided to graduate early to join the workforce to save up money to attend college.

“I heard of early graduation and was like, ‘that is so cool, I can leave the school early,’” said Hess. “Once I looked into it further, I realized it was really easy.”

Hess chose to graduate early because high school did not feel right for her. She much prefers to work and contribute to the community outside of school, she said.

“After high school, I will probably feel a bit more stable,” said Hess. “There’s less drama, less seeing people I don’t like and plenty of more sleep.”

With an open future, Hess does not completely know what she wants her career focus to be. However, she takes a great interest in law and social advocacy. She plans to go on the pre-law track and major in psychology.

“I’ve always been very interested in the criminal justice system and how it works,” said Hess. “It’s a very broken system as well, so I would love to be able to do my part to fix it.”

Hess attributes her love for argument and debate to her honors speech class she took during the first semester.

Senior Lindsey Bomgardner plans to attend college in the fall while working in the meantime to save money.

While she does not yet know where she is going to college, she intends to major in engineering and has applied to Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, Pitt, and Yale.

“I can’t wait to meet new people, learn more about topics I haven’t had the chance to yet, and possibly study abroad,” said Bomgardner, who also plans to explore a minor in Asian studies.

Senior Gwen Kipp chose to graduate early to pursue technical school in the spring. She plans to attend Thaddeus Stevens Technical Institute for electric.

“I graduated early because I wanted to have some extra time with my friends and family before I leave,” said Kipp. “It allows me to work more hours, which is really nice.”

Kipp currently works at Ulta Beauty and is saving money to get a head start on finances.

“I think this is the best path for me because I will be able to support myself while learning information that will help me start a good foundation to my life,” said Kipp.

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