KENOSHA NEWS CORRESPONDENT
PADDOCK LAKE — Rachel Martin has made the most of her high school experience.
She was involved in the band program and was especially fond of performing in the jazz ensemble. She is a member of the National Honor Society, earned an Advanced High School Diploma, immersed herself in forensics, and wore pink Tri-M cords at Sunday’s graduation ceremony for her participation in music.
Now the Central High School graduating senior is eager to start the next phase of her life: majoring in chemistry at Carthage College in Kenosha.
“I plan to pursue a master’s degree in chemical engineering,” she said. “But I have to admit that while I am excited to graduate high school, I am also a bit sad because it just hit me that I won’t see many of my close friends again. I can’t be a kid anymore, and realized that I am actually an adult now.”
As one of nine valedictorians of the 251-member graduating class, Dana Sorenson reminded classmates at Sunday’s ceremony of the support they were given over the past four years and encouraged them to give back to benefit future generations.
“Whether it is tutoring, aiding a Third World country, or cleaning streets in your community, it is our turn to be part of the same community that helped us to get here today.”
After moving to four different high schools in four years, valedictorian Leigh Maltby expected her senior year to be a lonely one. From her past experience as the proverbial “new kid,” she was apprehensive to begin her first day at Central.
“I was very nervous and jittery,” she said. “I looked around and said, ‘Here I am the new kid again, and they all know each other.’”
What she never expected was that students at Central were welcoming, open-minded and accepting.
“This class listens to others, never makes others feel stupid, and has a unique quality to accept ideas, cultures and all individuals,” Maltby said. “I hope that we all keep those traits of acceptance and open-mindedness and show the world what this graduating class is all about.”
Becoming adults means that showing up late for work might result in losing a job, and skipping college classes will probably result in poor grades, explained social studies teacher Jonathan Lindh during the faculty speech.
“There will be no one giving tardy slips in the real world,” he said. “There are no requirements to do anything, but this journey you take will be your destiny. You will be challenged in your lives, and I encourage you to learn from those experiences.”