Thursday, June 5, 2008

Middletown grads make big plans for summer, and beyond

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Middletown High School’s principal called the Class of 2008 a ‘‘diverse class” with ‘‘a lot of different talents.”

The school graduated its Class of 2008 on Tuesday night.

‘‘They’re heading out all over the place and they’ll all find their place,” said Principal Kathleen Schlappal. ‘‘They have really strong academic backgrounds and they’ve all found their strengths.”

Graduates’ plans range from entering the working world to attending the Culinary Institute of America to enrolling at Princeton University. But before they embark on their post-secondary education or start working full-time, many of this year’s graduates will be vacationing in a host of interesting locales.

‘‘I go to the beach every year, and I’m still looking for a job,” Anna Kane, 17, of Braddock Heights. She plans to study art and design at Syracuse University in the fall.

Middletown resident Danielle Stauffer, 18, said she will attend Hood College to study business and marketing, in pursuit of a career in event coordinating. But Senior Week — a storied rite of passage for many county high school graduates — comes first.

‘‘I think pretty much our whole class is going to Senior Week in Myrtle Beach, [S.C.],” she said. ‘‘I think we’re like the only school that goes to Myrtle.”

Colin Murphy, 17, of Myersville, will add a stamp to his passport before he heads to Pennsylvania to attend Universal Technical Institute this fall. He plans to receive training there to help him land a job in a ‘‘high-end dealership” working on cars.

‘‘I’m going to Ireland – just visiting family,” he said of his summer vacation plans. ‘‘I’m going with my parents, my little brother and my grandmother.”

Nasir Abdulghany has plans beyond travel for his summer vacation. He is using his first few months of freedom from high school to get some valuable résumé padding before he begins school at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass. He hopes to go into marketing or finance, and to one day start his own firm.

‘‘I actually have an internship at COMSTAR Federal Credit Union. I will be a teller,” he said, adding that he got the position through the Frederick County Career and Technology Center’s Academy of Finance program.

Like Abdulghany, Myersville resident Adam Pearl, 18, is already looking further ahead than many of his classmates, yet he is reflective about his years at Middletown.‘‘I’m really excited to graduate,” he said. ‘‘I’m just ready to get out of high school, start something new, to go to college, really. I’m going to go to Virginia Tech for four years, and then maybe go into the armed forces or start working.”

Despite the palpable excitement the graduating class exudes, there lurks underneath a certain melancholy and nostalgia about the school where they spent four formative years.

‘‘I feel like I was really lucky to actually be able to go to a school like this,” said Collin Shreeves, 18, of Jefferson. He plans to attend St. Mary’s College and become a math teacher.

‘‘It’s top-of-the-line for being a public school, they do everything they can for the students, and the faculty is great.”