Montgomery County Public Schools celebrates high school graduations -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated on June 6, 2012. An explanation follows the story.

About 10,000 students are expected to receive their high school diploma in the next few weeks as Montgomery County Public Schools stages graduation ceremonies.

Graduations began May 25 with alternative programs and continue through Tuesday.

The Gazette interviewed members of the Class of 2012 to learn about their school experiences and hopes for the future.

Lucas Chang, Thomas S. Wootton High School

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

“In 20 years, I see myself with a stable job and working with people about an important project. I also see myself surrounded by a core group of people who I truly care about that support me throughout all of my actions and events.”

Jamie Hanson, Northwest High School

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

“In 20 years I see myself living somewhere out west with a wife and three kids. Not sure as far as work goes.”

Justin Kaplan-Markley, Montgomery Blair High School

Tell us about a teacher or mentor who has made a difference in your life.

“Ms. [Elizabeth] Levien, my 10th-grade chemistry teacher, helped me through my toughest times in high school. I talked to her all the time about what was going on with me and she was always there to listen. She is such an amazing person.”

Vannida Lorn, Gaithersburg High School

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

“I hope to be employed as an Occupational Therapist. My ideal focus would be [toward] young children with developmental disabilities. I want to be able to help improve their quality of life.”

Jessica Liu, Walter Johnson High School

If money and education did not matter, what career would you choose and why?

“I would choose to become a piano teacher or accompanist. Music is a universal form of expression that speaks more profoundly than words. I would love to expose children and future generations to various forms of music, especially since I am a classically trained pianist.”

Rolando Masis-Obando, Richard Montgomery High School

Is there a teacher or mentor who has made a difference in your life?

“There are a couple of teachers who helped me move forward on my creative side. They are Ms. Davina Smith, my English teacher [junior year] and Mr. [Ronald] Frezzo, music teacher. He is really nice and he always lets me play the piano. I've always loved writing and Ms. Smith was able to push me to not be afraid to write. Last year, I entered a short story and essay contest with Bethesda Magazine and I got third place.”

Sam Ritchie, Albert Einstein High School

Do you have a favorite memory of your school years?

“I have been involved at the visual arts center at Einstein and I have really had a great time getting to know all of the artists there. The VAC has really helped me pull together an amazing portfolio that helped me get into Cooper Union in New York — a highly-selective art, engineering and architecture school. It is an amazing opportunity, and being in a city like New York, I will be able to explore all of my other curiosities in addition to art.”

Laila Shehata, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School

Is there a teacher or mentor who has made a difference in your life?

“My AP chemistry teacher, Mr. [Robert] McDonald, made everything so interesting and entertaining and got to know each of his students so well that I ended up really enjoying learning the material. His class made me look into colleges with a bigger focus on science and engineering instead of those with well-known liberal arts programs.”

Olivia Snyder, Sherwood High School

Do you have a favorite memory of your school years?

“I think an ongoing memory that I will take away from Sherwood is my time working on the newspaper. Specifically, my newspaper advisor Peter Huck. He finds a way to strike a balance between being a respected faculty member and being someone you can talk to.”

Rachel Sze, Quince Orchard High School

If money and education did not matter, what career would you choose and why?

“If money and education did not matter, I would be going off to college to study exactly what I am; music education. Music is my true passion, and it is my want to be able to share this passion [with] others.”

Rhea Wise, James Hubert Blake High

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

“In 20 years, I would have completed an MD/Ph.D program, and I see myself as a primary care physician with my own medical practice. I also see myself doing genetic research of inherited diseases. In the future, I would also like to give back to the community by helping out at Blake, and possibly building a clinic in Sierra Leone, West Africa.”

Rebecca Wood, Gateway to College

If money and education did not matter, what career would you choose and why?

“I would still choose to have a career in interior design. With interior design, there are so many different fields that are so closely related. For me, I would love to do professional photography, interior design and work with Habitat for Humanity as branches of my career. I really enjoy photography, design and helping others.”

Montgomery County Public Schools provided an updated estimate of the number of graduates.