Rocket science, theatre, industry, and epidemiology, Allendale Public Schools marks Decision Day on May 3, 2016, with a graduating class that has high hopes for the future. Whether moving into higher education or into the job market, Allendale high school seniors have big plans. We caught up with several seniors to ask about their path after graduation:
♦ Senior Hank Snyder was awarded acceptance to the Caterpillar ThinkBig program with a scholarship to develop specialized expertise with heavy equipment in a dual-site, two-year program. Mr. Snyder will obtain accelerated CAT-Certified training and higher-level entry into the workforce. Hank credits the Careerline Tech Center with helping him prepare, and apply, for the scholarship he received. Hank gained work experience in his junior year at Morrison Industrial Equipment, and co-op experience as a senior. Hank noted that the opportunity to work toward his interests, while still in high school, set him on the right path to a bright future.
♦ Erin Sickrey, named a University of Michigan Shipman Scholar, will attend that institution with a focus in communications and screen arts. An invitation-only opportunity for incoming freshman, the Shipman Scholar program recognizes achievement in the creative and academic arts, as well as leadership. Ms. Sickrey was one of only 37 recipients of the honor selected from the incoming class. Working through the core curriculum at Allendale high school helped Erin understand the areas she does—and does not—want to pursue. Erin states her coursework, “helped me realize what I am not into,” and that college is the right path for her.
♦Troy Avink is another senior who gained valuable employment experience during his high school years at the Careerline Tech Center. With the help of Mr. Kole, Troy applied for, and gained employment with JR Automation, months prior to his graduation from high school.
♦ Graduating senior Morgan Johnston has previously garnered recognition for her achievements in theatrical production and commercial projects. Ms. Johnston recently won Best of Show in the Michigan Student Film Festival and plans to continue her studies at Grand Valley State University. Morgan credits the Media Communications class at Careerline Tech Center with nurturing her interest in the performing and commercial arts. Eager to learn her craft from the bottom-up, Morgan advises younger students that it is, “never too early to start working on your career now. Through Tech and classes, you can focus on your career—you do not have to wait for college.”
♦ It was a middle school Science Olympiad subject that set Carrie Lammers on her path toward a graduate degree in epidemiology or public health. Competing in Disease Detectives, and other Science Olympiad topics in high school, helped Ms. Lammers develop her interests, leading to a weeklong job shadow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, during the summer of 2015. After graduation, Carrie will be heading back to the CDC as a program counselor and hopes one day to work there. Carrie was awarded a full scholarship to Eastern University to continue her studies. Crediting Color Guard and Band, Carrie also notes her appreciation of Mr. Silveria, noting “AP Bio was more than just cells, it was about work ethic.”
♦ Although named a Shipman Scholar at the University of Michigan, Sam Austin will instead continue his studies in aerospace, astronautics, and electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge. Mr. Austin was also named a National Merit Finalist and Scholar. Sam’s initial interest in rocket science was piqued in the second grade, when he participated in a school enrichment course that introduced him to the Apollo space program. As Sam notes, “from then on, I have been fascinated by rockets, space vehicles, and spaceflight, past and future.” Sam credits his environment with nurturing his curiosity, noting “living in a small community has afforded individualized attention and opportunities not available anywhere else.”
With a mission to challenge students to reach their highest potential, the Allendale Public School District recognizes all its seniors on Decision Day, as they continue their education, further develop their skills, or move into the job market.