One hundred and four Dukes are set to receive diplomas at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Wellington High School gymnasium.
“It’s so interesting to see the different roads each and every one of these kids have taken,” said guidance counselor Patrick Gallion.
“I’m almost as interested in seeing where they head from here. We have kids from across the spectrum, some who’ve been ready to graduate for two years and some who are finishing up last second. Getting done is the important part.”
The class has earned $108,595 in local scholarships, but that number could climb as the summer goes along. Total scholarship dollars earned have not yet beet determined, according to the WHS guidance office.
Among the graduates are Riley Caldwell and Trevor Boose. We sat down with them to chat about what they’ve learned and what they’ll miss about WHS.
Caldwell is set to become the first WHS student to earn an associate degree from Lorain County Community College at the same time as her high school diploma.
“I found out I was almost done with my associate’s pretty recently,” she said. “When I first started off at LCCC, since it’s not really normal to get a degree while you’re in high school, everyone said ‘maybe’ it’s possible. Around fall last year is when everyone saw what I was doing and said I was on track for the degree.”
With her associate of science degree in hand, Caldwell plans to remain at LCCC to work toward becoming a nurse. Through the help of a trustees scholarship, she is taking a microbiology class over the summer.
Watching her mother become a nurse seven years ago played a big part in setting a career path, Caldwell said.
“Just seeing how she takes care of people makes it something I wanted to get into,” she said. “I don’t know if there’s any one area of nursing I want to specialize in. I just want to be able to help wherever they need me.”
Caldwell said staying focused in high school can be hard, but it helped to keep a high goal in sight.
“Just keep telling yourself you can do it. Try to look ahead and map out that if you take this many classes this semester you can be that much ahead of the game. Wellington taught me how to find joy in learning and how to not just treat it like work,” she said. “It’s where I learned to expect better things for my future and to not be afraid to reach or take a risk.”
Boose is one of three seniors who have signed up for military service. He will train to become a Marine in Port Royal, S.C.
He follows in the footsteps of his father, who also served in the Marines as a drill instructor and camera man who made training videos.
For the younger Boose, experiences on the Dukes soccer, wrestling, and track teams provided an up-close glimpse at what teamwork and self-discipline look like.
“Teamwork has been a part of my life as long as I can remember,” Boose said. “It’s the people and things that are always around you and how everyone comes together to create a good environment. It takes hard work to make a team of any kind function.”
Like Caldwell, Boose said taking a goal from a thought to a mapped plan is paramount in staying on a productive path as a high school student.
“I want to do at least eight years in the Marines,” he said. “Then I’ll probably work to become a police officer. Having to cut weight in a short amount of time for wrestling really showed me things about planning too. You have to have a plan to eat right and stay healthy.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Riley Caldwell and Trevor Boose