For most seniors at Lebanon High School, taking off into the workforce is a daunting thought. Being on your own and being able to support yourself is something that many have been dreaming about since they were children. Graduation is a time to relive high school memories and ponder on what will happen for you in the future, and most seniors at LHS are waiting until May of 2020 for these moments.
However, there are some students that have chosen to break the mold.
After graduation, Madison McIntyre plans on attending Ivy Tech for her associate’s degree in nursing. She plans to transfer to Indiana University Kokomo for her bachelor’s degree in pediatrics.
McIntyre said that school was not her ideal work environment, and she figured that speeding up the graduation process would be in her best interest. She was confident that she could accomplish getting out of school early because she had received all of her credits.
Although McIntyre is eager to finish high school, she admitted that she will miss the friendships that she has grown over the past four years.
“I am really going to miss everybody I have become close with, because people do not really talk after high school,” McIntyre said.
At the moment, McIntyre does not plan on going to prom, but in the long run she thinks she will end up attending. Her favorite memory, she said, was Prom her junior year.
“At Prom we get to really let loose in a school environment and just be ourselves,” McIntyre said.
Camryn Hayes plans on jumping right into the workforce after her high school chapter comes to a close. She wants to get a job at a factory in Lebanon, where the pay is high and the work is strenuous.
“I applied at a Cold Storage Unit, and the woman who interviewed me told me I would have to wear a lot of gear because the lowest temperatures are negative two degrees, and the highest is 32 degrees,” Hayes said.
Despite the cold climate, Hayes is excited to be able to provide for herself and help make her way through college at Ivy Tech. After college, Hayes is thinking about going into welding or even solar panel manufacturing.
“I want to experience a different life outside of high school. I figured going to college would be a new start,” Hayes said.
Hayes plans on coming to Last Walk in order to commemorate her high school years. Hayes is mostly doing this for her parents, who want to watch their baby walk the hallways of her school in Lebanon for the very last time.
Hayes said that she will miss her senior year the most out of any high school experience she has had. She says that her experience as a reporter in Pennant has helped her step out of her comfort zone, which she is not used to doing.
“My senior year has been my best year. High school now has changed a lot, and it has changed me a lot as a person,” Hayes said.
Although Julia Bautista is not sure what she wants to do when she graduates high school yet, she has interest in becoming an elementary school teacher due to her affinity for children.
“I think I will miss just being here and being around tons of people every day. It will feel very different,” Bautista said.
Bautista is very eager to come back to the high school and live out her senior memories with friends. She plans on attending both Prom and Last Walk.
“Even though I will not be here, it is still something that I want to experience with everybody else. This will be the last time I get to do anything like that. Last year at Prom it was just so fun to get all dressed up, so I definitely want to do that again,” Bautista said.
Ryan Dean wants to graduate early to pursue his dream of becoming an electrician. Dean’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all electricians, and he wants to follow in their footsteps. It was something he had grown up with all his life, and his interest started when he helped his grandparents with their wiring and fixed a breaker box at his own house.
Dean made the choice to graduate mid-year when he found out that his family was moving, and he did not want to start his second semester at a new school.
Dean said that the thing he will miss the most about Lebanon High School is the theater program, his last production being “The Wizard of Oz”.
“It was one of my favorite hobbies to do while I was here. It was so much fun,” Dean said.
Out of all of his memories from his four years of high school, Dean said that his favorite ones were courtesy of Mr. Milokavic, who was his trades teacher before he left in the 2018-2019 school year. Dean also works with Milokavic outside of school at Pizza Hut.
“He is a really cool guy to be around, he was definitely one of the coolest guys here,” Dean said.
Alexis Reed figured that if she could graduate early, it would give her more time to work a full-time job and save money to pay for college. She plans on going to college to get her degree in nursing for oncology, which is finding out what cancer someone has and then figuring out their path for treatment. Reed is eager to get out into the world and experience the workforce at face-value.
If Reed could miss anything about high school, it would be the time with friends that she spent there, and the fact that she sees a couple long-lasting friendships coming from the experience.
“I am not going to see my friends as much when I leave high school, so I will definitely miss that time that I spent with them,” Reed said.
While Gage Cox is not sure of his long-term career path right now, he is considering pursuing a job in real estate, as it is a rapidly growing industry that he feels he can profit off of.
“One of my main goals down the road is to purchase a house, so I figured I could work more if I am not in school for a semester,” Cox said.
Cox said that he is anticipating his senior Prom with great excitement, and he believes that it will be a perfect time to reconnect with his school friends that he will not have seen for a while.
Alaine Brown plans to go to college for trauma nursing, and afterwards she wants to work as a firefighter and a flight nurse. Brown is currently in an internship where she works with firefighters and is able to job shadow them, which includes wearing their gear and using the emergency tools that they use to save lives.
Brown decided to graduate early because she did not need to take any more classes and she wanted time to save money before starting college.
“I think I will miss seeing my friends every day the most, and I will always remember homecoming my sophomore year,” Brown said.
Mid-year graduates that were not quoted in this story are Dillon Disbro, Alyson Copenhaver, and Monique Rivers.
While we may miss seeing these students while passing by in the hallways, they will be back to walk the stage for graduation in May. As they quickly integrate themselves into a world of freedom and independence, they remain determined to work for their success.