Robin Tayson will graduate from Harford Technical High School with the second highest grades in her class and a $2,000 college scholarship.
That may not seem particularly remarkable until you consider she kept up her grades and school work during a dark time for her family.
A year ago, her father, Leander, died from lung cancer.
"It was real sudden," recalled Robin, 17. "It all happened in the span of two weeks."
Her father had been diagnosed as having cancer a few years ago and had undergone surgery and appeared to have recuperated.
But at the end of last May, her father fell ill again and two weekslater he succumbed to the illness.
So for Robin, the youngest of seven children, her father's absence will be noticed when she graduates with a 3.8 grade-point average.
The Kalmia resident says her success is due to her parents encouragement for her to do well in school. When she earned high marks, her parents were quick to congratulateher, sometimes rewarding her a night out for a special dinner.
Robin is not only a good student, but has demonstrated leadership abilities, says Harford Technical Assistant Principal David W. Thomas.
In her junior year, she held the post of president of her class. And this year, she is vice president of the class.
She also is president of the Junior Lithograph Club, which organizes activities for students interested in graphic arts, an area of study Robin has concentrated on at Harford Technical.
"I like to be involved with stuff," she said. "I like to have responsibilities. I'm one of those weird people."
Robin also secured a job through the work-study program, in which students get school credit for the hours they put in the work place.
The employers grade students on their performance.
For the past eight months, she's been working at I. C. Color Inc. of Bel Air. The company colors mock-ups for businesses.
"I do everything," Tayson said. "The whole process. From start to finish."
Her high grades have earned Robin a $2,000 Alfred C. O'Connell Honors Scholarship at Harford Community College.
After she receives her associate degree at HCC, Robin plans to attend Catonsville Community College toearn her bachelor's degree in computer graphics.
"Computer graphics is the big thing," she said. "Computers are the '90s, the future."
In the future, Robin would like to get a job with a local companyas a computer graphics typesetter.
Shannon B. Young, 17, a friendof Robin's at Harford Tech, says, "She's very smart, and very creative. She's always coming up with good ideas."
Robin believes she managed to do so well in school by being inquisitive, asking questions of her teachers constantly.
"There are always others who have the same question, but don't want to ask it."