Wilde Lake High's 1993 graduates collect their diplomas and look ahead

June 02, 1993|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff Writer

After the last diploma was handed out last night at the Wilde Lake High School graduation ceremony, students threw beach balls, confetti and graduation caps in the air.

"I did it, oh my God," yelled a male student from the stage as parents applauded their children and students stamped their feet.

Wilde Lake's 21st graduating class included two National Merit Scholarship finalists, 16 National Honor Society members who volunteered more than 1,000 hours of community service, two students with perfect grade point averages and one with perfect attendance through four years of school.

Among the graduates were:

* Jessica Miller, the first Hispanic student to rank at the top of the graduating class, according to her guidance counselor.

Jessica, who's headed to Princeton University in the fall on a four-year scholarship, took as many as 13 credits a year and graduated with a perfect 4.0 average.

Wilde Lake has "a very unique atmosphere, a very diverse atmosphere," said Jessica. "If you take advantage of the resources, . . . you can make high school an especially re

warding experience."

During her four years, she had a leading role in a school play, headed the school's International Club and won first place in an improvisation contest, among other honors.

* Reggie Alston, who was co-chairman of the student advisory council of the Black Student Achievement Program.

A three-time gold medalist in track, he plans to major in secondary education at Morgan State University.

"Be on top of your courses," he advised future Wildecats. "Make sure you've got all your credits. Some seniors were surprised this year" when they had to make up credits, he said.

* Michael Rhodovi, a transfer student from New Jersey who turned his grades around after coming to Wilde Lake two years ago. "I hate to study," he said. "I'm one of those people who if I study, I'll do worse on a test."

He credits Wilde Lake's teachers for helping him graduate. "The teachers help you so much," he said. "They're so understated, but they help you so much. At my other school, the teachers forgot about you. At Wilde Lake, they urge you to pass. They make sure you pass and go on."

The biggest lesson he learned came from an English teacher: "Remove 'to be' verbs from public speaking," he said.

Almost every student speaker addressed the recent redistricting battles that gave Wilde Lake negative publicity, which senior Joshua Feldmesser said was the result of people with narrow views.

"All over the world, we see this narrow-mindedness and change as hopeless," he said.

Two neighborhoods this winter had opposed school officials' efforts to redistrict them into Wilde Lake, forcing students there to band together and rally for the school.

"Wilde Lake has shaped what I am today," Joshua said. "It taught me to understand others and appreciate difference. Here is the only place where people are waking up and trying to solve [that] problem."

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