3 optimistic Centennial graduates belie dreary 'Lost Generation' label 1994 HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATIONS

June 01, 1994|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,Sun Staff Writer

Apparently no one told Amita Shukla, David Almquist or Jenny Jie Lee that they are part of the disillusioned, unmotivated and bleak-minded new "Lost Generation."

A more accurate label for the three 18-year-olds -- and much of their senior class that graduated last night from Centennial High School -- might be the "Pumped Generation."

"This is one talented group of kids," said Karen Goins, a guidance counselor at Centennial.

Jennifer Lee and Robert Hawthorne, two of five student speakers chosen by the class, urged their fellow graduates to reach for high goals and to continue learning.

"Never compromise and never quit. Seize the day," Jennifer said.

Robert told his classmates to "go into the world with our heads high, ready to explore, always thinking, 'I wonder.' "

The 289 graduates held center stage at last night's commencement ceremonies at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County's Field House.

They continued a tradition at the 15-year-old Ellicott City school by sending more than 90 percent -- 268 students, or 93 percent -- of their graduating class to two- and four-year colleges.

Many students impressed colleges they applied to: Centennial's 1994 grads have been offered $1.8 million combined in college scholarships.

"This class is very diverse ethnically, intellectually, and socially," said David, who was named his school's scholar-athlete.

The endeavors and plans of Amita, Jenny and David offer snapshots of Centennial's goal-oriented 1994 graduating class. The trio also are evidence of the rich ethnic diversity of their class.

Graduate Jenny's scholarship and admittance to Cornell University is a dream come true for her Chinese-born parents, who moved to the United States nine years ago.

The speech and debate team member's 3.95 grade average landed her in the top 5 percent of her class and in the National Honor Society.

She credits her mother's insistence on education and hard work, and the high school's interesting humanities program, for her interest in learning and her success. A legal career interests her right now.

As for Amita, the daughter of two scientists, both born in India, she's headed for Harvard University. A high point of her Centennial years: the National Merit Scholar won first place at the International Science & Engineering Fair this past year in Alabama. Her project determined the biological reason that her grandmother's home remedy for gum disease -- chewing a nut extract -- is effective.

The articulate and outgoing teen also found time, while maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade average, to participate in the school's speech and debate team, work as the school newspaper's feature editor, and volunteer at a local charity assisting new immigrants in the county. Her aims: a doctorate and a medical degree.

University of Virginia-bound David, the son of a career Army officer and a high school teacher, has landed a Navy ROTC scholarship that will pay his tuition for four years.

While maintaining a high grade average, David participated in the French and Celtic Studies clubs, and competed on the tennis, track, wrestling and football teams.

"If you have a real interest in learning and getting involved Centennial is the place to be," said David. "So many teachers are willing to work for you; there's a tradition of excelling and a thirst for learning."

1994 CENTENNIAL HIGH GRADUATES

Thomas Clyde Adam

Bryan Timothy Airey

Christopher Albin-Lackey

Allen John Alejandro

Faisal Kareem Ali

David John Almquist

Viviane Anderegg

Rebecca Hope Anglim

Esther Marie Armstrong

Genevieve Lara Baer

Jeanine Marie Bartel

Deepak Baskaran

Mark Andrew Beachy

Heather Marie Beck

Jessica Regnier Beil

Allison Joan Bielski

Jodie Lynn Blackman

Dennis Wayne Blevins

Jerard Howard Blyther Jr.

Jamaal Din Abdelhamid Botticelli

Amanda Ren Bowman

Laura Beth Bradburn

Paul Anthony Bucchioni

Megan Shea Burdette

Christopher Paul Burk

Beth Ann Burkins

Mark Thomas Butler

Andrew P. Caldwell

Brian Joseph Candida

Carlyn Marie Cangiano

James Cullen Carothers IV

Tikecha Latora Carroll

Jennifer Elyse Catzva

Blythe Hamilton Chambers

Elizabeth Ann Chase

Eun Ok Cho

Chong Hyun Choe

Yong Joon Choi

Daniel John Christine

Jacquelyne Susan Chu

Robert Douglas Clancy

Leonard Darnell Coles

Brian John Colligan

Bettina Liane Collins

Beverly Adele Cook

Justin Brownell Cooper

Joel Martin Corallo

Ryan Robert Corbett

Scott Michael Crossney

Donald Joseph Culbreth

Kevin Cundy

Jennifer Elizabeth Daily

Kevin Scott Davis

Jesse Howard de Vore

Arnab Deb Gupta

Jamie Devou

Anthony Jacob DiPietro

Nicole Kelly Doyle

Amber Diane Drazdys

Karen Michelle Dressel

Micaela Elizabeth Duffy

Michael Scott Duffy

Brian Robert Eckhoff

Clark David Edmunds

Cheryl Lynn Egnell

Amy Joan Elgamil

Samuel F. Ellis

Katherine Ann Elms

Michael Elprin

Adriane Jean Faust

Ginny Lee Feltz

Blair Fenn

David A. Fessler

Andrew Charles Fitzgerald

James Andrew Flather

Jamie Elizabeth Fontaine

Abby Michelle Forbes

Johanna Forsberg

Julie Anne Fox

Eric Alan Frank

Krystl Morningstar Frank

Jadey Azure French

Nancy Rebecca Friedrich

Katherine Ann Gallagher

Andrea Walsh Galli

Alexia Suzanne Gaudio

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