Sharing lessons learned

Presentations: The first graduating class at Century High School offers sessions to fellow students.

May 21, 2004|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

Nearly a third of Century's first graduating class marked the end of their high school careers with presentations yesterday showing experiences that enriched their last year at the school.

Kathy Ohlhaber, 18, screened The Seven Deadly Sins of High School, which she wrote, cast, directed and edited.

Tallulah Pollard, 18, rode her chestnut stallion, Image, to school and talked about how she plans to own and run stables.

And Sam Moore, 18, sat at a potter's wheel and crafted bowls from mounds of clay, a hobby that he said helped him relax while taking four Advanced Placement courses this year.

The three were among the 86 speakers who gave career tips, internship guidelines and academy advice to fellow students, who were allowed to choose two presentations to attend.

The session topics ranged from crystal growing and fashion design to culinary arts and medical or business internships.

"It's very rewarding to see their accomplishments and to see plans develop and put that on a personal level," said Principal Andrew Cockley, who has been at Century for two years.

The $30 million Eldersburg school opened in 2001, the first new high school in Carroll since 1980. This year's 280 seniors arrived as sophomores. There now are 1,200 students at Century.

Each student at the school belongs to one of four academies: Arts, Humanities and Communication; Business Information Management; Math, Science and Technology; and Health, Human, Social Sciences. Most of yesterday's presentations reflected the goals of the academies, which the students chose as sophomores.

"It's a pleasant surprise to see such a diverse range of students," Cockley said. "Another reward is to see them in action."

Ohlhaber's DVD featured seven classmates who auditioned for roles as high school archetypes of the seven deadly sins.

"I was blown away," said Thom McHugh, who teaches English and social studies and is head of the Arts, Humanities and Communication Academy. He said his connection to the senior class kept him focused on his students' accomplishments. "I'm doubly proud of Kathy because she's my advisee, and she's new."

Ohlhaber transferred to Century in the fall from Chicago. She will attend Shepherd University in West Virginia in the fall to study mass communications and drama.

"These presentations give them [seniors] a real clear sense of what they've done," McHugh said. "Sometimes people graduate from high school and wonder what that was all about."

Senior Karen Roberts, 18, who starred as Gluttony in Ohlhaber's play, spent time outside yesterday petting Pollard's horse and listening to her session.

Pollard told her peers how she took animal and veterinary classes at Century and spent a day shadowing people at Shamrock Farms in Woodbine. She added that being head instructor at her sister's summer camp horse farm has prepared her for a career in equine business administration.

Though Roberts opted not to be a speaker, she found being a participant enlightening.

"It's great being able to see what my friends got to do this year," Roberts said.

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