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LPHS grads look to the future

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By Gabrielle Gasser Explore Big Sky Editorial Intern
BIG SKY – Summer is here, and with it came graduation day on June 7. This year, Lone Peak High School graduated three students: Michelle Burger, Chase Izzo and Anna Middleton. There is a general feeling of excitement and palpable relief in the senior class. They’ve all worked hard to get to this point and are happy to be done with high school.
Each senior has different plans for their lives post LPHS. Michelle Burger hasn’t decided anything concrete yet, but that’s no big surprise. Not all high school students know what they want to do right after graduation.
“I have no idea whatsoever what I want to do with the rest of my life,” said Burger, who added that she does eventually want to further her education. “I do plan on going to MSU after I take either a half year or a full year off. I know for a fact I am going back to school.”
Graduating high school is a big accomplishment but it can also be stressful and decisions have to be made. Burger is happy to be graduating but also apprehensive about the future.
“It’s sort of a weird feeling because I’ve already done four years of high school and it doesn’t feel like that,” she said. “It’s almost a little scary but it’s also exciting.”
Finals have been conquered and books have been returned, and high school careers are officially over. Now the new challenge for these seniors is building lives for themselves. In today’s world, this has become increasingly difficult. College tuition costs have been rising and there is no guarantee of a job once higher education is complete.
The class of 2014 faces a changing world. Leaving LPHS the last year before the school switches back to seven period days, they’re hopeful that they’re well prepared to face whatever challenges they may encounter. These three students have graduated from high school, which is no easy feat. LPHS is a new high school and, though there have been adjustments, faculty and staff are still working out kinks, according to Supt. Jerry House.
“There have been many changes: credit requirements to graduate, the addition of AP classes, the ongoing development with the Capstone project and internship, and the addition of highly qualified teaching staff.”
The 2014 graduates managed to work around each of these challenges and still meet their credit requirements. Future classes will also face these difficulties. House says the high school will continue to grow and make improvements to the curriculum. He has some developments in mind already to increase university-level coursework to make graduates more competitive with other college-bound students.
“For future graduating classes, I would love to see more dual enrollment and dual-credit class offerings,” House said. “If not college, [we should] prepare each student well for their choice of occupation [or] vocation. This world is a fast pace competitive world of work. [Graduates] need to be on the cutting edge with their skills once [they] leave LPHS.”

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