Graduates mark accolades, make future plans - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Graduates mark accolades, make future plans

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Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 4:27 pm

Graduation celebrations kick off Wednesday across the East Valley for thousands of high school students preparing for the next step of their lives.

Some have very clear plans, like Mesa Mountain View High School senior Alex Roesler, who never spent a summer just lounging. Even before he started high school, Roesler’s summers included biomedical and neuroscience classes at Johns Hopkins University and Loyola Marymount University. He spent one summer closer to home doing research at ASU’s Biodesign Institute and Center for Innovations in Medicine.

Starting this fall, Alex will study biochemistry at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University as a Flinn Scholar. He hopes to attend medical school in the future.

He’ll have good company from his fellow 3,890 Mesa Unified School District graduates. According to a survey of the Class of 2012, 86 percent said they plan to attend college within a year of graduation; 95 percent said they plan to attend college at some point. Five percent plan to enter the military or go on a mission for their church, said Joe O’Reilly, the district’s executive director of student achievement support.

Tempe Union High School District’s Class of 2012 includes 3,182 graduates. The district asked each high school to collect information about students’ plans. More than 90 percent plan to attend a university or college at some point. Altogether, the Tempe Class of 2012 garnered more than $58 million in scholarships, including those for 41 National Merit Scholarship Finalists.

Two Gilbert High School seniors will step out of their caps and gowns and into military uniforms this fall. Joseph Kendrick has received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, while Marcial St. John has received an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

The Gilbert Unified School District did not survey its 2,880 graduates about their future plans.

Graduation takes place next week for students in the Chandler Unified School District, which is on a modified, year-round schedule.

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