Middle Park Class of 2016 looks to this year and beyond
Sky-Hi News Intern
As the summer comes to a close, the Middle Park High School senior class of 2016 anxiously awaits its last and best year of high school. Emotions range from excitement for the festivities that are yet come to nerves about applying to colleges and for scholarships.
This year’s seniors have been together since sixth grade when Grand Lake, Fraser, and Granby Elementary schools joined at East Grand Middle School. In many ways, we’ve grown up together. We’ve gone through critical and interesting stages in our lives together, and I believe that despite all our distinctive differences, talents, dreams, and passions, our class is still a close-knit group of remarkable individuals.
We have people involved in every club or activity offered at Middle Park: the athletes that constantly perform at their best level to win for our school, the theater kids that work tirelessly to create hilarious and entertaining shows, the artists that express their thoughts and ideas through lyrics or the strokes of a paintbrush, the dedicated individuals involved in Student Council, National Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Interact, Link Crew, Knowledge Bowl, Yearbook, and many others.
Yes, we have a diverse group of seniors, but that’s what makes us so strong and promising. When we graduate, we will all go off in our own directions of life, and I know that we will make an impact on the world.
But first, we have to take on senior year.
I interviewed some of my fellow classmates to get some insight as to what they were specifically thinking as the first day of school approaches on Monday, Aug. 31.
The Future beckons
“I’m most excited to wrap up my high school career and experiment with different settings and ideas regarding college,” Sarah McClain said.
McClain has been involved in girls soccer and the Interact Club and hopes the club will gain even more members, support, and recognition. Her goals throughout senior year are to maintain her current Grade Point Average (GPA) and be one of this year’s valedictorians. She hopes all Middle Park sports teams perform well and succeed. Sarah still wants to be challenged and pushed to success throughout the year.
As the end comes into sight, Sarah predicts that it’s going to give “a different energy and excitement for everyone in our class.”
One thing she wishes she had done differently throughout high school is taken more chances.
“I kind of focused around school, which isn’t bad, but it took over my life and so I just would’ve wanted to expand my horizons more.”
Our class has always undergone change throughout our past school years, but one thing Sarah would like to change about Middle Park is the diversity of classes we are offered. She suggested that a speech and debate class or perhaps more foreign language options be added to MPHS curriculum. While there are always improvements to make, in everything in life, she loves the fact that Middle Park is connected and small which allows for more personal relationships with teachers and other students.
“Everybody is one unit,” McClain proclaimed.
Sarah wants to apply to college after high school. Her top choices are Stanford University; University of California, Berkeley; Cornell University; University of Denver; and Harvey Mudd College. She either wants to study law or civil engineering.
Brad Lutz, who participates on football and basketball teams, explained that the senior class has a lot of dedicated and committed athletes. He aims to go to playoffs in basketball and expects football to do well also. His academic goals include staying above a 4.0 GPA and getting all A’s in his classes.
While Lutz is excited for senior year and believes it will be “more fun and a little bit easier than junior year”, he admits it’s hard to decide what to do in life. He’s considering studying business and finance or engineering in college. The schools that he plans to apply to are: Stanford University, Harvard University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Looking back, Brad wishes that he played more sports since he only started football in his junior year. Some changes he’d like to see within our school include a larger curriculum with more classes and for sophomores who have their driver’s licenses to be permitted to leave campus for lunch.
The one thing Lutz is least excited about is the pressure and stress of applying for scholarships and college on top of the homework load from his rigorous classes.
However, he doesn’t regret taking hard and Advanced Placement (AP) classes because it “boosts your GPA.”
Alyssa Landa anticipates the excitement that will come with all the senior activities.
“Homecoming will be fun and we’re going to be the role models for school spirit,” she said. Alyssa hopes all the classes will get more involved with the school activities.
She believes that senior year is going to be “a lot more fun compared to the past years, but also more stressful.” She’s anxious about keeping up with schoolwork and completing college applications at the same time. She will apply to Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado, University of Wisconsin, and Boise State University to possibly major in business.
Middle Park will be receiving Chromebooks for the upcoming school year, but Alyssa wishes that the new technology wasn’t required. However, Landa likes her school environment because it’s so small and you can “connect to the teachers and they’re willing to help.”
Her goals for the remainder of high school are to keep above a 3.5 GPA and to have fun with her last year.
Ian Carver is involved with Middle Park boys soccer and the Nordic and alpine ski teams. His goals throughout the upcoming school year are to letter in all three sports, be in the fall musical, and get accepted to the majority of colleges he’s applying to. Those schools include: Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd College, Princeton University, Cornell University, Rice University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Drexel University, Lafayette College, and the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Ian, unlike other students, would like to take a gap year in between high school and college and then return to master in engineering.
In Middle Park, he wishes to see a single valedictorian selected and have our GPA system resemble that of a college. He also would like to see more AP classes offered to all ages of students so that we can be competitive with other, larger schools. Ian likes Middle Park because we have Fridays off and can “go skiing.” He thinks our teachers and our surroundings make our school a great place to be.
This year, he’s most excited for shop class because he likes “to make stuff with my hands and I don’t have the opportunity to use all the tools that often.” He also suggests that everyone interested should take AP Biology.
Carver expects senior year to be harder than any other year because “juggling sports, jobs, college, schoolwork, testing, and volunteering can be a bit much sometimes.”
Carlie Bugos agrees with Alyssa about the Chromebooks Middle Park will be using. She spent a large amount of money on a Mac laptop and is slightly frustrated that she won’t be able to use it anymore. Also, Bugos recognizes that Middle Park isn’t a “very spirited school and people don’t really involve themselves in the assemblies, and so I want our school to have more spirit.”
Carlie plans to involve herself more in all the activities and clubs MP offers, including playing Powderpuff football during Homecoming week.
“I want to do everything,” she said hopefully.
Carlie likes that our school is so close knit. “Everybody knows everybody and we’re all really close, even with the teachers. We can have more one-on-one time if we need help with something.”
She also thinks that our class will bond even more because it’s our last year. She’ll be able to take more interesting classes in preparation for college compared to all the core classes. Carlie knows she’ll be a little stressed from planning her future.
“It’ll be kind of scary planning out our future at 17 years old while balancing school and work,” she said.
But despite those nerves, her goals remain high. She’s more involved with FBLA and she will continue to stay well rounded in her academics. After high school she wants to go to college and major in business and minor in music and hopefully “do something with music producing.” Her top colleges are the University of Colorado, Boulder; Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado.
To all the students in the class of 2016, good luck. Let’s crush our senior year.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.
Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.
If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Editor’s note: The following letter to the community was submitted to the Sky-Hi News by Winter Park Mayor Nick Kutrumbos.