Our Very Own, CASHS Seniors

Natalia Nice, Writer

Last year of High school can be a very significant stage in your life. You are slowly realizing that once you graduate, you will no longer be viewed as a child. You will have to learn how to support yourself financially and fully understand the weight of your actions as an adult. Adults have very important responsibilities and strict consequences to their actions. You won’t just be given detention anymore. Whether you like to admit it or not, in Highschool, it is very common for there to be many different groups of friends. Of course it is not the same as it is stereotyped to be, but it’s quite similar in a way. To get a bigger picture of what it’s really like for the seniors here at CASHS, we sat down with a couple of seniors from different groups of friends and asked them a few questions. 


First we sat down with Kristalyn Reilly, a CASHS senior. Kristalyn is a very artistic student that not only contributes creativity to her art classes, but to the school as well. Since she is also very talented in writing, she provides riveting short stories, plays, and poems to our school’s CASHS literature magazine. In addition, she is an art director for the literature magazine, which basically means she collects personal art from students of every grade to put in our school’s literature magazine. We asked Kristalyn her thoughts on graduation and the fact that high school is coming to an end for her, “I feel scared, even though I knew it was coming. It felt like if I just didn’t think about it, it would be alright. I feel like it’s all coming too soon.” Her rationalized fear of graduating is felt by many seniors, not only in CASHS, but everywhere. She then went on about her progress as an art student, “I feel like as I change, so does my art. I’m no longer interested in the art that I started out doing. I’ve gotten better at certain techniques and I have learned certain skills and styles that I didn’t know before. Making my art better than it was before.” Kristalyn brought up the significance in self growth throughout adolescents, “I think I’m definitely the same person but I have definitely changed a bit. I’m not as childish as I was before and I’ve learned a lot about myself that I didn’t know in 9th grade. I’ve learned a couple of important lessons about life along the way.” We wondered if the contagious case of senioritis has affected her yet, “Actually, I think I’m doing better this year than I have done the previous years. I feel strangely focused.” Despite our school’s budget cuts to the art department, Kristalyn and other talented art students make up for the lack of resources with their impeccable ability to express themselves through an artistic point of view. Students like Kristalyn make the art department very proud and hopeful for the future of art curriculum. 


To get the point of view from an athlete, we asked Aaron Maynard a few questions about what it’s like to be a senior. He started off by telling us his plans after graduation, “I’m going to go to some college. I’m not really sure which one yet, but I’ll probably try to get an engineering degree or an environmental science degree and try to play soccer at the university.” If you didn’t know already, Aaron is a very talented soccer and basketball player that defines a true team player. He also runs on our track and field team in the spring. On the subject of college, he brought up scholarships, “A lot of the schools I want to go to are District 3 schools, so soccer doesn’t actually have a scholarship. I’ve gotten scholarships through the school, though, and other sources.” Something that is on the minds of almost every senior is the idea of moving on from adolescents and their future. Aaron mentioned his thoughts on said topic, “I think everyone is always a little nervous about the future just because it’s not a definite, but I’m excited. Change is good. It’s going to be difficult, obviously, but I think I’m up for the challenge.” His optimism is refreshing, especially when there is mass hysteria regarding everyone’s potential future. He continued his point by saying, “I’m not excited to graduate. I like high school and I think it’s fun. My siblings, I have three siblings that are all in college, and they say that college is better than high school.” Back on the topic of college, Aaron explained his process for picking a college and some of his options, “With soccer, you kind of have a coach talk to you, prior, so you know you can play. There’s like 5 or 6 schools that I’ve already gotten into and I can easily go to those schools and play. There’s Lycoming University, Washington Jefferson University, Washington and Lee University, and there is this school called Chatham University that’s really big on environmental science. There’s other generic schools I could go to as well.” He went further into detail about his interest in environmental science and engineering, “I’m in a lot of the science and math classes in our school, so I think it would be a very good fit. I’m also very hands on. I’d rather be doing something than sitting at a desk all day, so engineering would be a good fit for that. Environmental science is about being outside and I’ve just always been outside. I like being outside.” As mentioned before, Aaron is a very athletic person, so we were curious about his experience of being a senior as an athlete, “I’m just trying to enjoy it, honestly, because you build up all these expectations throughout all the other years. You kinda look up to the seniors, but now that I’m here it doesn’t feel like that. So I’m just trying to enjoy the moment.” Since he mentioned that underclassmen usually look up to seniors, we asked if he looked up to anyone in the previous years of high school, “I looked up to my brother and my brother’s friend. My older brother played soccer and actually still plays soccer in college. I could play on his team if I wanted.” Having a good role model as you grow into an adult is key to healthy self growth. Not only that, but it’s also an advantage to be related to your role model. Aaron mentioned one of the perks of being one of the seniors on the soccer team, “We had a really fun senior night. We got gifts afterwards and they had these really cool posters. I mean they were a little big but it’s kind of cool because all of the seniors from the past got them. Also I wasn’t the only one since there’s 6 of us. That night we had ice cream and cake. We also won that game by a good bit.” To wrap things up, he went on about the feelings that go into the ending of your high school athletic career, “You put four years into it and you don’t expect it to end and it does. It was a little hard. I think everybody has to go through it. It will happen for basketball, and you just don’t realize it till it’s there. For track, I don’t think it will hit me like that. I think I’ll be excited to be done with track. Track is a different kind of fun. Track is not fun until you are able to beat yourself. As in, you know you just ran the fastest you’ve ever ran. I just like beating myself, if that makes sense.” Aaron’s good grades and talent in the athletic department makes him a model student that has great potential.


At CASHS, we have a very talented drama department that puts on classic plays with authentic acting and singing. Sydney Wegner is one of the seniors in this department. She constantly proves her worth as a performer with her perfected vocals. She is also a participant in our school’s marching band, playing the clarinet. We sat down with Sydney and asked her a few questions about her thoughts on being a senior and whether or not being a senior plays a factor in her school activities. She firstly explained, “Being a senior has been something I’ve always looked forward to because it is my one final shot at a good part. All of the people who were picked over me, for the most part, have graduated, so this is my chance to try and go for a role in the show. I’m also excited because I know most of the people that will audition and I’m excited to put one last show with my friends.” She then went on about whether or not she is at an advantage because she is one of the seniors in the drama department, “Yes and no. Mr. Jacobs is a great director and picks based on talent, not necessarily what grade you’re in, but because I’m a senior he’s seen me in other productions for 3 years and has an idea already of a variety of things I can do, which is definitely helpful. I can also imagine if there’s a tie for a part he’s going to give it to the senior because it is their last year.” We asked if it is surreal that her high school acting career is coming to an end, which she answered, “Every year after the final performance of whatever show we put on, it’s always emotional seeing the seniors receive their gift and thinking about the fact that they won’t be in the one with me, but this year will definitely be the hardest for me because I’ll be the one leaving. Theater has been a big part of my life starting in 6th grade, and it’s going to be hard to let it go. Obviously I can still audition for things in college, but I’m going to miss all of my friends in the Chambersburg school district.” Since senioritis is very common, we asked whether or not Sydney has yet caught the contagious symptoms, “A little bit, but not when it comes to music. I have gotten a little bit behind with a few classes because I’ve been so excited to prepare for all of the musical things I’m involved in. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent working on my audition for into the woods and I’m so nervous and excited to see the cast list.” Sydney not only contributes her perfected vocals to the school’s plays, but also her authentic and impressive acting makes the plays worth watching. She brought up her plans for after graduation, “I plan to go to one of the three colleges I’m still considering to major in musical education. After that, I want to get a job somewhere nearby as a choir director, preferably for high school, but obviously I probably won’t get my dream job right off the bat.” Sydney’s kindness, gentle manner, and passion for music will make her a great teacher that will ensure admiration by many students. Last question we asked he was about her progression as a performer throughout the past 4 years, “Even just as a singer, I’ve improved greatly. I started taking voice lessons in 9th grade, which helped me so much, and in 10th grade I auditioned for district chorus and didn’t make it. Then in 11th grade I was 25 out of 25 that make it out of each section and this year I ranked 5th. My acting has improved a little bit, but I haven’t focused on it quite as much, so it hasn’t improved quite as much as my voice has.” Sydney constantly proves her skills as a singer and shows great potential that makes the drama department very proud.


The last person we interviewed was Katie Truman, another senior participant in the drama department. Katie Truman is an outgoing student that constantly shows great communication skills. She not only is a talented performer in our school’s plays, she also helps with our morning announcements, a big part of our school’s daily routine. To start off, we wanted her opinion on being a senior and what it really feels like to be an upperclassman, “Being a senior means that I act as a role model to a lot of underclassman. Being a senior also means it’s your last go around, meaning that you can give it your best one last time, making yourself memorable.”  Katie then went on to tell us about whether or not, in her opinion, if being a senior is an advantage when participating in the plays, “ Talent is what gives you an advantage, in my opinion, not age. Sure, being a senior you would think you are deserving of roles because of your age, but that shouldn’t be the only reason why you would deserve it. Proving you have talent is the number one.” Speaking of plays and the drama department, she explained her feelings towards the fact that her highschool acting career is coming to an end, “ It hasn’t hit me personally that my drama career at CASHS is coming to an end. But, once it has, I’m sure I’ll look back and be grateful for all of the friends I have made, the experience I had, and for the opportunity that Mr. Jacob has given me.” Moving on from her efforts in the drama department, she went into detail about her participating in our school’s morning announcements and radio broadcasting, “I started taking a communications based class last year with radio. Being on the radio is all about using your voice, so being able to improve verbally throughout the year as I made the programs was great. Being a part of the announcements was also a huge help with my voice. Overall, it boosted my confidence and I found it fun, which is why I continued taking the communication classes available at CASHS and plan on being a communication major in college.” Katie eloquence shines brightly through her efforts in her communications class and her performances in theater. She is able to talk well and also sing with a well balanced pitch. Her efforts in all things communication definitely don’t go unnoticed. She not only makes her classmates proud, but the school as well. 


Overall, our seniors show impressive maturity and great potential. Although many are scared of what the future holds, their drive and excitement for what’s out there helps them overcome such fears. The path after high school will be hard, but our talented students are bound to come across many different amazing opportunities that will help them make their aspirations become reality. Our very own CASHS seniors, will turn out just fine!