Throughout the next two weeks, area high school seniors will be turning tassels and setting their eyes on the future.
For some students, college is on the immediate horizon. For others, pursuits of keen interests in other areas are being planned.
Tahlequah High School seniors will graduate Friday, May 24, and Philline Anquoe is excited about her next chapter in her life.
“I plan to take a year off between high school and college,” said Philline. “I want to get into maybe a beauty college in Tulsa before attending a four-year university. I want to pursue my interests.”
Philline is the daughter of Deb Pritchett and Kelly Anquoe. She has attended Tahlequah Public Schools all her life and was a cheerleader her freshman and sophomore years at THS, as well as a member of the Cherokee Heritage Club.
“I would love to have a career in cosmetics or hair styling,” said Philline. “I visit with my stylist all the time, asking questions about hair and makeup. It just sounds like more fun to me than sitting in an office somewhere.”
The senior year of high school is full of events that often generate fond memories. For Philline, her standout moment was 2013 prom.
“Prom has to be my favorite memory,” said Philline. “It was so much fun. We had a Hollywood theme. I went with my boyfriend, but we met up with a bunch of our friends for dinner then the dance.”
Navigating the academic and social challenges can be rough on teenagers, and Philline offered a couple of pieces of advice.
“It’s so important to stay on top of your studies, because they can get away from you quickly,” she said. “I thought this year would be nothing, but it’s turned out to be harder than I expected. Also, don’t stress about the drama. From my freshman year to my senior year, my group of friends has gotten smaller, but we’re very close.”
As graduating seniors embark on their new paths, they may miss aspects of high school, although it may be difficult to understand that right now.
“I think, honestly, I’ll miss some of my teachers,” said Philline. “I’ve developed really good relationships with some of them, and I’ll miss them more than anything.”
Hulbert High School seniors will cross the stage and accept diplomas Friday, May 10. Senior Cameron Fielden has big plans for college and has been highly involved in several academic pursuits. He recently found out he is a Gates Scholarship recipient.
“I will attend Northeastern State University the first year of college,” said Cameron. “I honestly didn’t expect to get the Gates Scholarship, and was blown away when I found out. I’ll attend the University of Oklahoma after my first year at NSU, and plan to study mechanical engineering.”
Cameron is the son of Kelli and Doug Fielden, and is a Lost City native. He has attended Hulbert Public Schools all of his life. Throughout his high school career, he has been in the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, the Hulbert Academic Team, the art club, the National Indian Honor Society and is a graduate of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.
“When I went to OSSM, I really enjoyed the physics projects,” said Cameron. “I like building, so I’d like to go into the mechanical design aspect of mechanical engineering.”
Cameron’s best senior year memory is receiving his ACT score.
“I got a 30 on my ACT,” said Cameron. “I have to say that’s probably my favorite memory.”
Like Philline, Cameron offered a bit of advice to his underclassmen.
“Don’t give up when things get tough,” said Cameron. “Try as hard as you can and apply for every scholarship you’re eligible for. Jill Hayes, our ACT prep teacher, was literally on me every day about applying for different scholarships. So far, I’ve accumulated $17,000 in scholarships, plus money from Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program and the Gates Scholarship. I have a few more I haven’t heard back from yet.”
This past year, Cameron has attended classes at HHS and NSU concurrently, and said he will miss the close-knit feeling of attending a small school.
“I’ve always been pretty good friends with everyone. Hulbert is such a small town and school; I’ll miss that,” said Cameron. “I’ve been going concurrently for a year to college, and very people know your name.”
Keys High School basketballer and senior Mylee Hewitt is looking forward to graduation, slated for May 17.
Mylee is the daughter of Millie and Mike Hewitt, and athletics has played a large part of her high school career.
“One of my biggest achievements was scoring 39 points in the last game of the tournament at Locust Grove this year,” said Mylee. “I was All-Selection in that tournament.”
Her junior year, Mylee placed 10th in the state running the 1-mile race in track. She’s also received the Hustle Award in basketball her sophomore and junior years.
“I’m going to NSU in the fall,” said Mylee. “I’m not sure about playing ball, but I will major in nursing.”
Mylee’s favorite memory of her senior year also includes basketball.
“Probably my best memory is hanging out with the basketball girls,” she said. “They kind of become a second family. I think that’s what I’ll miss the most, too, the sports and my teammates.”
Mylee recommends making smart choices and remaining true to yourself to her underclassmen.
Peavine resident Zane Key will graduate from Sequoyah High School on Friday, May 17. Key is also a Gates Scholarship recipient and plans to attend Oklahoma City University in the fall.
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