Placer seniors say goodbye

Placer High grads and teachers reflect on end of the year
By: Bridget Jones Journal staff writer
-A +A
It’s time again for senioritis, senior projects and, finally, graduation. While seniors are busy finishing classes this week, they are already looking ahead to graduation and what the future will hold. “It’s weird,” said senior Molly Fries, 17, a Placer High School valedictorian. “Part of me is really excited to go on … but part of me is really afraid of leaving here. I live across the street from the high school, so I’ve sort of grown up with the high school.” Fries said although it will be a big change for her, she’s looking forward to her college education. “I’m really excited for how many opportunities I’m going to have,” Fries said. “I’m going to (UC) Davis next year. I know a higher education is going to help me do more in life and in the world.” Fries said her experience in high school has been very positive. “I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said. “I’ve been in band all through high school and it’s been so much fun. Having the open campus is really nice, because you feel like you’re more a part of the community. You’re not trapped at school all day.” Kevin Roy, 18, also a Placer High valedictorian, said he knows exactly what he wants to do for his future career. “I want to be a doctor,” Roy said. “However, with this new health care bill, I’m not sure it’s going to have a good pay off … (but) I can’t really see myself doing anything else.” Roy, who will begin classes at Sierra College June 7, said he wouldn’t really have the time to relax after high school is over. “It’s not going to be that relief that probably a lot of people are going to feel,” he said. “It’s a big change and it’s going to be way different going to college. It sucks getting older … but you have to enjoy it. If you don’t, it is just wasted time.” Fries said she was inspired to learn calligraphy for her senior project after hearing it mentioned in a speech given by Steve Jobs. Roy, who shadowed a neurologist, said his senior project was right in line with his career goals. “I watched exams, asked questions (and) watched what they did behind the curtain,” Roy said. “It’s something I wanted to do because I want to be a doctor.” Senior board presentations began Tuesday afternoon at Placer High School. During the presentations seniors give speeches about their project topics to a group of community members. They are graded on their speeches and accompanying portfolios. Brittany Haydon, a Placer High English teacher and senior project coordinator, said watching students transition through their senior year is always fascinating. “Every year is such a journey and it is so fun to watch the students make that journey,” Haydon said. “The teachers at Placer develop great relationships with the students. We’re glad to see them go because we know they’re ready for the next challenge.” Haydon said she’s enjoyed being a part of this year’s projects because they are so unique. “I’m excited students have stepped outside the box and done projects that haven’t been done before,” she said. “I like when students find something they want to do but also take the time to think about being creative and being fresh.” Haydon said she is grateful for the volunteers who come out to grade the projects. “I really want to thank the community for stepping up,” Haydon said. “It’s a big deal to support the kids and we appreciate their support.” Katey Chamberlin, a Placer High English teacher, said she has fond memories of past graduation days. “Just the pure joy on the students’ faces of knowing they have reached this final milestone,” Chamberlin said. “And then afterward the tears, that mixture of sadness from leaving but also hopefulness for their futures.” Chamberlin said she has a message to send along with graduating seniors. “I would say these are not the best years of your lives,” she said. “There is still so much to accomplish and experience. So take risks, don’t be afraid of failure.” Reach Bridget Jones at --------------------------------------------------- Local graduations Placer High School 9 a.m. June 5 275 Orange Street, Auburn Valedictorians: Bethany Feis, Molly Fries, Erin Gunter, Shannon Harcus, Michael Jensen, Jared Lucas, Zoe Mallen, Alexandra Rohde, Kevin Roy, Andrew Soria, Gordon Sproul and Kyle Sproul Foresthill High School 9 a.m. June 5 23319 Foresthill Road, Foresthill Valedictorians: David Cox, Jessica Harley, Jonathan Harper, Mike Mangorie and Mariah Serda Salutatorian: Katelyn Leonard Colfax High School 9 a.m. June 5 24995 Ben Taylor Road, Colfax Del Oro High School 9:30 a.m. June 5 3301 Taylor Road, Loomis Valedictorian: Emily Hentschke Salutatorian: Karla Robinson Maidu High School 7 p.m. June 3 Placer High School auditorium 275 Orange Street, Auburn Chana High School 7 p.m. June 4 Placer High School auditorium 275 Orange Street, Auburn