Graduates look ahead, but cling to memories

Many soon-to-be Schenectady area grads are looking forward to a new future, with a melancholy eye on

Many soon-to-be Schenectady area grads are looking forward to a new future, with a melancholy eye on what they are leaving behind.

In Glenville, seniors Lindsay McCarty and Victoria Alteri sat down for lunch at Panera Bread during their day off from school. The seniors graduated from Mekeel Christian Academy on June 21.

“Well, I go to a small school, so I’ll probably miss the family atmosphere. I’ve gone there my whole life,” said McCarty, who plans on majoring in accounting at Siena College. “So [I’ll miss] being at a place where I’m comfortable and know everybody.

“We have not only our family and everything to help us make good decisions,” she continued. “But we have our faith and we have God there to help us when things seem like they’re hard and stressful. It gives me a sense of peace going into it.”

Students talked about friends, faculty, parents and other family members who were formative in their lives and who will be missed.

Will study business

At Schenectady’s Central Park basketball courts, the steady beat of balls being dribbled and banging off the backboard and rims rings out from Max Quirindongo’s shots as he plays quick half-court games with other people from Schenectady High School.

Quirindongo says he won’t miss much from Schenectady High School after graduation — except his fellow classmates. Quirindongo is more focused on pursuing a business degree at Nassau Community College.

“I’m using my business classes that I’ve been in, and what they taught me, to continue on with my life, and get better at what I’m good at,” Quirindongo said.

Fond memories

Ashley Schumacher, who was eating at Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-in on a recent Tuesday, has big plans for her college education, but is already nostalgic about graduating from Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Senior High School.

“I’ll miss my friends and the fact that my parents take care of everything for me.” Schumacher said. “I thrived in science and in high school I did drama club and dance, so I’ll use that for my minor.”

Schumacher will attend Fordham University in New York City to major in pre-medical studies. One of her classmates, Dan Porter, shares her feelings about the years spent in high school.

“High school taught me how to interact with people,” Porter said.

Porter is headed to Ithaca College to study business. He said high school career and technical education teacher Jennifer Wheeler helped shape his goals.

Sophie Kemp, a Niskayuna High School graduate, will attend Oberlin College, but isn’t quite sure about her major.

“I think the thing I’ll miss most about high school is my teachers. Throughout the past four years I’ve been surrounded by adults that have helped me grow, not only a student but as a human being.” Kemp said. “In high school, my love for writing, in particular, was amplified. My English teachers have really encouraged and inspired me to write as much as possible. College for me is about discovery, so my first semester, I’m taking four courses in different disciplines.”

Major undecided

Farther north, Saratoga Springs High School senior Marguerite Sinnott was playing Frisbee with friends in Congress Park. She said she is unsure of what degree to pursue when she goes to SUNY Plattsburgh. She has interests in music theory and Latin.

“I’ll research different majors I might be interested in, and then as I take the general ed classes the first year of college, I’ll try to figure it out.” Sinnot said.

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