Seniors’ school days come to an end

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By Tom Hanlon

After four years of hard work, the graduating class of 2012 finally gets to leave behind Los Alamos High School and start a new life. The following three seniors took time to reflect on the past year and their future.
For Elizabeth Brug, leaving Los Alamos is kind of a welcome thought. Brug was born in Los Alamos and has lived here all her life.
“My sisters and I were all born in the same hospital room and I’m ready to move on,” Brug said.
Senior year allows for time to complete college applications and to do service projects and other activities that demonstrate leadership and organizational skills.
As the president of the Key Club (an international organization that promotes leadership through service), Brug organized the Brianna Engelman fundraiser dinner. The fundraiser was to help pay for medical bills for Key Club member Taylor Engelman’s younger sister Brianna, who needed brain surgery.
“Organizing  the fundraiser dinner was probably my biggest accomplishment this year,” Brug said. But the most memorable part of the year, according to Brug, was choreographing the tango for dance class. Brug will attend New Mexico State University in the fall and work at the Piñon Park Swimming Pool this summer. When asked if she had any advice for incoming seniors Brug said, “Senioritis is going to come whether you want it or not. The best thing to do is to keep your grades up, because all you want to do is have fun.”
For Annie Saeger, the most memorable part of this year was realizing what she wanted to do with her life. “I hope to get into the Athletic Training Department so I can become an athletic trainer.” She plans on attending New Mexico State University in the fall. Realizing college is a serious undertaking, Saeger said she will miss a few things about Los Alamos High School.
“I’m going to miss being able to goof off. I mean going to college is real life and you don’t get to breeze through anything anymore,” Saeger said. Being part of the NJROTC, Saeger felt was her biggest accomplishment and noted that she was proud to be part of the Area 9 Championship this year.
While Saeger intends to get a job this summer, her other priority is to have fun. She tells incoming seniors to enjoy their senior year while it lasts because, “it won’t last forever and you only get to be a kid once.”  
“Senior year was fun, it was definitely the turning point for a lot of things and I’m ready to move on with my life,” she said.
Jacob Brown won’t spend his college years anywhere near home. In fact, he’ll attend the United States Naval Academy, almost 2,000 miles away in Annapolis, Md. Prior to his senior year, Brown had been home schooled. But he decided to enroll in Los Alamos High School this year to take advantage of some Advanced Placement classes offered at the high school, included in his full course schedule. In his junior year, Brown signed up with the (NJROTC).
“I’ve always felt that God is leading me to the military. I know that other people might not share this view, but I think everyone should give back to their country,” Brown said. Leaving Los Alamos is a slightly daunting prospect for Brown. “I’ve gotten used to this small town and going to Annapolis is going to a big city.”
There’s no doubt that he has guts to make the change, because after the Academy, he plans on joining the Marine Corps. Brown said the most memorable part of senior year was that NJROTC placed fourth overall in state competition, plus the Rifle Team took first place.
Brown added that he personally placed, taking second in the Sit-up Competition, but his biggest accomplishment was getting into the U.S. Naval Academy.
He plans on staying fit between now and when he leaves for the Academy on June 26. His advice to next year’s seniors is to put academics first.
He said that extra-curricular activities are fun, but if grades aren’t kept up, students can forget about doing the fun things.
These seniors are excited to begin their new lives, but are basking in their final days at Los Alamos High.