Four go out at the top

Valedictorians set high standards, worked hard

Friday, June 2, 2006

Click here to enlarge this photo
Staff Photo by Darwin Weigel
Calvert County public high schools’ valedictorians, clockwise from lower left are Kelly Whittle, Patuxent High School; Jennie Wolfgang, Huntingtown High School; Molly Herring, Calvert High School; and Andrew Bauder, Northern High School.

Four of Calvert County Public Schools’ best and brightest came together one last time as high school seniors.

The valedictorians from each of Calvert’s public high schools took a break from preparing their speeches this week to discuss their plans for the future.

Andrew Bauder of Northern High School, Jennie Wolfgang of Huntingtown High School, Molly Herring of Calvert High School and Kelly Whittle of Patuxent High School were all at the top of their class in 2006 earning them the valedictorian moniker. Not only did the four students excel in the classroom but collectively they covered a lot of ground with non-academic commitments such as band, track and soccer.

‘‘It was fun,” said Bauder of his four years at Northern. He said he couldn’t get to where he is today ‘‘without help from everyone else.” Bauder is attending the Air Force Academy this fall. He leaves for boot camp early this summer.

Wolfgang is headed to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., to study engineering in the fall.

Wolfgang, like the other three, earned above a 4.0 grade point average in her high school career and still made time for fun.

‘‘Work hard but don’t forget to have fun too,” she said, offering advice to underclassmen.

Wolfgang will take with her many memories of her high school experience. Mostly she said she will remember her senior chapter show, one of many performances with the marching band.

‘‘That’s going to stick with me the most,” she said.

Herring’s advice to high school students is to ‘‘do all of your work and try to get everything done.”

Herring is headed to Princeton University in the fall. ‘‘I don’t want to leave [Calvert High], but I really want to go to Princeton,” she said of her mixed emotions on graduating.

Whittle is off to the University of Florida in the fall to study both zoology and psychology. Whittle was one of the lucky ones who was able to pull off early acceptance to her college of choice.

‘‘Get all your college stuff done in the summer,” she said of the college application process. She suggested getting it all taken care of as early as the summer before senior year. That way, she said, students can enjoy their senior year.

‘‘This fall, everyone was going crazy,” she said.

Whittle, a national merit scholar, one of the highest honors a student can earn, also has a lot of memories she will be taking with her. Her memories are also of her time spent with band.

‘‘All the trips on the bus going back from competition,” she said of what she will remember most.

Whittle said though all her teachers were good, she placed Kelly Poteet, her English teacher, as one of her favorites.

‘‘I had [Poteet] for two years. She is a very energetic teacher,” Whittle said.

The four valedictorians have prepared their speeches to the class of 2006 which each gave at their respective graduations on May 31 and June 1 at the ShowPlace arena in Upper Marlboro.

Bauder said the majority of his speech is acknowledging all those involved in getting him and his classmates where they are today.

Summing up the standard ‘‘How was your high school experience?” question, Whittle replied ‘‘It’s been a great four years.”

E-mail Gretchen Phillips at