Early Release: Students Plan to graduate early

Casey Haffner, currently a junior at Staples, will not be attending school for the entire third and fourth quarter of her senior year. She also will not be graduating with the rest of the class of 2012. Instead, Haffner is graduating from Staples in January of her senior year.

“When I decided that I wanted to graduate early, I went to my guidance counselor to see what I needed to do in order to graduate earlier than everyone else,” Haffner said.

In order to fulfill her graduation requirements on time, Haffner will be participating in volunteer work to receive extra credits. However, one would think that leaving school early would leave students’ futures open and unstructured.

“I know that I want to do two or maybe three different internships in the different fields of psychology to see what I am most interested in. I know that I want to work in this field. I just need to test the waters,” Haffner said.

Haffner is one of several students at Staples who have decided to take a detour to receive their high school diploma, and start their future.

Kelsey Brown ’11 is finishing school, while the year just kicks off for others. Brown had to take similar steps as Haffner did in order to graduate early.

“In order for graduating early to become a reality, I had to do a number of things. First, I had to set up a meeting with my guidance counselor. Then, I had to fill out a form and write out exactly what I plan to be doing with my time after I finish school, ” Brown said. “After I did that I had to hand it back in to guidance and it had to then be approved by both the head of guidance, and the administration.”

Brown is planning on working for Stepping Stones Preschool after she graduates this January, which she has wanted to do since last summer.

“After working at Stepping Stones Preschool this past summer, I knew for sure that I wanted to become a teacher. Plus, I figured since if I have the credit, then why not get the experience early,” Brown said.

However, Brown and Haffner’s decisions to graduate early aren’t completely individual. Their parents have certainly had a huge impact as well. Both students expressed how, “my parents were the one who really encouraged me to do this. They are behind me one hundred percent.”

Another Staples student who has decided to graduate early is Joanna Wexler, a current Staples senior. Wexler explained how her parents as well as extended family have especially supported her through her decision to graduate early.

“When I told my mom that I felt that I was going backwards by returning to school after a full time job, and that I did not want to waste my time second semester, she told me to graduate early. My mother and my grandmother both skipped their senior year of high school, so this is kind of the norm in my family. I have always been old for my age and I felt ready to begin the next chapter of my life,” Wexler said.

After graduating a semester early Wexler plans to work for Jeffery Modell Foundation in New York City where she worked this past summer. Wexler explained that this job is going to help her pursue her interest in the field of public health, medicine, and public advocacy.

Unlike these students, Joshua Livintoff ’12 plans to graduate the January of his junior year. Taking three culinary classes a day and working towards a career in the culinary arts, Litvinoff is ready to get started early.

“I chose to graduate early as a junior because it offers a great head start at a career in the culinary arts, and offers to cut tuition in half for the first year,” Litvinoff said.

Litvinoff is planning on doing the Early Enrollment Program at Johnson and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island.

However, because Litvinoff is planning on graduating his junior year he runs into troubles with receiving enough credit.

“Because of my need for another English credit after this year, I worked it out to take one at JWU which is equivalent to one at SHS. After this, I will receive my diploma,” Litvinoff said.

Litvinoff expressed how he also was not worried about missing a year of high school. “The neat thing is that because of the credit situation, I am still technically enrolled at SHS. This means that I can attend all school events and continue with the volunteer work I am involved in (B3),” he said.

As for now, these typical Staples students go about their daily routine like any one else. However, the difference is that these students will be sent out into the world of life outside Staples a little bit early. Most feel that immersing themselves in the passion they have for learning outside SHS is worth it.