Lincoln Park has seen itself grow immensely in the past three years, especially the graduating class. It went from approximately 40 graduates the first year, to about 64 the next, and now this year it looks like the graduating class of some 108 students is going to be larger than the first two years’ classes combined. There’s a lot of talent coming in the doors of LP, but where does it go after it has left?
For LP, it’s not just about quantity, it’s also about quality. Almost 90 percent of all LP grads so far have gone on to post-high school education — which is about average, according to Courtney Keeling, the school’s guidance counselor. But, not only do most students go to college, she says a majority of grads even plan on studying the major they studied at LP in college.
It’s sometimes hard to keep track of the people who’ve graduated from LP in the past (two years). But it’s good to catch up on their post-LP experiences and learn about who used to be part of LP. Who knows, perhaps one day it will be bragging rights to say you went to the same school as so-and-so. Now take a look at a few of LP’s finest and see what they have to say about college, meatball subs, dolphin chatter and more:
Magnotto was one of 26 people accepted into Elon University’s musical theater program, where she is now a freshman. At LP, she was in every main stage musical for her two years there. The hard work seems to have paid off.
At LP, she says one of the most important things she learned was how to balance her time out between shows and schoolwork, and also the need for discipline with the demanding rehearsals, because “they were never easy.”
One thing she feels she was able to take out of LP was the friendships and connections she made, especially with the long, over-an-hour bus rides that, like many students, she took to get to and from LP. At Elon, she says she is making it “her own Lincoln Park,” and is finding her “friends for life” there.
Besides her classmates, she misses the LP staff too. Magnotto fondly remembers Becky Manning’s motherliness, Gavan Pamer’s professionalism, and hanging out with all the music professors. “Students need to realize the amazing resources they have right at LP!”
Her advice for those getting ready to graduate? “Have a plan and follow through.” Her advice for any students at LP? “Life is not as kind as Lincoln Park.”
Lathom is currently studying Music History at Baldwin-Wallace College in Cleveland, OH. She was in the Music Department at LP and played bassoon, which she has played since eighth grade.
It was also in eighth grade that she decided that she wanted to major in music history. It could be said that she’s done a good job planning ahead; she now plans on getting her doctorate in Musicology.
Her experience at LP, she says, really helped her prepare for college, more than a normal high school would. She felt so strongly about the subject that she even wrote an Letter to the Editor to the Beaver County Times about it. At LP, she said the keyboard, singing, and aural classes she took gave her an advantage in college, even though she admits to not being a big fan of voice class. She said she was even able to test out of Keyboard I thanks to a little practical piano.
Now, what she misses is a practical lunch. She says that they can tend to be pretty greasy at her college, something like a nice meatball sub. But besides LP’s lunches (they must have been different back then), she misses LP in general and wishes she could have attended since ninth grade.
Now that Lathom is well into the music field, she suggests keeping an open ear, listening to your [music] teachers, and listening to new things. “Knowing how to play your instrument is only part of the battle,” she says; it is a transferrable philosophy.
Cunningham is now attending Slippery Rock University, where he is studying Secondary English Education. He is still an avid writer, when he has the free-time — which isn’t often, he says. One of his most recent works got him a spot as a finalist in the 2009 Beverly Hills Film Festival.
Thanks to his Literary Arts classes, Cunningham says coursework is a breeze. However, “College isn’t all sunshine and dandelions.” He finds that there is less of that collective team spirit in college, and that the environment isn’t quite as forgiving as LP’s.
Like at LP, Cunningham is finding lots of things to do at college. He’s part of numerous extra-curricular activities, such as the National Residence Hall Honorary, the First-Year Leader Scholar Program and SLAB, Slippery Rock’s literary and sound journal.
As the Sound Editor, his work includes putting together an album “reinforcing the relationship of idiosyncratic sound and human dialogue. It ranges from dolphin chatter to cigarette addiction.” Interesting, as expected.
Along the way in college he has met some pretty strange professors, he says, such as one that never smiled and spoke about death. But none are as “amazing” as the teachers he had in Literary Arts. He says they have increased the number of opportunities for him as both as writer and as a student.
Pointers From Paul:
LP Grad Paul Cunningham’s Five Tips for Living in a College Dorm
1. If your roommate acts strange whenever you offer to take out the garbage, find out why.
2. If your roommate says he’s having “friends” stay over the weekend, find out how many, and the size of each “guest.”
3. If you notice a smell coming from your roommate’s closet that becomes gradually worse as the days go by, say something.
4. If you can hear the music your neighbor plays when he or she showers in the morning, say something.
5. If your neighbor ever asks you if he or she can borrow your mattress, it’s best not to answer. Just smile and shut the door.
There are many more grads from LP you should know about. Catch up with them in the future with The Siren.
– Logan Thomas