Graduate profiles

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2001

Kristin Scarboro, a transplant to Albert Lea three years ago, is returning to her home state of Georgia for college, but will take the friendships she made in her years at ALHS with her.

Sunday, June 03, 2001

Kristin Scarboro, a transplant to Albert Lea three years ago, is returning to her home state of Georgia for college, but will take the friendships she made in her years at ALHS with her.

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&uot;It was definitely scary at first, getting plopped down here in the middle of high school. But it turned out great. It was a good experience to live in another part of the country,&uot; Scarboro said.

When she arrives on the University of Georgia campus this August, Scarboro will follow in the footsteps of her parents, both UG alumni. She also has another connection to the school – her grandfather was the Dean of the university,s law school for many years.

&uot;I’ve always known I would go to UG,&uot; Scarboro said. &uot;I think the bulldog blood is in my veins.&uot;

As the salutatorian of her class, Scarboro has proven to herself she can balance academic demands with activities. She never let commitments to choir, band, drama, cheerleading and danceline interfere with her classes.

&uot;I learned how to balance the fun with the school work. I think that has been the key, but my parents have helped out a lot, too,&uot; Scarboro said.

Her hard work paid off when she landed an academic scholarship to attend UG. Scarboro said she hopes to use the skills she learned in high school to earn a degree in Spanish and pre-law and eventually become an attorney.

&uot;I know that’s going to be a ton of work. I probably won’t be able to have as much fun as I did in high school,&uot; she said.

Scarboro has pledged to keep in touch with her Albert Lea friends.

&uot;We have to find some way to stay close,&uot; she said. &uot;These last three years, and the close friends I’ve made, have become a part of me that I want to hold on to.&uot;


Adam Schulte has some advice for high school students looking to save some time and money: Go to college while you’re still in high school.

Though it sounds improbable, Schulte graduated twice this spring – once from Riverland Community College with an Associate of Arts degree, and then from Albert Lea High School. By taking advantage of a program called Post Secondary Enrollment Options, he was able to complete general college courses and use those credits to complete his high school requirements.

Schulte said enrolling in the program was the best decision he has every made because it saved him two years of college tuition. It also allowed him to work full-time.

&uot;I figure I saved myself at least $10,000, plus I made a lot more money than I could have as a normal high school kid,&uot; Schulte said.

Work has been very important to Schulte. For example, his experiences working with Cornick Construction of Albert Lea have been just as valuable as any classroom learning. He thinks the hands-on construction experience has helped him prepare for his eventual goal, to earn a degree in construction management.

&uot;I think I have a good work ethic or I wouldn’t have been able to do this,&uot; Schulte said. &uot;I was serious about doing this. You have to be to succeed.&uot;

Schulte plans to continue his construction work this summer before attending Minnesota State University, Mankato in the fall. In two years he’ll have a combination of work experience and education that should land him any job in construction he wants. Schulte said the sacrifices he has made in the last two years have been worth it.

&uot;I should be set up pretty well. I really think more people should take advantage of this program,&uot; Schulte said.


As the oldest in a family with four boys, Shaun Willaby is used to taking responsibility and giving orders. But when he arrives at basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C. in a couple of weeks, he’ll need to be prepared to take orders.

Willaby, who graduated from Glenville-Emmons High School Friday, has decided to enter the Army National Guard this summer. With nine weeks of basic training, and another 13 weeks of specialized logistics training in Virginia, Willaby is excited at the prospect of seeing other parts of the country.

&uot;I’m pretty excited about it, but I’m also nervous,&uot; he said. &uot;I think I have what it takes to make it. At least I hope so.&uot;

Willaby hopes for an eventual career in law enforcement, and he feels the guard will help him develop more discipline. But, he hopes his school experiences have helped prepare him for the intensity of military life.

Willaby got a big taste of responsibility when he coordinated the high school Scared Sober program this year. He also learned about respect as a captain in the Law Enforcement Explorers program in Albert Lea, and as a member of the Twin Lakes Volunteer Fire Department.

&uot;I like the feeling of belonging to organizations like that. I’ve met a lot of great people who I really respect. I think the guard will be the same way,&uot; Willaby said.

After his training, Willaby will return to the area to work, hopefully in something security-related. One weekend a month and two weeks in the summer, he will join his fellow soldiers as a member of the Albert Lea unit of the Army National Guard.

In a year, Willaby hopes to begin his law enforcement training. If everything works out as he plans, he may someday work for the Federal Marshall’s Office.


Being an international visitor to a town like Glenville where everyone knows everyone wasn’t easy, said foreign exchange student Sarina Pranschke.

&uot;At first everyone was interested in me and wanted to be friends. After awhile that changed, and I spent the rest of the year adjusting,&uot; Pranschke said.

Hailing from Bonn, Germany, Pranschke was used to a more urban existence. In order to gain a better understanding of Glenville and Glenville-Emmons High School, she joined several sports and activities including basketball, softball and drama.

&uot;It was great. I think that’s where I made my close friends,&uot; Pranschke said.

The one comfort Pranschke had throughout her stay was the closeness and support of her host parents, Robert and Mary Lee. She turned to them often when she missed her own parents in Germany.

&uot;They were wonderful and very understanding and patient,&uot; Pranschke said.

Pranschke, who graduated Friday with the Glenville-Emmons senior class, struggled at times with the cultural challenges. She knows now that living in Glenville has changed her and helped her grow up.

&uot;I think I have more confidence, knowing that I had such a great year, even with the tough times,&uot; said Pranschke, who will return to her hometown of Bonn in less than a week. &uot;I think other kids must take advantage of the opportunity to be an exchange student. I couldn’t have possibly prepared for how it affected me.&uot;

Pranschke new she had become a true resident of Glenville after the May 1 tornado that leveled homes and businesses in town. Two days after the storm, Pranschke was combing the streets with her classmates, picking up debris and garbage.

&uot;They kept asking me why I was helping,&uot; she said. &uot;All I could say was that you are my neighbors and I wanted to help.&uot;

Pranschke said watching the town pull together after the tornado was an experience she would never forget. It taught her something about the nature of small towns.

&uot;Everybody might know each other, but they also care about each other. I cared, too,&uot; she added.


Jeremy Besser will spend the summer driving combines and thinking about his future.

The Alden-Conger High School graduate has no immediate plans for college. Instead, he will continue to work in agriculture as he has done for several years. Besser has a no-nonsense logical approach to the question of careers.

&uot;I need to figure out for sure what I want to do. If I need more schooling to get it done, then I’ll get more schooling,&uot; Besser said.

One thing Besser does know for sure is that he’s not afraid of hard work. He has worked on two dairy farms and helped local farmers with harvest for many years. Besser said he prefers the hands-on work and practical problem solving of the ag operation to the classroom.

&uot;I guess I’m not really a book person. I like working with livestock and equipment,&uot; he said.

But Besser still found a lot of positives in high school and found ways to be involved. He even found one way to use his mechanical skills. He drove the high-mileage vehicle that won his team the third-place trophy at the recent competition in Brainerd.

&uot;That was a pretty good thing to do – to be involved with. It was a lot of fun,&uot; Besser said.

A life in agriculture is probably in Besser’s future, he said, but where he’ll live and exactly what he’ll be doing is anybody’s guess.

&uot;I really don’t know what I’ll settle on. I don’t think anybody does at graduation,&uot; he said.

Besser will travel across the Midwest and West this summer combining and hauling wheat. He hopes seeing more of the country will give him some perspective.

&uot;I’d say I’ll probably come back with a better idea of what I want,&uot; Besser said.