2007-05-19 / Top News

Two To Be Graduated in Class of '07

By Sean Ely

Scott Roguska Scott Roguska As the two graduating seniors in Mackinac Island Public School's class of 2007, Kristi Kamphuis and Scott Roguska, have had opportunities that graduating students in larger high schools may have never received. At a K-12 school with only 70 students, immediate attention is always available for those who want or need it.

"All of the teachers know the kids really well," Mr. Roguska said. "There is a much more personal level of teaching here. It's comforting to know that the teachers care and you're not just another seat. That's always been positive, but at the same time, there can be negatives. They've known you for so long, they remember the bad things you did, too."

Miss Kamphuis and Mr. Roguska do not procrastinate when it comes to making life decisions. They have known exactly what they've wanted to do with their lives for many years.

"I've always wanted to be a cosmetologist," Miss Kamphuis said. "I decided that I am going to go to Grand Valley for four years and major in business. Then, I'm going to go to cosmetology school after all of that. I've always wanted to do hair, as far back as I can remember."

Kristi Kamphuis Kristi Kamphuis Mr. Roguska's lifelong dream has been something he has actually been able to practice, simply by owning a video camera. Mackinac Island has been the setting for many of his self-made movies, a passion he has had since he was 10 years old.

"I want to become a film maker, so I've been trying to focus my attention on things related to that as much as I can," Mr. Roguska said. "We don't have anything here offered towards that, so I took an online class. I've been taking creative writing classes and working on the yearbook."

Mr. Roguska, who attended a larger middle school until 6th grade, and spent one winter at a high school of 2,100 student in Florida, knows the road to a film degree is in reach. He has the pathway all mapped out and he's ready to face any barriers that stand in his way.

"I've been accepted to Grand Rapids Community College," Mr. Roguska said. "I'm in the process of getting my transcripts from the school I attended in Florida over to Grand Valley and I'm going to try and be accepted there. I don't think GRCC offers anything for film, so if I do go there, I'll focus on their basic classes you need for college and then after two years of core classes, I'll go on to an actual film school my last two years."

Aweek ago, Miss Kamphuis and Mr. Roguska were not thinking of large college classrooms and curvy career roads. The two were too busy spending their time on the islands of Oahu and Maui in Hawaii, on their senior trip, which was a destination both agreed upon earlier in the year. The two seniors, along with Mr. Roguska's mother, Christine, and 4th and 5th grade teacher Karen Allen, spent a week snorkeling, taking nature hikes through natural rainwater waterfalls, laying out in the sun, shopping, and visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center and USS Arizona National Memorial. "Snorkeling was my favorite thing we did," Miss Kamphuis said. "That was a lot of fun, because we got to see a lot of sea turtles and different kinds of fish." Traveling from one island to another is something the group knows a little about. Mr. Roguska, however, felt that, although Hawaii is secluded, they are still a long way from the life of a Mackinac Island resident. "They are out there saying they are one of the most isolated islands in the world," Mr. Roguska said. "Well, yes, they're the farthest away from any other land, but they still have all the amenities like cars and movie theaters and all the stores. "It was a lot different, but at the same time you kind of connect with the island mentality. We kept talking to people and telling them we lived on an island and they understood. We connected with the environment. It was a very cool experience." Moving from small town island life to bigger cities may bring a series of different emotions. It's easier for some to do than others. "It's going to be tough to transition," Miss Kamphuis said. "I don't really like big groups. I'm excited to stay in the dorms. I have a brother and sister who already go to Grand Valley, so it won't be hard to find things to do. I'm kind of nervous about the big classes and getting used to how they do things there and everything, seeing as things here are a lot different than other schools. It's going to be hard to leave," Miss Kamphuis has thought about returning to Mackinac Island after cosmetology school, to possibly open up her own business. Mr. Roguska, on the other hand, is thrilled to experience a life off Mackinac Island . "I can't imagine going from a class of two to thousands," Mr. Roguska said, "but, I am actually pretty excited to leave town. I'm ready to start a new chapter. There are a lot of great things about living out here, but I'm ready to move. Sure, I'll visit when I'm in college, and I'll visit every summer, but I don't think I'll spend my life out here." The seniors are finishing up their school year and planning out a summer of fun before they are off to take college classes. Both plan to enjoy their hobbies and spend time with friends. "Just the usual teenage carnage," Mr. Roguska said laughing. Graduation ceremonies are Friday, May 25.

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