Meet the grads: Bemidji area seniors reflect as graduation nears
Meet the graduating class of 2010. They're technology-driven, computer-savvy and will likely have no problem keeping track of at least half their graduating class through Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. No doubt, many will also have an iPad in their backpack at college next year.
Bemidji's seniors attend Bemidji High School, TrekNorth Senior High School, Voyageurs Expeditionary High School or are homeschooled.
This year's graduates know about the country of Haiti; some even participated in a fundraiser to help earthquake victims for the first time in their lives. They've heard of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. And they know the importance of washing hands to prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu virus.
They also know that numbers are important. They've taken at least 13 state-required exams since the third grade. In fact, the graduates of 2010 are the first ones held to the standard of having to pass all the required MCA-II tests or not be allowed to graduate from high school. Most seniors have taken an SAT, ACT or National Assessment of Educational Progress test or Advanced Placement exams.
Many have also re-taken one or more of these exams, some repeatedly.
A handful of seniors and the teachers and staff who work with them from three high schools in Bemidji were asked about their experiences in high school and what might be in store for them next. While their opinions don't necessarily represent the views all high school seniors in Bemidji, here is what a few were willing to share with a reporter.