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TrekNorth graduation tonight; Senior looking forward to life post-high school

Hannah Marty, a senior at TrekNorth Junior & Senior High School, is one of 34 students who will graduate from the public charter school tonight. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — When it came time to apply for college, Hannah Marty was ready.

She applied to just one: Carleton College, a private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minn.

"Oh my gosh, I think I’ve wanted to go there since second-grade," said Marty, 17.

Both her parents — Paul Conklin and Becky Marty — attended Carleton, as did her aunt and uncle, so she grew up visiting the campus for class reunions and get-togethers.

Her decision was solidified last fall during her official tour.

"I looked at the students there, and they were the kind of people I wanted to be in four years," she said.

Marty is among 34 TrekNorth seniors who will graduate from the public charter school tonight. The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. in Hagg-Sauer 100 on the Bemidji State University campus.

"I used to think I would never want to graduate because I’m so happy here," said Marty, sitting inside a teacher’s office on the TrekNorth campus. "I’m still happy here, but now it’s like, OK, it’s been six years, I’m ready."

She’s been at TrekNorth since seventh-grade and has been active in the student body.

Marty is a four-year member of the national-qualifying Envirothon team, treasurer of the student council and co-president of the National Honor Society. She also has been a member of varsity choir, the soccer team and the Nordic cross country ski team.

"She’s one of those students who would do well anywhere, but that also makes her one of those students that really rises to a leadership role in our school," said Jennifer Roy, TrekNorth science teacher.

Roy, friends with Marty’s parents since before the teenager was born, said Marty is confident, hard-working and willing to step up and put in the work to make things happen.

"Those are the types of kids that really rise to the top at Trek," Roy said. "I’m so excited to see where she goes and I trust she will just do amazing things."

Marty plans to double-major in biology and vocal performance. Further, she may perhaps continue on toward a veterinary degree to develop a career in exotics or wildlife rehabilitation.

"I’ve always loved sciences," she said. "That’s just always been my draw."

She said her parents encouraged her to try an assortment of activities — including a 2012 summer trip through the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage to explore England, the Netherlands and Belgium — as she identified her passions in life.

She has been involved in local theater since 2003. She recently played Wendy in Bemidji Community Theater’s production of "Peter Pan."

She also has been a continual member of her local Girl Scout troop, which she said is the oldest active troop in the Bemidji area.

"Every year, during cookie sales, I do a donation thing where people can buy boxes for the battered women’s shelter in Bemidji," she said.

She figures she sells 30 to 50 boxes a year that are given to the shelter.

"It was the perfect (idea)," Marty said, "because some people have restricted diets but they still want to support the Girl Scouts, and people are always more than willing to pitch in a box from their own order as well."