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THe 300 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. Sandy Spring, MD

WARRIOR Senior Issue

May 20, 2010

Sherwood Graduate Miller to Speak at Constitution Hall for Graduation by Kevin Hogan Professional drummer Allison Miller, graduate of Sherwood’s Class of 1992, will be the commencement speaker for the 2010 Graduation Ceremony on June 9. Miller’s selection was primarily based on the results of a survey distributed to the Senior Class that described all of the nominees for speaker. “We wanted the speaker to be for the kids,” says Assistant Principal Karen Rose, a member of the graduation committee consisting of staff, teachers and students. “I could have chosen the speaker or Mrs. Johnson [senior class sponsor] could have chosen the speaker, but we wanted the kids to have their say.” Throughout all four years of high school, Miller participated in Jazz Band, Concert Band, Orchestra and Rock ‘n Roll Revival. Though she was also interested in archeology, geology and psychology, Miller knew from a young age that music would be her primary focus in life. After graduat-

ing from Sherwood, Miller majored in classical percussion at West Virginia University before pursuing drumming as a profession. “I am grateful that my career as a professional musician has brought me closer to so many amazingly talented, creative, challenging, smart and curious people,” says Miller. “I feel like I meet somebody new everyday that blows me away with their imagination and perspective on life.” In her speech, Miller wants to tell students that they should avoid having narrow perspectives as they begin to live their adult lives. “I will talk to the Sherwood graduating class of 2010 about staying curious and keeping an open mind while navigating through life,” she says. The student speakers for graduation, Alex Goniprow and Tracy Schmelter, were selected after trying out in front of a panel of teachers, staff and class officers. The panel graded each prospective speaker with a ru-

Graduation speaker Allison Miller is a successful professional drummer, appearing on more than 100 albums. photo courtesy of Allison Miller bric, and the final decision was based on who received the highest scores. Each speaker will have three to four minutes during the ceremony to deliver their departing words to their classmates.

Schmelter, who planned to try out for the speech since she heard the speakers from the Class of 2009, will focus on the difference between her predictions about what high school would

be like and the reality of her experience once she got there. “It’s about how high school is ending, and looking back, it’s not anything that you expected,” says Schmelter. “You were looking forward to high school your whole life, thinking: ‘I’m going to date the quarterback and be a cheerleader’. And then, it’s not what you expected, and it doesn’t feel real.” Goniprow, in contrast, plans to talk about life after high school and the obstacles that students will face as they move forward. “It’s focusing on the future, and giving a call to action to our students in our graduating class to overcome the challenges we are going to face as we enter the world,” he says. The ceremony will be held at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., a change from the recent venue of University of Maryland’s Comcast Center. The change in location was necessary due to a contract held with the Comcast Center that ended after last year’s ceremony.

Parting Words Leaving Teachers Reflect and Look Towards Future “I’ve learned that if a class clicks, it hardly matters which course I’m teaching. When the students in a particular class have a certain chemistry, it’s heaven. I’ve been blessed with a good many classes that I’ll never forget, in every course I’ve taught, at every grade level, and at every level of academic achievement. The people I’m teaching have far more to do with the success of a class than anything else.” ~English teacher Jeffrey Deitchman “I will miss the students and the teachers I worked with. I have never had a boring day teaching. You never know what a student is going to say and make you laugh. I will not miss filling out the forms and the disruptions to the schedule (except the snow days!).” ~P.E.

teacher Kerry Garofano

by Maria Romas and Rachel Witkin Teaching is a job that requires building close relationships between other staff members and students that can last a lifetime. Teachers who are retiring after working here for many years remember the good times they’ve had and the memories that they will carry with them. This year, four teachers will be retiring after dedicating their time towards the education of students. English teacher Jeffrey Deitchman started teaching as a long-term substitute at Sherwood around 1984 and immediately felt at home with the teachers and students. He has taught all four levels of English, in addition to Creative Writing and Radio Production. “Despite the changes I see, I love Sherwood as much as ever. I still think we can overcome the distances our size imposes, and I still think we can find our way back to giving each other more attention than we give our gizmos. Call me an old hippie, but I think we’ll come to our senses and realize there’s only so much a box of wires can do for us, and it’s not what we really want. If there’s a school anywhere that might lead the way in that direction, this is it,” he says. Athletic Director James Meehan has been the athletic director for three years, and the assistant director 11 years before

See what seniors envision in their dream dorm room on page 3.

Go to pg. 2 to check out the finest athletes in the Class of 2010.

that. He has been teaching for 38 years total, including at feeder school Olney Elementary. Meehan has enjoyed working to sustain the stellar athletic program, and his favorite project has been working on the appearance of the school and fields. “The work with the Warrior Club in making our athletic complex both inside and out the best looking site in the county [has been my best accomplishment],” he says. Speech therapist Sandra Farrington also will be retiring after 35 years in education, nine of which she spent at Sherwood. “The best moments are when the intellectually challenged students begin to communicate as independent teenagers, developing interests and wanting to learn how to be and talk ‘cool’ just like everyone else. When I reflect, I am amazed at the variety of students and conditions I’ve worked with, from deaf, cerebral palsy, intellectually challenged, autistic, traumatic brain injured, learning challenged and fluency,” she says. PE teacher and field hockey and softball coach Kerry Garofano has been teaching for 37 years, 27 of which were at Sherwood. “When I started at Sherwood there were 1200 students, many of whom lived on farms. The teachers knew almost everyone in the school, and you could walk through the halls without getting squished,” she says.


Want to know where your fellow classmates are going next year? See pages 4-7.

There are a number of teachers who will be leaving Sherwood, yet continuing their careers in education. These teachers include Twila Cavey, Meredith Chambers, Aimee Diem, Laura Farrell, Sandy Hepburn, Kari Liuzzi, Kerri Mahaney, Kimberly Reif and Allison Weatherford. Most will be teaching in Montgomery County, and some, like Chambers and Weatherford, may teach abroad. “Next year, I will be teaching at Baker Middle School in Damascus. I look forward to providing a strong music education to middle school students to bridge the gap between the elementary schools and high schools,” says music teacher Liuzzi. The teachers retiring this year also have big plans for the future. Meehan plans to play golf, write a book and continue to root for the Warriors. Farrington will spend time with her grandson, volunteer, garden and go to Paris. Garofano will sleep late, travel, visit family, go to the gym and hang out with the other retired teachers. “I can’t imagine a life without students. They inspire me. They give me a chance to do my best, and whether we know it or not, we all want to do our best. So, I’ll tutor, for sure, and I’ll teach creative writing and radio. I’d like to produce more radio features of my own. I’ve made many contacts, and things are looking good for all my plans,” says Deitchman.

Graduating Warrior staff give their final words of wisdom on pages 8-12.


May 20, 2010 Graduation speaker Allison Miller is a successful professional drummer, appearing on more than 100 albums. photo courtesy of Al...