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A turn of the tassel Graduation 2014

SUNDAY, MAY 11, 2014

Setting

SAIL The Class of 2014 charts its course to a sunny future


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The Times, Gainesville, Georgia  |

Sunday, May 11, 2014

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Congrats, Class of ’14!

Graduation ceremony calendar

H A turn of the tassel

Chestatee High School

Lakeview Academy

This year’s class of high school graduates has a

When: 2 p.m. May 22 Where: Free Chapel, 3001 McEver Road, Gainesville

When: 5 p.m. May 17 Where: First Baptist Church, 751 Green St., Gainesville

rebounding economy in its favor, but achieving

East Hall High School

Lanier Career Academy

When: 8 p.m. May 22 Where: Free Chapel, 3001 McEver Road, Gainesville

When: 7 p.m. May 27 Where: Brenau University’s Pearce Auditorium

their dreams still takes old-fashioned hard work and dedication. The seniors featured here have some ideas of what they want their future to look like, and they are pursuing those ideas with the support of their friends, family and teachers. Whether drama or dance, military pursuits or computer engineering, the Class of 2014 is sailing toward greatness. The winds are good and the adventure awaits.

Flowery Branch High School When: 2 p.m. May 23 Where: Free Chapel, 3001 McEver Road, Gainesville

Gainesville High School When: 7:15 p.m. May 23 Where: High school gym, 830 Century Place, Gainesville

Johnson High School When: 11 a.m. May 24 Where: Free Chapel, 3001 McEver Road, Gainesville

North Hall High School When: 7 p.m. May 24 Where: Free Chapel, 3001 McEver Road, Gainesville

Riverside Military Academy When: 11 a.m. May 17 Where: Lanier Hall Quadrangle, 2001 Riverside Drive, Gainesville

West Hall High School When: 8 p.m. May 23 Where: Free Chapel, 3001 McEver Road, Gainesville

Logan Allen

Corey Reece

Hannah Mallory

Bree Dixon

Emmanuel Colon

Chestatee High School

East Hall High School

Flowery Branch High School Gainesville High School

Johnson High School

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Zach Montgomery

Kristen Johnson

Andrew Smith

Alisher Smagulov

Sloane Wilson

Lakeview Academy

Lanier Career Academy

North Hall High School

Riverside Military Academy

West Hall High School

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Logan Allen Chestatee High School

Ambitious teen developing his vision for future BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com

Nat Gurley | The Times

Most people are familiar with Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram — and one Chestatee High graduate hopes to be behind the next big thing on the Internet. Logan Allen may be 17 but he’s already created two apps, including one for doctors to refer patients to other doctors called DocReferral through Fresenius Medical Care. “I’m not sure if it’s used in production yet,” he said. “But I made it mostly over the summer.” More recently, Allen has developed and released an app through the Google Play store. “It’s a calendar app that actually presents your upcoming events in a timeline,” Allen said about his creation, called Docket and available through Google Play for $1.99. “We have a timeline, and then you have your date information — you can add an event, et cetera. You can swipe over to other calendars. And it shows all of your upcoming events, and it syncs with Google Calendar.” Since its release in late April, more than 100 people have downloaded Docket. It’s also available for free via Google. After graduation, Allen wants to continue working on Docket, even while moving to Atlanta to intern with media company Gather. “They write software that allows restaurants to do event booking,” Allen said. “That’s actually a fairly large industry. “I’ll actually be rewriting the entire front end of their Web application, and so I’ll be doing a paid internship for them.” Allen first became interested in the topic while attending the Da Vinci Academy in middle school; he began by learning HTML and CSS, and practicing web design. “I really like productivity apps, like mail apps and notekeeping apps and things like that,” Allen said. “So I was looking at some of the solutions I have for those, and I thought ‘I really like my mailbox app; I think that’s really well designed. I really like my note taking app. But the calendar experience that I have just isn’t as good as the others.’” That led to the creation of Docket. After his internship with Gather, Allen will attend Georgia Tech next year to major in computer science. He sees himself moving to San Francisco or New York to either start his own company or work for tech companies like Mozilla or Google. “I’m very ambitious, and I don’t compromise with that ambition,” Allen said. “I have a very defined vision of what I want my future to be like, and not only do I work towards that constantly but also I don’t really take no for an answer.”


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Corey Reece East Hall High School

Athlete engineers a life for himself in the Marines BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com Corey Reece can’t pinpoint exactly why he wants to join the Marines, but he knows that’s what he wants to do with his life. “This is something that I’ve always been thinking about, basically since eighth grade,” he said. The East Hall High senior will head to New York in July to attend

the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, a federal service academy known for its academics. “I was also interested in West Point, but I found the Merchant Marines,” he said. “They have the choice, after you graduate, to go into any branch of the military, and I’ve always wanted to go into the Marines.” He’s an athlete, on both the football and wrestling teams for East

Hall. He’s also been taking college classes with the University of North Georgia to get a head start on his academic career. Reece will play on the academy’s team as a fullback. He plans to major in engineering. Following college graduation, Reece plans to be an officer in the Marine Corps. He has to serve for five years, and will then make a decision about his future plans. He

thinks he’ll want to stay with the Marines, but is also eager to put his engineering degree to use in another field. “Right now, that’s what I want to do,” he said. “Or, I could go be an engineer on an oil field in the Gulf. So there are a lot of options.” He’s planned this step for years, but he’s still a little nervous to make the move to New York for the strict atmosphere of the academy.

“I’m ready to go now, so I’ll have less time to think about how it’s going to be,” he said, laughing. While Reece is focused on his future plans, the 18-year-old is still a teenager when it comes to blowing off steam. “I’m more of a goof-off than you’d expect,” he said. “Just, whenever I have spare time I really just like doing stupid stuff.”


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Hannah Mallory Flowery Branch High School

Student delays schooling to au pair in Europe BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com A love for children combined with indecisiveness over her longterm plans will lead Gainesvilleraised Hannah Mallory more than 4,000 miles from home this September. “All the way (since) ninth grade, you’re supposed to be thinking about what you’re going to do,” Mallory said. “And I never came up with anything. So it got to senior year, and I was like, ‘OK, I applied to colleges and got accepted. But I don’t know if I want to be going

to college and taking classes for something that I’m not passionate about.’” The Flowery Branch High senior has worked as a baby sitter since middle school, and while she likes children, she said she doesn’t think she’s cut out for a career as a teacher. She also thought about majoring in business, but for Mallory, being an au pair lets her combine her love for children with a desire to travel. She got the idea when her older sister came home from college with a couple of Austrian exchange students, one of whom was an au pair

in New York. To meet the requirements of an au pair, a person must be between the ages of 18 and 30, unmarried and have no children. Along with child care, an au pair will generally take care of light housework. Au pairs are typically from another country and live with the family they serve. Registering with the website aupair-world.net, Mallory was matched with a family in Luxembourg, where she will travel in September. “I’ve always wanted to go out

of the country, to Europe specifically, and see the world,” Mallory said. Luxembourg is a tiny country wedged where Germany, France and Belgium meet. Mallory will help the family take care of their 4-year-old daughter. “She’s absolutely precious,” she gushed about her future charge. “And they live in a little town. Luxembourg is super-duper tiny. She’ll go to preschool during the day, so I’ll take her and then take language classes ... and then bring her back home until her parents get home from work.” Outside of work and language

classes, Mallory plans to travel. She’s especially excited about Luxembourg’s location providing easy access to Paris and Italy. “I’m pretty nervous,” she said, laughing. “Not so much about living with them, because we’ve Skyped with them and emailed all the time, and they’re just the sweetest family. But about moving to another country where I don’t speak the language. “I’m excited to get to see Europe and live with the family that’s native to Luxembourg,” she added. “I’m excited to be there and soak up all the culture while I’m there.”


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Bree Dixon Gainesville High School

Singer making a life for herself on the stage BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com Bree Dixon loves to perform, especially if it involves music. “I started singing probably around 6 at my church in Albany, where I’m from,” the Gainesville High senior said. “I’ve always sang in a church, every Sunday, every Wednesday. I’m currently doing that now, singing at Voices of Faith.”

While she enjoys singing in church, Dixon’s ready for a larger stage after graduation. She has been accepted into the Young Americans College of the Performing Arts in California. She’ll be there for two years to participate in workshops and other training; after her first year, she’ll audition for their touring group. “They tour around the world,” she said. “They’ll go to Japan, Germany, New Zealand, all that.”

They also travel around the United States; in fact, Dixon was introduced to the group when they made a stop in Gainesville just a couple of years ago. “I attended the Young Americans my sophomore year,” she said. “I loved it. After we did our little showcase, they asked if we wanted to audition to actually be a Young American. I auditioned and I found out fall of this year that I got accepted.”

Ultimately, Dixon’s sights are set on Broadway, though she said she’ll be happy as long as she’s performing. She really wants to be in “In the Heights” and “The Wiz,” though she has many favorite musicals. “I’d rather do Broadway, but if somehow it continues on to being a pop star or whatever, then I’ll consider it,” she said about her future career. “I love performing. I love being on stage constantly, and that’s where I am the major-

ity of my time. I started drama my freshman year — my first show was “Hairspray” — and so I’ve been in drama all four years.” Her uncle lives in New York, so she’s had the opportunity to visit and experience the theater life there. It’s an environment she’s looking forward to possibly living in permanently. “I’m determined to conquer everything, all my goals,” she said. “I have a plan to where I’m going.”


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Emmanuel Colon Johnson High School

Opportunity knocked for ballet dancer BY CARLY SHAREC

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A love of musical theater and desire to participate in drama led Johnson High senior Emmanuel Colon to a career when he was only 15. “I was very interested in musical theater, and I decided that if I want to pursue this, I have to learn how to dance as well,” he said. “So I started dancing at around age 15, which is very late.” Colon attended his senior year at Johnson for the first week or so, but then a big opportunity came his way. “I found out I got accepted to Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet,” he said. “So I talked to my school counselor about it, and she told me that I had enough credits to graduate already, so I might as well just go ahead and graduate. So I decided to just go ahead and take that chance, and pursue ballet full time.” Colon took his high school diploma, spent a couple of weeks saying his goodbyes and then moved to Pennsylvania to study with the school. He received a full scholarship and is one of only eight male ballet students in the United States to do so this past year. He had attended Gainesville School of Ballet, where he admits he was a big fish in a little pond. Taking classes at the widely recognized Youth Ballet is an entirely different experience. “Then I come here to one of the best ballet schools in North America,” he said. “Everyone is amazing, and so it’s kind of daunting to me. I’m learning and studying ballet with all of these amazing people, actually wanting to do it. It was a big change emotionally for me because it was something that was very different.” After working at the school’s costume shop in the morning and early afternoon, Colon heads to classes at 3 p.m. and practices into the night, usually for six hours. He’s had the opportunity to dance with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. “It was such an experience,” he said. “I learned a lot. I got to spend time and go on my own to New York City, which was a pretty big deal coming from Gainesville, Ga.” Colon hopes to be selected for the New York City Ballet. “That’s the ultimate goal for me,” he said. “But the ballet world is a lot harder than most people think it is, so I would be lucky to get into any professional company.”

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122 Years

GAINESVILLE _CITY SCHOOLS 1892 2014 Academics - Arts - Athletics - Artisans - Alumni

CLASS OF 2014

Congratulations to the 376 Graduates of Gainesville City Schools!

Best wishes to you as you move on to the following universities and armed forces service! GRADUATES ACCEPTED TO: Alabama State Albany State University Auburn University Berry College Bethune-Cookman University Brenau University Central Michigan University Concordia College Converse College Davidson College Emory-Riddle Aeronautical Unv. Georgia Gwinnett College Georgia Military College Georgia State University Georgia Institute of Technology Kennesaw State University

Lanier Technical College Life University Limestone College Mercer University Morehouse College North Carolina State University North Greenville University New York University Piedmont College Presbyterian College Savannah College of Art & Design Savannah State University Shorter College Southern Polytechnic State University of Alabama University of Cincinnati University of Georgia

University of North Georgia University of West Georgia United States Army United States Marine Corps United States Navy

Warm Springs Yale University Young Americans Performing Arts College Young Harris College

The GHS Class of 2014 Awards and Distinctions include: 300,000 in scholarships and awards • • • • •

not including HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships

53% Attending 4-year college 19% Attending 2-year or technical college 26% Going into the workforce 2% Going to the military 29% Honor Graduates • 17 Summa Cum Laude (4.0+) • 32 Magna Cum Laude(3.7-3.999) • 42 Cum Laude (3.5-3.6999)


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Zach montgomery Lakeview Academy

Basketball player will focus first on Mormon mission BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com A religious obligation will lead Lakeview Academy’s Zach Montgomery across the United States when he graduates this month. “I’m going to Salt Lake City in Utah,” the senior said. “But first thing, I’m going to Mexico first. There’s a Mexico MTC, which is a missionary training center.” Montgomery is going on a two-year mission trip as part of his participation with the

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He’ll be in Mexico for six weeks beginning June 4 to learn Spanish, and then go to Utah to teach and participate in service-oriented projects. He’s not sure of exactly what he’ll be required to do. There is a “strong tradition of missionary service” in the church, according to the Latter-day Saints website. Many Mormons will complete a two-year mission between the ages of 19-21, and while serving as a missionary, they’re considered official church

representatives. “Most young men, at the age of 18, go on their two-year mission trip,” Montgomery said. “It’s pretty great. A lot of kids love it. They come back a lot more mature because they see things kids in college won’t see. “Plus, it gives you two years to think about what you want to do.” Montgomery, who played basketball during his time with Lakeview, isn’t sure what he wants to do following the mission trip, but he does expect to go to college.

“I’m going to play basketball at Brigham Young University in Hawaii,” he said. “I have been accepted, and if I don’t get there I will most likely go to BYU Idaho. But I really want to go to Hawaii.” While leaving home, learning a new language and spending two years in a strange environment might be daunting to some, Montgomery is mostly looking forward to the new challenges. “I’ve waited 18 years for this,” he said. “I’m prepared and ready.”


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Join us for a FREE Vein Screening Tuesday, June 3rd from 3-6pm

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Kristen Johnson Lanier Career Academy

A move and tragedy haven’t kept this student back BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com A family tragedy brought Kristen Johnson to Georgia just last year, but her persistence and sunny personality have led to a happy ending. In 2012, her father had neck surgery when the family still lived in North Carolina. “The doctor didn’t measure the bone right that he was placing,” she

said. “It hit his spinal cord, so he’s paralyzed from the neck down.” After his surgery, Johnson tried to take care of her father, but her mother was battling a drug addiction and was unable to help. “My cousin and my aunt came and got us and brought us down here to live with them,” Johnson said about moving to Hall County in 2013. Her father was placed in a nursing home, and Johnson went to

Lanier Career Academy. “I was nervous, but I like it a lot better than I did North Carolina,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of great experiences here.” She found a job with catering company Oakwood Occasions as an office assistant, but her future plans have nothing to do with food. At 17, Johnson has pushed herself to graduate a year early so she can get a jump-start on achieving

her goal of becoming a nurse. She plans to first attend Lanier Technical College, where she has a full scholarship courtesy of Goodwill. Then, she plans to transfer to the University of North Georgia for a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Doctors don’t expect Johnson’s father to be able to regain any movement. But while he won’t be able to attend graduation, the family will head straight for his room

following the event. Johnson will also be sharing the day with her 4-year-old sister, whom she helps raise when not in school or at work. “She is what really drives me to get everything that I need accomplished,” Johnson said. “Graduating, and getting a good career so I can take care of her. “I work very hard to achieve the things that I’m going for,” she continued. “I’m very determined.”


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Andrew Smith North Hall High School

Ballplayer taking unexpected path into Air Force BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com North Hall High senior Andrew Smith at first wasn’t sure of his plans after graduation, but a full scholarship and the promise to play football has sealed the deal. “I’m going into the United States Air Force Academy,” he said. “Mainly just because they offered me a football scholarship to play up there. The more I looked into it, the more

I realized how good of an opportunity it was to better myself.” Smith has played as a quarterback, but expects to be a receiver on the Air Force team. “They came to me back in spring of last year,” he recalled. “Over the summer, they offered me a scholarship. A full ride.” His original plan was to attend college on a baseball scholarship, but a complete scholarship for football was too good to pass up. Especially as attending the Air Force Academy

lends itself to his future career goals. “My parents are really excited about it,” he said. “They have your typical college majors you can do, but also they’re big on engineering and aerospace engineering. I don’t really know if I’ll go that route, but I really want to be a pilot.” He’s also thought about training to be a firefighter, but wants to leave his plans open rather than have something set in stone. Being accepted into the Air Force Academy is

something he never anticipated, so now he said he’s curious about what else is out there. At North Hall, Smith has served as a class officer, including being senior class vice president this year. Though seemingly calm, he’s admittedly nervous. It’s a road he didn’t expect to take, but he wants to take advantage of the offer. “No. 1, I’m a follower of Jesus Christ,” he said. “And that is my motivation, that is my drive for life.”


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Alisher Smagulov Riverside Military Academy

Kazakhstan native heads across the globe to attain business expertise BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com A focused career path is driving one Riverside Military Academy graduate from his homeland of Kazakhstan to locations all over the world. “I’m going to continue my university and college program in the United Kingdom, in England,” Alisher Smagulov said. He’ll be attending the City University of London, studying economics and finance. He’ll also continue his studies in Chinese — the fourth language he’s learning. The Riverside Military Academy graduate also speaks English, Russian and, of course, Kazakh. At Riverside, Smagulov was on the wrestling team and also served on the honor council, a tribunal made up of students and school officials to judge cases of students cheating or otherwise violating the school’s honor code. “When I say I’m going to England, Americans are like ‘Why?’” he said, laughing. “‘What’s so great about England? It’s people with funny accents.’ “But London has a lot of interesting things to do, and obviously (it’s) one of the biggest cities in the world.” Then, he’ll move from London and finish his college education in Asia, preferably Singapore and Shanghai. He’s looking forward to practicing the language in a native envi-

ronment while learning more about Asian culture. “My country, Kazakhstan, works a lot with China,” he explained. “It’s important for me to learn Chinese and English, obviously.” After college graduation, he plans to move back to Kazakhstan to help his father in the family business. “My father supplies the ministry of defense in Kazakhstan,” Smagulov said. “He has different factories and he basically supplies soldiers, like, with boots, clothes, everything.” His father works with China, visiting the country twice a month, so Smagulov believes his experience learning Chinese and studying in the country will be beneficial to the family business. But he also has plans to come back to the United States at some point to further his education. “I want to get my master’s in business administration in the United States,” he said. “What I aim for that is to get as high of a GPA as I can. I want to go to Harvard School of Business.” And after that, he wants to stay in the United States, at least for a few years. “Later on, after I get recommendations and I get some experience, and whatever else you need in life,” he said. He’s not sure what he’ll do, but he knows the experience he’ll gain from working with his father and traveling the world will be invaluable.

Nat Gurley | The Times


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Serving Northeast Georgia’s Offices and Schools since 1974

2305 Centennial Dr • Gainesville, GA 30506

770.532.9932

www.duplicatingproducts.com


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Sloane Wilson West Hall High School

Call to school of ministry is ‘just a God thing’ BY CARLY SHAREC

csharec@gainesvilletimes.com A personal trial led Sloane Wilson to the life she plans to lead after high school. “About four years ago, my parents ended up being divorced,” Wilson said. “My mom moved out to Oregon and I went and visited her one time. At her church, I got to talk to a lot of people there. “There was one girl who was talking to me about Bethel,” she continued. “I had never heard of

it before. I didn’t know what it was. Instantly, right when she said it, for some reason I felt like I needed to look into that.” The West Hall High senior will attend Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, Calif., a big leap of faith for someone used to living in Gainesville. “The whole reason I want to go is I want to quit myself and completely receive Christ,” Wilson said. “That’s the whole point of it. It helps you learn more about ministry work and evangelism and being

a leader.” The school is “committed to the truth that God loves people,” according to its website. Wilson’s excited about the possibility of doing more hands-on work, through mission trips and other ministry projects. But she didn’t want to go at first, and returned to Gainesville with plans to forget about the small school. But two years later, she remembered the conversation at her mom’s church about the school in California.

“God put it on my heart again,” she said. “I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just a God thing, I guess.” At West Hall, Wilson belongs to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as well as serving as the yearbook editor. “At my church, I help with girls ministry,” she said. “A while ago, I had my own girls ministry group and we had our Bible studies together.” And, she’s no stranger to mission work.

“I usually go on a summer camp to mission work inside the country,” she said. “Like, I went to Philadelphia and I went to West Virginia and Kentucky. We went to inner-city places and we helped with kids, just love on them and then help those places back up.” When she completes her work at Bethel, Wilson hopes to continue her life serving God. “I really want to do something in ministry,” she said. “Maybe women’s ministry, and I want to be going on missions and that kind of stuff.”


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Medical Institute of Northeast GA

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Congrats to the Class of 2014 Your future begins now! New Classes start weekly! Now Registering! Day & Night Classes Medical Assisting (including EKG & Phlebotomy)

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Zach Montgomery, Lakeview Academy

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SCOTT ROGERS | The Times

Andrew Smith, North Hall High

Sloane Wilson, West Hall High SCOTT ROGERS | The Times

Bree Dixon, Gainesville High

NAT GURLEY | The Times

Corey Reece, East Hall High

NAT GURLEY | The Times

Emily, 5, and Elizabeth Gaston, 3, play while baby sitter Hannah Mallory watches. The sisters and brother John, 7, had a lot of energy on photo day, with the girls changing costumes from Spiderman to a princess to a dinosaur, and playing “restaurant” with Mallory, a 2014 Flowery Branch High graduate headed to an au pair job in Luxembourg.

For The Times

Emmanuel Colon, Johnson High

NAT GURLEY | The Times NAT GURLEY | The Times

Chestatee High School teacher Darrell Skogman, left, talks with students Rushir Parikh, center, and Logan Allen in their honors intermediate programming class. Parikh and Allen developed the Docket calendar app.

Kristen Johnson, Academy

Lanier

Career

NAT GURLEY | The Times

Riverside Military Academy cadets Vladimir Timokhin, left, and Alisher Smagulov are headed to England after graduation. The friends are from Kazakhstan.


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Graduation 2014