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|THS grads looking past graduation|
|Written by Kate Harrison|
|Friday, 30 April 2010 18:21|
After Tombstone High School's May 21 graduation, students will prepare for lives that may take them hundreds of miles from Tombstone – or just a town away. The combined graduations of December 2009 and May 21 will have 89 students receiving high school diplomas. The Epitaph talked with three of them about life after Tombstone High.
For Nathaniel Hutchinson, the road from Tombstone leads about 250 miles away to Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University. That's where Hutchinson, a National Merit Scholar, plans to study music and mathematics.
When he's not hitting the books, Hutchinson is playing piano, oboe, alto saxophone and "messing around on flute." He's been in band, choir, on the Knowledge Bowl team and a member of Teen Court, a group that recommends sanctions for students breaking school policies.
Hutchinson chose NAU because he grew up in Phoenix and didn't like it, which disqualified Arizona State from consideration, he said. Tucson and the UA were too close to home.
At NAU, Hutchinson, whose family lives in Hereford, wants to focus on the academic disciplines of music and math. Down the road, he may get certified to teach, though likely not in the Tombstone area, he said.
"This happens to be like the worst state as far as education goes," he said.
Tyrone Brown has known since he was little that he wanted to join the military. But he decided recently on which branch – the Marines – when he learned the Corps tends to be a good fit for athletes.
Brown is nothing if not athletic. During his time at Tombstone High School, the Huachuca City resident has wrestled, run track and played baseball and football. On June 21, he heads to Camp Pendleton in San Diego.
For Brown, choosing the military was about following a family tradition. His father was in the Army, meeting his future wife while stationed in Germany. And Brown's older brother plans to enlist after finishing a nursing degree.
The military also has proven to be the most affordable option for Brown, the youngest of four children.
"I always wanted to be a mechanic, because I'm really good with cars," said Brown. "But I just didn't have the money to go to trade school."
He plans to make a career of the military and eventually settle in North Carolina, where his father is from, or in Germany, his mother's homeland. Brown doesn't envision returning to the Tombstone area, at least not right away.
"When I get older maybe, but not in my young life," he said, smiling. "When you're young, you're living fast. You're on top of the world.
Though she's never traveled abroad, Jacqueline Brown sees herself living far from Tombstone once she's out of college and established in a career. Australia has a nice ring to it.
"(Tombstone's) a nice town but I think it's too quiet. It's more for older people," says the Huachuca City resident.
Brown will attend Northern Arizona University this fall, but plans to transfer to either the University of Washington or Bastyr University in Seattle to study nutrition or exercise science. The petite, athletic Brown would like to see more people adopt her habits of exercise and healthy eating.
"I just think it's important to be healthy and a lot of people aren't," she explained. "So I'd like to be able to help those who would like to and those who can't afford a doctor."
At Tombstone High Brown was a cheerleader and ran track and cross-country. She also was a student council officer, a member of Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, Family Consumer Community Leaders of Arizona, and Future Educators of Arizona. Outside school, the oldest of three children is an usher and Sunday school secretary at her church.
Where will she be in 10 years?
"Out of school," she said, laughing. "Maybe working in a doctor's office or hospital. I just want to help people with their nutritional needs."