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Familial switch: Liberty senior dresses up like her mother, plans to mimic her career

Liberty senior Mandy Beghtol, right, walks down the hallway with her mother, teacher Pam Beghtol, following her food and nutrition class May 23, 2013. Mandy Beghtol dressed like her mother for senior switch day.
Liberty senior Mandy Beghtol, right, walks down the hallway with her mother, teacher Pam Beghtol, following her food and nutrition class May 23, 2013. Mandy Beghtol dressed like her mother for senior switch day. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO, Carroll County Times)

ELDERSBURG - Liberty High senior Mandy Beghtol needed to dress up like one of her teachers for a zany school tradition.

It wasn't a tough choice. She picked her mother.

During the wacky Liberty tradition known as Senior Switch, Beghtol switched places and mimicked the wardrobe of her mother, Pam, a long-term substitute at Liberty.

For Senior Switch, students dress up like their favorite instructors and serve as teachers.

Mandy said dressing up like her mom wasn't difficult because the two are the same height.

"It's actually really funny because we have the same dress in different colors," Mandy said.

Senior Switch gives students an opportunity to feel what it's like to be in charge. For active students like Beghtol, leading students is nothing new.

Liberty had several students plan the school's senior events, which included prom at the Baltimore Hilton, Senior Switch, a cruise and the Golden Lion Awards, where senior superlative awards were given out.

Liberty High School is expected to graduate approximately 305 students today at McDaniel College.

Class leaders included Student Government Association President Kenny Wise, senior class President Grant Spencer and Vice President Kristen Cortese.

Beghtol, Rachel Buckowitz, Amanda Smith, Shelby Heltenbach, Kathryn Dinsmore, Krissy Smith, Elisabeth Wise, Sydney Miguelino and Mara Souders were also active.

There were so many willing participants that responsibilities were shared when it came to planning events.

"It was constant communication," Liberty High School Senior Class Adviser Marina Shipley said. "They knew what needed to happen, and they were always sharing ideas."

The group was led by Spencer, the president who is attending the University of California, Davis, where he plans to major in aerospace engineering. He is attending on a Navy ROTC scholarship.

"I just wanted to help out," Spencer said of his role as class president. "I also wanted to learn leadership skills. That was my original motivation. I thought it would definitely be helpful for my future."

Beghtol was active at Liberty, in part because her mom works at the school. This year, mother and daughter got to spend some time in the classroom together. Pam taught Mandy in a financial literacy course.

After a year Howard Community College, Mandy is planning to attend the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where she plans to major in education and follow in her mother's footsteps.

Before she left Liberty, though, she got the chance to look just like her as well.

"We look like we're clones of each other," she said. "It's funny."

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