School's out at South Carroll High School, may the summer commence

Friday, June 14 was the last day of the school year in Carroll County, Md. Students at South Carroll High talked about summer plans before bolting for the buses. (Carroll County Times/Alex Mann)

Yellow school buses laid on their horns as they screamed out of the parking lot at South Carroll High School on Friday — the last day of the school year for Carroll County Public Schools.

Students’ hands protruded from half-open bus windows, waving at their teachers. A quick goodbye, for now, at least.


The army of teachers stood curbside, waving back as the parade of buses filed away from the school and into summerland.

“I could never be a Disney princess,” one teacher said. “I’m already tired of waving.”

Student drivers followed the buses, some acknowledging their teachers’ with waves, peace signs or engine revs; others too cool for school. It’s summer now, duh.

Teachers bid farewell, but not without offering some final lessons.

“Pay attention!” “Look where you’re going!” “Get off your phone!” Teachers jeered as some teens talked on or looked at their cellphones from behind the wheel, others distracted by summer and its possibilities.

Minutes earlier it looked like business as usual: class in the morning and two lunch blocks.

Students scattered about the cafeteria. Some were engrossed in their pocket-sized screens. Others talked about summer plans, their futures and the challenges to come next school year — one grade closer to graduation.

Rising sophomore Noah Lawson, a Mount Airy resident, took a break from his A&W root beer to talk about summer plans.

“My grandparents have a place in Delaware, near Bethany Beach, not too far from the boardwalk,” he said. “They have a little pier and everything.”

He plans to go crabbing, swim in a nearby pool and frequent the beach — a common theme among the soon-to-be-free high schoolers.

South Carroll students said they had vacations planned to local destinations, like Ocean City and Bethany Beach; others will catch rays in more exotic locals like California, Bermuda and the Dominican Republic.

Sarah Trail, a rising junior from Mount Airy, is joining her family on vacation to the Dominican Republic, with its white-sand beaches and teal waters. She said she’s going scuba diving for the first time.

“I’m scared of the ocean,” she said, “so I’m not that excited.”

It’s the sharks.


“I watched a ‘15 Worst Shark Attacks’ video and one of them is the place I’m going to,” she concluded.

In addition to hitting the beach — Rehoboth in Delaware and North Carolina’s Outer Banks — rising junior and Mount Airy resident Lucy Hess, 15, is going to see some of her favorite music acts live.

“I’m going to Sam Smith in July,” she said. “I’m so excited!”

But going back to school in the fall won’t be a drag for her. She’s got big plans for joining the upper class ranks.

“I’m looking forward to doing peer facilitating in the spring. You can’t do that as an underclassman,” she said of the program that collaborates with the school’s counseling office to help other students. “If [students] have an issue and don’t want to talk to a counselor, they can talk to a peer.”

Peer counseling align with her career interests, psychology. She’s taking AP Psychology next year.

And she isn’t the only one thinking about her future aspirations. John Moulton, a 14-year-old rising sophomore, said he’s participating in an explorers program with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

“I want to be a police officer or some kind of detective,” he said. But he will also have time for some fun. He’s going to visit family in Massachusetts, where he’ll go to a Red Sox game. He looks forward to watching his favorite player Mookie Betts play in person.

As the second lunch block neared its end, some students thought about the next school year.

A group of rising junior girls, including Trail and Hess, said they were nervous for junior year. “Harder classes,” they agreed.

Seventeen-year-old Justin Sherwin, a rising senior, said he looked forward to 12th-grade privileges. He and his classmates will be “getting more freedom,” Sherwin said. “Like getting to go into the courtyard.”

At 11:30 a.m., the school bell sounded, finally. A school administrator offered some school-year-closing remarks over the intercom before releasing the anxious teens for summer.

The hallways flooded with students, who raced to the main exits, flinging the doors open and racing to their buses and cars — to summertime.