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Q&A: Member of Manchester Valley graduating class credits drama, AP courses for normalcy in school year

The graduating seniors of Manchester Valley High School’s Class of 2021 were recognized for their accomplishment and completion of secondary school Thursday morning at their commencement ceremony, held at the Carroll County Agriculture Center’s Shipley Arena.

Of the 300 graduates, 87% will continue their education at a college, university or trade school. And 5% will head directly to the workforce while 2% will serve in the military. For those continuing their education, they earned a combined $391,070 in scholarship funds.

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Lilli Malone is among the students continuing their education. The Times caught up with her to learn about her future plans and her high school experience.

Q: How would you describe your high school experience?

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Lilli Malone, a Manchester Valley High School class of 2021 graduate, said her AP and drama classes gave her a sense of normalcy during a unique school year.
Lilli Malone, a Manchester Valley High School class of 2021 graduate, said her AP and drama classes gave her a sense of normalcy during a unique school year. (Lilli Malone)

A: I was very involved. I was a part of many clubs, which meant that I was rarely home. Once I started driving, I was home even later and leaving home even earlier.

Q: How would you describe your experience when schools were virtual/hybrid?

A: I had to work harder to stay organized and on top of my work. I was really worried about coming back into school, so I stayed home until after Easter. My AP classes kept a sense of normalcy for me, but it was difficult to keep track of all of the things I had to do. It didn’t start to feel like a normal school year until I started working on the fall shows for Drama Club.

Q: What are your academic and/or career plans?

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A: This fall I will be starting as a Linehan [Artist Scholar] student at UMBC. I plan to double major in History and Technical Theatre.

Q: How has high school prepared you for those plans?

A: My AP classes have really prepared me for college. Not only will I hopefully start with some college credit, but my classes — specifically this year’s research class — have taught me skills that will help me navigate my way through college.

Q: What is your favorite high school memory?

A: My favorite high school memory is opening day of our Senior Directed One Acts my junior year. I wore my matching shirt with my best friend, started a new tradition of walking with my cast to the Sheetz in Manchester for snacks before the shows, and I got to perform with all of my best friends. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Q: What is something you learned in high school that you will carry with you in the next chapter of your life?

A: Something that I’ve learned is that you must be able to ask for help. I struggle to ask for assistance, but I’ve realized that I cannot do it all on my own. Some things are too big to carry on your own shoulders.

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