South Carroll High School grad profile. (Michel Elben / Carroll County Times)

South Carroll High School teachers say Alex Benlolo is known for his optimistic outlook in and after school. Benlolo, of Mount Airy, was the band's drum major for two years and was also named band president. Despite being a leader, he describes himself as a "very quiet person."

"I try to lead by example and not be the boss," Benlolo said. "I do the best I can do and try to have a positive attitude."


Benlolo was one of 261 South Carroll High School seniors who graduated Wednesday, June 7.

Benlolo took honors level classes and maintained a 3.7 GPA. He plans to major in computer science at Towson University.

He played percussion in marching band and started playing tuba in concert band this year. During his senior year, he threw shot put "to get involved in more activities." Benlolo was also enrolled in Carroll County Career and Technology Center's culinary arts class.

"It wasn't the typical classroom setting," Benlolo said. "I wanted to try it but decided it wasn't for me because it's a very on your toes job. I'm generally a relaxed person, so the atmosphere didn't quite fit."

Benlolo described his high school career as "meaningful, important and enjoyable."

"I will always remember band," Benlolo said. "The people were definitely special. I like that you can make music by only playing a small part in a bigger concept. Some of my parts were not always the most interesting, but they were important because everything else builds on what one person can do."

Benlolo said he "learned how to learn" at South Carroll.

"There are some things I'm never going to use, like some math, but I learned how to use them," Benlolo said.

Benlolo said band and orchestra teacher John Stevenson was his favorite teacher.

"He's very inspirational," Benlolo said. "He gives pep talks and shows a lot of inspirational videos. He always put me in a better mood on days I didn't want to be there. He helped us have a positive experience."

Stevenson said he was a little surprised when Benlolo said he was interested in becoming the drum major because Benlolo is typically a quiet student.

"It was really interesting to watch him grow into that role and take charge," Stevenson said. "I've never heard him say anything negative about anyone. He never yells at students or puts them down in any way. Students respect that and want to work with him."

Benlolo is always the first person there and the last person to leave, Stevenson said.

"He leads by example. His actions speak for themselves," Stevenson said. "I think he's going to have a great first year in college if he keeps up his positive attitude."


Culinary teacher Tim Norwood described Benlolo as "very polite, very cooperative and very dedicated."

"He's diligent, hardworking and has an eagerness to learn," Norwood said. "Alex was in the top of the class."

Benlolo's father, Aaron Benlolo, said he is proud of his son "because he has been able to excel even when the going gets tough."

"He's done a lot of things in high school that were unexpected, especially over the past two years," Aaron Benlolo said. "He's definitely come out of his comfort zone by taking leadership positions. He really pushed himself and tried to experience new things. We really wish him luck and know that he'll do well at Towson in the fall."


South Carroll graduation statistics

Total Diploma Graduates: 261

International Student Certificate: 1

4 year college: 53%

2 year college: 32%

Military: 3%

Employment: 6% includes 1 – international soccer & 1 international volunteer (gap year)

Undecided: 6%

Scholarship money offered to 2017 seniors: $6,203,399

Number of students offered scholarship money: 100

National Merit Commended students: 2