Curtis Frizzell has been waiting for this day for a long time.
Today, Frizzell and 271 other South Carroll High School graduates will receive their diplomas during pomp and circumstance at Western Maryland College.
"After four years, graduation is a welcome sight," said Curtis, the son of Kenneth and Rosalee Curtis, both of whom work at South Carroll. "I didn't like school."
Curtis has no plans to attend college. He did admit, though, that if he ever seriously considered higher education, he would want to go to Carroll Community College.
"It's not something I have in mind now," he said.
What he does have in mind is to work part time as a waiter at Carroll Lutheran Village, where he has worked for almost two years. It's a job he likes.
The 17-year-old plans to look for a full-time job at summer's end.
"I was thinking about maybe auto mechanics," Curtis said. "I know what I'mdoing there. I've fixed basically everything on my car."
He has learned auto mechanics from his father, a maintenance worker, and his old er brother, who is an auto mechanic. Curtis never enrolled in thetwo-year auto mechanics program offered at the Carroll County Careerand Technology Center.
Students like Curtis, though, may find themselves on such a vocational track in the near future. State Superintendent Joseph L. Shilling has recommended that high school students take courses to prepare for college, a skilled job or both.
The recommendations, culled from a task force report on high school graduation requirements, are before the state Board of Education for consideration. They are aimed at preventing students from just wandering aimlessly through high school.
Larry Chamblin, a state Department of Education spokesman, said if the recommendations are adopted by the board, they will be phased in.
Curtis is glad he is not a member of some future class of the '90s.
"I'm not really interested in school," Curtis said. "It's just something that's necessary. I do enjoy working. I'm not satisfied just sitting at a desk."
Betty Davis, a South Carroll High guidance counselor, described Curtis as "not much of an overachiever." She said his grades haven't been super but he's gotten by.
"He needed a lot of pushing," Davis said. "He has done well for himself. He has a real nice family who have helped. He has had some struggles, but he's worked hard enough to get through."
Helping get him through have been his parents. His mother works in the school cafeteria.
"He has a real nice family," Davis said. "They keep an eye on him. They wanted him to get through school."
If Curtis had to pick any highlights of his high school career, they would not include academic courses. He said he did enjoy a carpentry class hetook his senior year.
The Westminster resident has not drifted through school without any involvement. He took chorus and was a memberof the All-State and the All-County chorus.
Outside school, he has been active with the Winfield Panthers 4-H Club. Curtis said he enjoys the camaraderie and working on projects, which have ranged from making clothing (he made his own blazer) to rockets. He also is vice president of a youth group at the Meadow Branch Church of the Brethrenin Westminster.
Curtis credits Davis with getting him through school.
"If I didn't have Mrs. Davis, I wouldn't have gone through mysenior year," he said. "She kept after me, kept pushing me."