Inspired by Strasburg spirit

Laura Taylor

STRASBURG — When envisioning her senior year at Strasburg High School, 18-year-old Laura Taylor never expected the year she has seen.

The late nights studying she could predict. Writing essays on a plane, not so much.

“I never pictured me traveling all around the country as a motivational speaker and getting the opportunity to network so much,” she said, “but it’s definitely been a rewarding experience and one I wouldn’t trade.”

As national president of the Family, Community and Career Leaders of America organization, Taylor said she’s probably missed more school days than she’s attended, but she gained the sort of experience she never would have learned from a textbook and still managed to keep a 4.0 grade point average.

“I think my teachers worked with me more than I could have ever asked for, which was really nice,” she said.

Also senior class president, Taylor will address her class of 144 at the 7:30 p.m. Saturday graduation and plans to reflect on the pride, character and “family feel” that makes her hometown so special.

Since her national presidency will carry her into July, Taylor has few plans for the summer other than organizing and leading this year’s national conference in Washington, D.C.

Then in August, she will head to the University of Mississippi.

“It was kind of one of those, like, cliché ‘step on the campus and fall in love’ kind of things,” she said.

She applied last summer and heard back a week later, she said.

Taylor will attend the school’s Public Policy Leadership Institute. Planning a minor in intelligence and security services, she said she’s leaning toward a career in writing education policy — “Just to kind of set those laws and policies for our students in the future.”

Accepted to the “Ole Miss” honors college, she’s excited for smaller classes and the chance to network with other honors students.

First, however, she’s looking to graduation.

“I wish I could have been there more this year, just to see the success of my classmates,” Taylor said.

Not the only Strasburg senior to break new ground this year, she pointed out the school also celebrated its first two Ivy League attendees.

Benjamin Miller will attend Princeton University this fall, and Austin Weaver will attend Cornell University.

“There’s a lot of accomplishments,” Taylor said. “Just really proud to be graduating with the class of 2015.”

Strasburg High School will hold its graduation ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and award diplomas to 144 seniors.

Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com