Strasburg senior is ready for a new beginning

Strasburg High School senior Haley Copeland, 18, of Strasburg, just finished her year as president of the Virginia FCCLA and is looking forward to starting at James Madison University this fall. Strasburg seniors will graduate Saturday. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Strasburg High School senior Haley Copeland is looking forward to life after high school, though she admits she’s already had some exciting dream-making moments.

Copeland, 18, of Strasburg, is finishing up her high school career as president of the Virginia Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).

“It’s very exciting but a little scary,” she said. “Because I am leaving my small town and my family and moving on. That’s a little intimidating but I’m definitely excited.”

She said she will miss her time with FCCLA as it has opened doors for her.

“This year, Virginia FCCLA made my dream come true by electing me to serve as the 2015-2016 state president, and that was an incredible opportunity. It was like being a mini celebrity everywhere I went.”

As a leader of the organization she got to meet members from around the country and saw how FCCLA had changed their lives.

Copeland is also a member of the National Honor Society and is part of the gifted and talented education program at Strasburg High School.

“High school has been great and it’s definitely flown by,” she said.

Copeland will attend James Madison University in the fall. She has registered as undecided but is considering a possible future in physical therapy or sports medicine.

“When I was on the JMU campus, there was just an at-home feeling. It fit me and I felt comfortable there,” she said.

Over the summer, Copeland will be spending some time with her roommate at JMU and will have a graduation party with family and friends to celebrate her success in high school and her future at JMU.

After graduating from college, she said she would like to stay near the region in order to be near family.

Principal Morgan Saeler said the school plans to graduate 151 students at 10 a.m. Saturday. The ceremony will be held at the Ram Stadium, weather permitting. In the case of rain, the alternate site will be the new gym.

Of the 151 students graduating, 77 percent plan to enter a two- or four-year school or vocational training, 1 percent will enter the military and 22 percent will enter the work force.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com