STEPHENS CITY — Michael Berry, 18, has already graduated from Lord Fairfax Community College with an associate’s degree. On Friday, he’ll have a high school diploma to go with it.
During his time as a student at Sherando High School, Berry played soccer as a goalkeeper and attended Sherando football games, citing them as an example of the community that he’ll miss when he’s in college.
“You have the full circle of friends, family and just neighbors who come to support everyone around [the football games], and it’s just a really mesmerizing type of experience to see,” Berry said.
But Berry is particularly passionate about engineering and architectural design.
While at Sherando, he redesigned the basement of a guidance counselor’s new house and designed the annex building at the Frederick County School Board Office.
Next year, he plans on attending Penn State, majoring in architectural engineering and possibly minoring in aerospace engineering. The program is a five-year master’s and bachelor’s degree program, but Berry said he expects to graduate one or two years ahead of schedule because of his associate’s degree.
Berry said that he became interested in aerospace engineering from watching a recent film, “Hidden Figures,” and because of his grandfather, who is a retired lieutenant from the U.S. Air Force.
“It’s always fun talking to him about different lasers or different types of projects that he did,” Berry said.
And although Berry said he would miss the community at Sherando, he is looking forward to what his time at Penn State will bring.
“I know it’s a whole different environment, and I’m just excited to see what new friends, new experiences that I’m going to be able to procure,” Berry said.
When: 7 p.m. Friday.
Where: Sherando High School Arrowhead Stadium, 185 South Warrior Drive, Stephens City.
Graduation candidates: 365.
Number attending college: 268.
Number attending technical or trade school: 15.
Number going into military service: 29.