Rocky River High celebrated the commencement of their first graduating class on June 11. Seniors Isabel Fee and Andrew James came to the school as juniors and are part of a senior class that built a legacy at Rocky River out of hard work, dedication and a desire to lead.
Isabel is salutatorian of her class. She is an AP student, athlete and peer mentor. Adding to her success at Rocky River is her work to engage high school students and nursing home patients in art and friendship.
Last summer, Isabel taught art classes at a local nursing home as credit toward her Girl Scout Gold Award. Assisting Isabel were seven students who volunteered their time to the sessions. Isabel and the volunteers used the classes to go beyond the basics of art, culminating with a gallery reception for the artists’ families at the end of the summer.
“Relationships formed,” Isabel said. “The best benefit was seeing the teens grasp wisdom from the patients and watching the patients enjoy the teen’s energy.”
Isabel will expand her volunteer work at as a Levine Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte this fall. She plans to pursue her interests in art and engineering by studying architecture.
Isabel’s classmate, Andrew James, will study journalism at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He is known on campus as the first editor of Rocky River’s student newspaper, Bird’s Eye View.
“Coming to Rocky River as the oldest students meant we had to step it up,” Andrew said. “I spent time going around campus to find the most interesting stories for the paper. I learned that everyone at the school had something to offer.”
Besides learning about deadlines and patience, his time interviewing people about their hidden talents inspired him to try a few new talents of his own. He even took a lead role in a musical at the school—a first for Andrew.
His fondest memories of Rocky River include creating new traditions for the Ravens.
“There is something about being part of the legacy class,” Andrew said. “We came together and made a great school. Being the first class to graduate is pretty cool.”