NEW LONDON New London is sending almost 90 graduates out into the world Sunday, some to the military, some to the work world and many to colleges and universities.
The top five students in the class are among that last group, with each having a pretty good idea where he or she is heading in life.
Graduation is set for 3 p.m. in the school.
Valedictorian Lucas Smith, the son of Joyce and Nathan Myers and the late Leonard Smith, has a deep love for music and is going to attend Bowling Green State University, where he will major in music education with a focus on choral work.
He says music is widely unappreciated, and he hopes to teach high school someday and "open up kids to the world of music."
His advice to those entering high school is, "Enjoy the time you have in high school while it lasts because it goes by a lot faster than you think." He also encourages anyone with thoughts of going on to school to take as many college-prep classes as possible.
Smith adds he is sad to leave New London, but he is very excited about starting this new chapter in his life.
Smith has been active in his church, with track and cross country and been a member of many musical groups, including the Show Choir.
Salutatorian Scott Gregory, the son of Bonnie and Rob Gregory, is enthusiastic about attending Ohio State University, both because of his studies and also because he has, "always been a Buckeye."
His field of study will be geomatics engineering, which encompasses such areas as map making and land surveying. He says he was drawn to this because of his love of the outdoors.
Gregory advises anyone choosing a college to, "Find a spot that's right for you because every school has its pros and cons."
Saying he will miss the close-knit community he has enjoyed at NLHS, he said he hopes to come back to the community in the future and raise a family.
In addition to participating in hunting, fishing and hiking, Gregory played baseball and football at New London.
Elizabeth "Buff" Lindenau, the daughter of Janet and Charles Lindenau, is the only female among the top five 2007 graduates and is third in her class.
Planning to study nursing at Lorain County Community College, Lindenau's way will partly be paid by a four-year scholarship, and she says, "I was really excited about that."
Her advice to students who have not yet graduated is, "Keep focused on what you want to do."
Although Lindenau has attended NLHS for only the past two years and she is looking forward to college, she says, "I will miss the students and teachers here."
Number 4 in the class is Taylor Held, son of Casey and Mike Held and grandson of the late John McGowan, a long-time English teacher and coach at NLHS.
Held has been accepted at Kent State University, where he will study architecture, which he said he was attracted to because he has always liked drawing and art classes.
When asked what he would say to students entering high school, his answer is, "Plan ahead but also enjoy being in high school and focus on what you are doing now."
Held's extracurricular activities included the Spanish club and playing basketball and baseball.
Allen Jones, the son of Sherry and Herb Jones, is graduating fifth in his class and is enrolled at Kettering University where he will pursue mechanical engineering.
He was drawn to this career because he has always loved anything mechanical, and he says his favorite pastime is "spending time in the garage, building anything we can put a motor on."
A student in the Engineering Industrial Technologies program at EHOVE, Jones says he will miss working with others who share his interests.
His advice to other students is simply, "Don't give up. Sometimes it seems like you will never get through high school, but your hard work will pay off."