A step ahead

Junior plans to graduate early and prepare for her future


Contributed by Emily Rusaw

Junior Emily Rusaw is pictured in her senior photos. She is graduating a year early.

Throughout her time at SHS, junior Emily Rusaw says her determination has played a huge factor in her success. All of her hard work has led to Rusaw graduating early. Every time she thinks about the fact that she is graduating early, Rusaw says she feels nervous and the experience seems surreal. 

“Every time I think about it, it’s like ‘Oh my gosh, this is really happening,’” Rusaw said.

One of the main reasons Rusaw is eager to graduate early because of her grandpa’s health problems. She wants him to see her walk across the stage, before it’s too late. 

Throughout her years in high school, Rusaw has been taking extra classes online over the summer. She has also been taking classes online during school hours on Plato instead of having a study hall. Plato is a way to take classes online so that students have the option to get more done throughout the school year. Rusaw’s mother, Julie Rusaw, believes that Rusaw has earned her spot in graduation and admires her hard work. 

 “She has worked really hard and has pushed herself to get ahead,” Julie Rusaw said.

Rusaw says her close friends and family are rooting for her. Although her family and friends are supportive, they remind her that she can still have a normal senior year next year. 

Rusaw’s close friend, Kennedy Brooks, encourages Rusaw to graduate early.

“I always thought she should just go ahead and do it,” Brooks said. “Because if she has all the credits, why not graduate?” 

According to Rusaw, social studies teacher Daniel Jones played a big role in her success. Every time she steps into Jones’s classroom, Rusaw says he floods her with words of encouragement and makes sure she is keeping up with all of her work.

“The enthusiasm and the passion she brought was something I always looked forward to,” Jones said.  

Rusaw says that she has learned many valuable lessons throughout her time in high school. She believes that it should not be taken too seriously and is not worth getting upset over.

 “Focus on yourself,” Rusaw said. “Don’t worry about what others are thinking or doing.” 

Looking back on her freshman year, Rusaw wishes she would have focused more in her classes and studied.

“I wish I would’ve realized that I actually had to study,” Rusaw said. “You have to give it your all.”

As for Rusaws future, she feels she has a lot to look forward to. Rusaw hopes to go to the University of Southern Indiana. She plans on majoring in social work and minoring in psychology. 

With all of the excitement of graduating early, Julie Rusaw says she is going to miss Rusaw. She wants her to grow, but she is surprised by how early Rusaw is leaving and going out into the real world. 

“It’s hard to know that when she is gone that is the last of the kids.” Julie Rusaw said. 

Rusaw believes that graduating comes with an endless amount of emotions, but in the end it is all worth it. 

“It’s been a roller coaster,” Rusaw said. “I’m a pretty independent person already so I’m excited.”