When Northwestern Lehigh graduates threw their caps into the air June 6 to celebrate the completion of their mandatory education, they were already thinking about their future.
Those opting for college considered a variety of factors before making their final choice.
A number of students will begin the next phase of their lives at local community colleges.
Bailey and Jaedon Muhl and Trisha Nagle will all start their college education at Lehigh Carbon Community College, Schneckville.
Northwestern Lehigh's Class of 2015 celebrated an evening of enchantment in the Woodstone Country Club's grand ballroom beneath swags of chiffon festooning the vaulted ceiling.
Class officers selected the venue.
"When we went to visit, the kids fell in love with it," Linda Paist, one of two co-advisers for the class, said. "They didn't even want to look at anything else."
On an uncharacteristically chilly day in April, groups of students huddled around several stations in the Northwestern Lehigh High School auditorium to learn about living better at the Wellness Fair.
"It's our third time doing it and there's always room to improve, but it went well," said Students Against Destructive Decisions Adviser Angela Traub.
Throughout the day, juniors and seniors and their teachers attended the fair sponsored by SADD, where they were able to speak freely with professionals about a wide range of issues related to health and safety.
Appropriately, it was on May Day Matthew Archer was crowned Mr. Northwestern to the cheers and applause of a packed auditorium.
Second and third place were secured by Devon Devers and Alessandro Consuelos, respectively.
"At first I didn't want to do it. I thought it would be kind of humiliating," Archer admitted. "But then I thought [Mr. Northwestern] was about having fun and not caring what people think.
"When all my friends signed up I just wanted to do it with them. I just want to be involved with as many things as possible with these guys before we graduate."
The leap will be short from New Tripoli to Who-ville when the cast of this year's musical recreates some of Dr. Seuss' most beloved characters on the middle school stage.
After doing "Hello Dolly" last year, Director Shaun Leisher said he "wanted to do something simpler."
"I knew I had talented kids but they [needed] a little experience," Leisher said.
"Seussical" is a mash up of several books written by Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.
A team of three Northwestern students took first place in March at the Regional High School Computer Fair at Lehigh Carbon Community College.
Laura Hill, Don Luke Winzer and Charles (CJ) Andrews produced the award winning video.
"We finished first in digital video," said Michael Sikora, their teacher. "We beat out the student who took first place last year."
The team will now advance to Dickenson College for the state event in May.
Hill was modest about the win.
"I didn't believe it, honestly," she said. "He got second and I thought ours wasn't even close."
The amiable chatter of young female voices echoed in the choral room, where in a few minutes, the same voices were united in song.
"We're going to start with Mozart's 'Lacrimosa' and we're going to sing it in Latin," said choral director Terri Lundberg.
And with that, Lundberg proceeded to pronounce the Latin words of the famous piece.
"If you take Spanish, you might see some similarities," she said. "Try to roll your r's. It's a very sad piece of music, but you can't do it in anything but Latin."
About 25 students comprise the chorus.
While the Northwestern community battles the freezing cold and the winter doldrums, the high school stage was heating up with rehearsals for this year's musical, "Damn Yankees."
"Damn Yankees" is a classic story of temptation where the central character sells his soul to the devil in exchange for the chance to play for the Washington Senators against the New York Yankees.
Junior Zachary McDonald has one of the key roles in the play.
With the new semester less than a week old, parents of high schoolers were invited Jan. 29 to simulate a typical school day by following their children's schedules and meeting their teachers.
That same evening, parents of eighth graders were invited to an information night.
High school Principal Aileen Yadush said Semester Kickoff Night was really well attended.
This is the second year eighth grade information night and high school open house were scheduled back to back.
For the third consecutive year, senior Kelsey White represented Northwestern at the regional recitation competition, "Poetry Out Loud," advancing into semi-finals.
White was one of nine young women from area high schools competing Feb. 5 at the Allentown Art Museum.
Surrounded by a mixed media installation titled "Alphabet" created by artist Bruce Wall, White recited three poems from memory to the audience of students, family members and teachers.
White's family attended the event in support.