What Comes Next

Seniors and Alumni


Alexis Dorsett, Newspaper Editor

As the semester comes to an end, the 2022 seniors have many decisions to make about what their plans are after graduation. As two seniors are deciding their paths, two alumni are currently working on their goals. 

There are multiple paths a student can take after graduating from high school. Some paths a student can take are to attend a community college or a four year college, go to a trade school, have an apprenticeship, or have a gap year. 

Daniel Pierre, Senior

Daniel Pierre.

Daniel Pierre, senior, plans on earning a bachelor’s in aerospace engineering and then earn his master’s later on. Pierre shared, “I have applied to my top picks for college, but have to wait for admissions decisions before I decide where I would like to go.” 

He picked where to apply based on the “reputation of the school, the acclaim of the specific program I want to enroll in, as well as the size and location of the college.”

To prepare for what is coming next, Pierre has been working and saving up for college, looking into and applying for scholarships, and making an academic record that represents him properly. Due to colleges no longer needing an ACT score into admissions, Pierre shared he felt “as though I have been cheated out of the effort I put into scoring high on my ACT.”

Nora Aschoff, Alumni

Nora Aschoff and her brother.

Nora Aschoff was a senior of the 2019 class. She graduated from North Polk High School and wanted to join the military. She was accepted into the United States Air Force Academy, USAFA, and chose to accept her appointment and attend. 

She stated she came to this decision because, “My dad was enlisted in the Navy and an officer in the Air Force, and my mom is an immigrant from Romania. I knew I wanted to pursue a career of service to the nation, and the Academy offers a top level education and a military career following graduation. After researching USAFA and talking to a family friend who was a grad, I realized this was where I wanted to be. I relied on friends and mentors around me, who helped me see that USAFA was the path for me.”

She got into the USAFA by taking lots of AP classes and working in many leadership roles. The USAFA values leadership, academics, and fitness and evaluates them in every candidate. She participated in volleyball and golf during high school and she shared that it was “not only one of my favorite memories from high school, but also very important to my application.” 

Currently, she is studying Military Strategic Studies with a minor in French. “I had the opportunity to study French, culture and language, in northern France this past summer, and research in Washington, D.C., a few weeks after my return to the United States,” Aschoff stated. 

On the whole, Aschoff is “Very happy with my decision, I could have never imagined the best friends I have made, the mentors I have now, and the opportunities I have had while I’ve been there. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone and done things I never would have thought I could do.”
Tanner Gehling, Senior

Tanner Gehling.

Another option after high school is going into trade school. Tanner Gehling’s plan after graduating is to pursue this path. Gehling shared, “I decided to go this way because electricians are in dire need of new people, so there will always be opportunities for becoming one.”

Gehling has done one college visit to DMACC to attempt to get an apprenticeship at The National Academy of Inventors, NAI, but is unable to until he is 18 years of age. 

Going into Trade School is always another option for students to take, however Gehling does have some doubt. He shared that he is slightly doubting himself because “ I don’t know if I will like the work that I am doing.”

Livy Stevenson, Alumni

Livy Stevenson.

Livy Stevenson graduated from North Polk High School in May of 2021. Stevenson’s plans after high school were to attend the Aveda Institute in West Des Moines to pursue her career in cosmetology. After graduating Stevenson stayed on her path and is currently still in school. She came to this decision because she wanted to have a career that was new everyday and was always changing and outdoing itself. “I always found hair, makeup, and the whole glamour of it so fascinating and was always a hobby of mine so I thought why not pursue a career I know I love.”

She got to Aveda with the help of others. She had to compare which schools she was going to attend. She selected Aveda and then contacted them to set up a tour and then started her application process. She shared soon after that everything fell into place and went by fast. 

Since she has started “My career plans have been going amazing. I am in school and have about a year left. I enjoy every moment and school has gifted me many new skills and friends along the way,” Stevenson shared.

Now Stevenson is looking forward to her future plans. Once she graduates from Aveda she wants to move outside of Iowa and “utilize my license whether it’s renting a chair in a salon or possibly owning my own salon someday” stated Stevenson. 


There are many different paths a student can take after graduating from high school. Each path has different requirements and needs to be successful in each one. A student chooses the one that suits their goals and lifestyles best. There is not one path that is better than the other. As both alumni shared, they are very happy with their decisions even though they had completely different ones. The future has a lot to come and people have the tough decisions of choosing what comes next.