A big smile came across Julia Rogan’s face when the bus doors opened and she stepped off on her first day of kindergarten at Washington Primary School so many years ago. The Huntington High School senior is that same happy person today as she prepares to graduate next month and head west to study at the University of San Diego.
A bubbly young woman with an exceedingly positive outlook on life, Ms. Rogan is one of the leading members of Huntington’s Class of 2018. She’s earned stellar grades, participated in the club and athletic programs, developed into a leader among her peers and become a valued friend to a core group that simply adores her.
Huntington High School senior Julia Rogan.
“The idea of living in California has been a dream of mine since I was seven years old,” Ms. Rogan said. “When I began looking and applying to schools, I realized that it could be a reality. As much as I love New York, I’ve always loved traveling and being away from home. Going to school across the country and being thrown into a new environment with all new people is a thrill to me.”
The teenager looked at the University of Colorado Boulder, University of California Santa Barbara, San Diego State University, Lafayette College and Northeastern University, but the University of San Diego won her over.
“The University of San Diego is one of about 40 schools that are designated Changemaker campuses by AshokaU, meaning they have a strong emphasis on social innovation,” Ms. Rogan said. “Community service has been a tremendous part of my life growing up, so it was important for me to be able to attend a school where I could continue to make a difference. Having only 5,700 undergraduate students, USD is small enough to be able to develop personal connections with faculty and have easy access to educational support. USD also has a ranked travel abroad program and I am excited to have the opportunity to take my education to other parts of the world.”
Planning for music industry career
Ms. Rogan’s senior year academic schedule includes classes in Advanced Placement Microeconomics, AP US Government and Politics, AP Literature and Composition, AP Photography, Calculus, Physics and Symphony Orchestra.
“I am going into college undecided, but I plan to declare a major in communications with a possible double major in business or international relations,” Ms. Rogan said. “I hope to be able to work in a branch of the music industry.”
A four-year veteran of Huntington’s varsity girls’ volleyball team, Ms. Rogan was co-captain of the squad as a senior. She even captured All-League honors. Helping to lead the team was one of the highlights of her high school years
A member of the National Honor Society as well as the Tri-M Music, English and Math Honor Societies, Ms. Rogan has also performed as a cellist with the high school’s chamber orchestra in each of the past four years.
Ms. Rogan has developed meaningful relationships with many teachers. Several have played key roles in guiding and mentoring the teenager, including Joann Ferazi, Victoria Lombardi and Lauren Desiderio. “Although I never had him as a teacher, I’ve also grown very close to Mr. [Michael] Schwendemann,” she said.
“Though I never had Julia in class (I wish I had) we bonded in study hall where we discussed literature, college and life; challenging each other’s intellect and sense of humor,” Mr. Schwendemann said. “A driven bright young woman that can light up a room with a smile, I am sure the best is yet to come!”
The teenager will graduate in June with the affection and respect of the entire high school faculty.
“A respectful young woman”
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Julia for four years as a student in my 9 Honors, AP World and Psychology courses as well as an active member of the Class of 2018, for which I help advise,” Mrs. Desiderio said. “Throughout this time I have had the privilege of watching her mature into a respectful young woman and witnessed first-hand Julia’s passion for learning. She radiates positive energy, always has a smile on her face and is one of the most affable and honest students I’ve encountered. She could certainly always make her classmates and myself laugh. I particularly enjoyed having her in my Psychology class because she was always willing to participate, ask questions and share personal stories relevant to our class discussions, which in turn encouraged her classmates to share and participate as well. While I am sad to see Julia and her classmates graduate, I am excited to see what the future holds for her.”
Ms. Rogan is well-read and articulate and able to carry on a conversation about nearly any topic. She’s up to date on the country’s political situation and has lots of opinions about the crucial issues of the day; and he can back up those opinions with facts.
“Over the course of my four years at Huntington, I have been able to pursue my love for community service by getting involved in Habitat for Humanity and Key Club,” Ms. Rogan said. “Outside of high school, I have been a part of an organization called the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) for the past three years. It is a youth led branch of Rotary that teaches high school sophomores to step out of their comfort zones and become strong leaders. After participating in the spring conference my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to apply for the role of a facilitator, where I was able to lead my own group of sophomores at the next year’s conference. I fell in love with RYLA and all of the amazing people involved in it, including the alumni who keep coming back every year to see the program grow and flourish.”
The teenager said heading into her senior year she decided to “stick” with the organization and strive for its highest role of senior leader.
“After creating a professional resume, submitting a video describing my involvement in the program, completing a commitment form and interviewing in front of a panel of 15 adults, I was selected along with 17 other seniors from various schools across the island to plan, fundraise and execute/run events for the entire 2017/18 year,” Ms. Rogan said. “My involvement in RYLA and Rotary has shaped me to be the independent person I am and I owe all my success moving into my higher education to all that this program and my mentors involved have given me.”
Ms. Rogan has made good use of the past four years, excelling in challenging courses, exploring different academic areas, determining her interests and having fun with classmates in various clubs and organizations as well as on the volleyball team.
Traveled to Ecuador and the Galapagos
“One of the most memorable highlights of my time at Huntington was going on the trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands with Ms. [Camille] Tedeschi and a group of my classmates and teachers,” Ms. Rogan said. “Seeing the wildlife and where evolution originated was a desire of mine since I was taught about it. Being able to appreciate its beauty and the different culture with some of my closest friends by my side was such a surreal experience.”
Since her first day of kindergarten at Washington Primary School, teachers have loved having Ms. Rogan in their respective class. She’s been energetic, upbeat, considerate and a hard worker. The teenager gets along with everyone and her friendly nature has made her one of the most popular seniors in the Class of 2018.
“My experience at Huntington High School is one I will never forget,” Ms. Rogan said. “Not only did it provide me with an encouraging environment to explore and develop my interests, but it allowed me to develop genuine relationships with both faculty and students. I will always keep a little piece of Huntington with me, even out on the West Coast.”