Four SLO High grads share their stories

Four seniors graduating from San Luis Obispo High School took some time away from their busy finals week schedules to tell The Tribune about their unique high school experiences and backgrounds. They’ll graduate with the rest of the class of 2007 on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Holt Field.

Bri Vaughan, 17

Bri Vaughan will turn 18 the day she graduates from high school. Counselor Jim Vegher credits her for rebounding well from a tragic event in her life.

Her mother and sister died in a car accident when she was 8. Vaughan was raised by her father, Pat, who recently remarried. Having an additional parent to support her has been invaluable, she says.

The dancer and cheerleader says she’ll miss her teachers at San Luis Obispo High.

Vaughan says she’s changed her thoughts about what she might do for a living so many times, from becoming a ballet dancer to a pediatrician. She decided to attend Cuesta College and develop a better sense of her future.

Kayla Crahan, 18

Kayla Crahan moved to San Luis Obispo High School as a freshman. She’ll take from it great teachers and a beautiful campus, she says.

English is her favorite subject and she has enjoyed reading novels such as "The Catcher in the Rye." She has enjoyed discussing the philosophical and moral questions from her class readings and writing essays about the books she’s studied.

In the fall, she’ll attend University of California-Santa Cruz because “it’s very relaxed and liberal,” she says, which suits her.

She plans to study social work in college and afterwards do it for a living. In San Luis Obispo, she’s earned the Mayor’s Award for community service. One of her projects was helping to coordinate 24-Hour Relay.

The advice she’d give to newcomers like her to San Luis Obispo is that “first impressions are rarely right.”

“You have to be open to new opportunities and meeting people,” she says.

Brooke Murphy, 18

Brooke Murphy’s single mother, Susan Murphy, is her hero.

Susan Murphy raised three children – the youngest of whom is Brooke.

Brooke says she overcame a bad attitude initially in high school to realize that “I’m a smart, bright woman and I have potential.”

“Graduation doesn’t feel real,” Brooke Murphy says. “I’ve changed so much.”

An avid dancer, she decided to join cheerleading this year for the first time. Murphy says after a rocky start, now she loves high school.

Next year as a freshman at University of California-Santa Barbara, she’ll study communications with the goal of becoming a journalist.

As a staff reporter and editor of the People section for the San Luis Obispo High student paper, she has gained good experience choosing what goes into the paper and in writing stories.

Teacher and newspaper advisor Pam Orth was one of her mentors, she said.

“She was awesome,” Murphy said.

Kory Fontes, 17

Kory Fontes is a devoted participant in the school’s Future Farmers of America program. She was an officer this year and she raises and shows sheep at the California Mid-State Fair during high school. Agriculture education has taught her “a lot of responsibility,” she says, along with her other classes and activities at San Luis Obispo High.

Fontes plans to attend Cuesta College and then transfer to Cal Poly or Fresno State University. Her goal is to become an agriculture teacher.

Fontes also has played on San Luis Obispo High softball and soccer teams.

“I’ll miss the teachers and staff who have been very supportive,” Fontes said.