What now?


Connor Tomlinson

Shea Carnahan ’19 looking at the flags as he leaves the high school

Connor Tomlinson, Staff Writer

Another year has come and gone, and for many this will be just another summer vacation but for the class of 2019 the end of the year brings their high school career to a close. A graduating class of over 520 teens, soon to be adults face a big step in their lives of really starting their independent life, and deciding what they are going to do with themselves. After graduation seniors will have to make decisions like buying cars, moving out, and most importantly starting real jobs or getting higher education.

Many of the seniors have had an idea of what they want to do after graduation since they started high school in freshman year, but not everyone knew what they wanted to do and some changed their plans all together. Regardless, the time to make career choices is fast approaching and with the many possible choices such as trade schools, college, entrepreneurship, military, law enforcement, and much more, seniors are weighing their options. In a class of 520+ students there is no shortage of possibilities of what they will accomplish.

Megan Enos: Enos has been a Johnston student since second grade and after graduation she plans on going to DMACC then Iowa State for physical therapy and nutrition. When she first started high school in freshman year she aspired to be an artist and photographer after going to college for a career in that field, but she did not see being an artist as a full time job which is what made her change what she wanted to do. “What my goal is to do through my life and through my career, I want to change peoples view points on what they view as a diet or as what a healthy figure looks like” Enos said. If health and nutrition do not work out for Enos, her fallback plan is to join the military because it is a career that requires her to stay in shape. After summer break Enos will begin her DMACC classes in the fall.

Nick Batye: Batye has gone to Johnson since seventh grade and plans on joining the union and becoming an ironworker. To do so he will begin with an apprenticeship to learn on the job. When Batye started high school he knew he wanted to join the union but did not know which one to join, after taking numerous metal working classes through high school he decided he wanted to be an iron worker in the union. “I’ve been taking the welding classes throughout my high school career” Batye said, “and ironworkers involves not only welding but other skills I feel like I could use.” If the ironworkers does not work, Batye plans on doing an apprenticeship for plumbing instead. A month after graduation Batye will begin his apprenticeship into the union.

Sloan Meader: Meader came to Johnston during fifth grade, she plans on going to DMACC to get an associate RN license and get a job as a nurse practitioner. “I want to work in brain injury recovery” Meader said. “So everything from stroke rehabilitation to post car accident rehabilitation.” To get her associates, Meader will be at DMACC for three years. When she was a freshman she had an idea that she wanted to have a career in the medical field but was not sure exactly what she wanted to do. During her senior year she participated in a half day DMACC program which showed her what options she could choose from if she joined the medical field and during that program is when she decided specifically that she wanted to work in brain injury recovery. If her first choice does not work her fallback plan is to use her nurse aid certification that she already has, she still wants a job that helps people and she already has her nurse certification which is what made her choose that for her fallback.

A.J. Lass: Lass has always looked up to the military and after graduation will be going to basic training in Fort Benning Georgia. When he was a freshman he had plans to get a job as a computer programmer, and did a summer long internship for the job to see what it would be like as a career. However after doing the internship, that is what made Lass change his mind about being a network administrator, “I realized I could not sit at a desk for more than an hour in a cold, dark room” Lass said. After realizing a desk job was not for him, Lass thought about what he wanted to accomplish with his life and finally decided on the Iowa National Guard. If During basic training Lass becomes ineligible for military service, his fall back plan is to attend college to become a forest ranger. After graduation, Lass will have two weeks before he goes to basic training for 10 weeks.

Reagan Lehman: Lehman came to JHS for sophomore year and started a job at Climb Iowa during that year. When Lehman was a freshman he did not have a plan for after graduation but with graduation approaching he is deciding between acupuncture or a trade school. When Lehman got injuries from playing sports he turned to acupuncture for treatment which was always a helpful process for him and is what inspired him to possibly pursue a career in acupuncture. “I’ve also considered going to a trade school for electrician or plumbing” Lehman said. If he does choose to go to a trade school he is still determining which one he will go to. After graduation he will continue his job at Climb Iowa for the following months and through his time at what ever school he eventually chooses. If acupuncture or trade schools do not work for Lehman he plans to just keep working at Climb Iowa and most likely will get a second job for more money.

Mario Simmons: Simmons has attended Johnston since second grade and currently works at the Johnston Hy-Vee. After graduation he plans to eventually attend DMACC to become a auto mechanic. Simmons’s step dad is who introduced him to cars at a young age and has enjoyed working on them ever since and wants to make a career out of it. “I’ve always liked working on cars or messing with cars” Simmons said. “My step dad actually introduced me into cars and any time we needed to look at it I’d be out there watching him. Simmons will work at Hy-Vee until the fall when he will start his DMACC classes. If being a mechanic does not work, Simmons will go to Oklahoma for welding college and work towards a career as a pipe welder.

Evan Christianson: Christianson has always gone to Johnston but has never had any solid plans. From freshman hear to now, Christianson has not been sure what he wants to do, but he is very good at math and has heard that Iowa State has a very good engineering program and does plan to go there to learn about engineering. “I’m just going into majoring what I’m good at, and I’m good at math” Christianson said. Besides being good at math, what made him want to be and engineer is Christianson likes using tools and building things, therefore he wants to make a career out of what he loves. However once he is done with college, Christianson is unsure of where exactly he will work. If an engineering career does not work, Christianson does not have a solid fall back plan but may major in something else for college, which he plans to pay for with loans and scholarships but he wants to take out as little loans as possible and get as much as he can from scholarships.

Shea Carnahan: Carnahan has been going to Johnston since he was in forth grade and currently has a job in fast food. When Carnahan was a freshman he had general plans to go to college but did not plan on which college or what for. Now, instead of college, Carnahan plans on taking a few months to a year after graduation to just keep working while pursuing a career in music. For months Carnahan has been learning and teaching himself how to play guitar and writing song ideas and plans on using his skills to make music and may continue working forward to make a name for himself. If music does not workout, or takes longer than expected, Carnahan’s fallback is the job corps. “I’d go to the job corps and learn a bunch of trade skills and they’d ship me off to India hills and I’d learn even more trade skills and it’d be all free” Carnahan said. As it stands now, he will start recording and uploading music after graduation while continuing his fast food job to make money.

From sandbox kids to students only spending their last years of high school at Johnston, the diverse class of 2019 has an equally diverse selection of careers in mind. Seniors of 2019 have worked long and hard to graduate, just like the seniors before them and the seniors to follow, and they can all look back and appreciate all the years leading up to graduation and all the work they put in. With the next big step in their lives only days away, seniors can look forward to a hopeful and successful future, their work has payed off, and has given them a whole world of opportunities within Johnston and beyond.