SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — The president of Musselman High School's graduating class this year has dissected a cat, a rat and a piglet. And she loved it all.
Erica Bowers said she's ready for the cadaver laboratory at Shepherd University, aside from the "very weird stench" that she already experienced on a field trip.
Bowers of Bunker Hill, W.Va., was among 344 graduates of Musselman High, which held its 62nd commencement Thursday at Shepherd University's Butcher Center.
With plans to attend Shepherd University and the goal of becoming a pediatrician, Bowers said she loves kids and anything that has to do with the anatomy of the human body.
"I know it sounds weird and gross, but anatomy was my favorite class this year," Bowers said.
Before the ceremony began, fellow graduates J.T. Kisner, 19, Kyle Haberkorn, 18, Justin Hayslette, 17, and Jake Jenkins, 18, identified themselves as members of "The D Club," displaying the hand sign language for the letter without explaining what it meant.
"This is like my family," Jenkins said while chumming wt. his buddies out in the hallway.
"Good friends like these guys are hard to come by."
Jenkins said he hopes to become a commercial pilot after attending West Virginia University, where Hayslette said he planned to study radiology and after graduating — "get some bank."
Kisner, who played running back as part of Musselman High's football team, said defeating rival Hedgesville High was a favorite memory.
"It's one of the biggest games of the year," said Kisner, who plans to serve in the Air National Guard.
Haberkorn, also of Inwood, said he's considering becoming a history teacher after studying the subject at Shepherd University.
Natalee Unger, 17, said she plans to major in nursing at Shepherd University to become a flight nurse. The Bunker Hill girl said she is well aware of the trauma-filled work that comes with riding on a medivac helicopter.
"I'm ready," Unger said.
Ashley M. Lentz, 18, Martinsburg, said she plans to begin her post-secondary studies at Potomac State College with a goal of teaching elementary-age children before eventually moving up to high school.
"Straight out (of) the gate, I don't want to have to deal with all the problems and drama that high schoolers have," said Lentz who plans to finish a five-year master's program at West Virginia University.
"I didn't want to go straight out to WVU because its a bigger campus."
Jennifer Anne Brown, 18, of Martinsburg, who plans to become an "all creature" veterinarian, said she was inspired by Dr. Townsend, the vet for her horse.
"I have a zoo at my house," said Brown of her animals, which also has included two dogs, two rabbits, a cat and a 5-year-old turtle named "Sunshine."
Excited to graduate, Lentz said she was just hoping to get through her performance as a member of the senior instrumental ensemble, which later electrified the crowd with "Titan Spirit."
The commencement program also included a choral performance of the class song, "The World's Greatest" by R. Kelly.