Outstanding Seniors

The Troy School District is fortunate to have thousands of amazing students. As the class of 2017 graduates, School Life Troy highlights three of the district’s outstanding seniors.

Here they are, answering our questionnaire in their own words.

TYLER BOUQUE, graduating from Troy High:
photo by MarciCurtis.com

Describe a day in your future, ten years from now.
As the opera world is steadily dying out (quite literally), I hope in the future to bring about a change in attendance and age, be it through composition or performance. I firmly believe opera needs a new face for inspiration from the younger generation and I hope to be one of those influencers in the next two decades. My passion falls both in the writing and performing of opera and I hope to pursue both in the future.

In all your schooling so far, what was your most surprising moment?
What amazed me at Troy High was the kindness and friendship of seniors towards underclassmen. As a freshman at band camp, I was blown away by the sheer generosity and affection of those four years older. Those friendships shaped me across my high school career. Troy High is uniquely blessed with a subset of students who are not only brilliant and astoundingly talented, but wholeheartedly kind as well. That disregard for age in friendships was incredible to me, a surprise I still experience today.

Share one of your favorite school memories.
The preparation of my own music through the school is always so inspiring. Hearing directors like Mr. Nutting and Mr. Kolk passionately rehearse music written by a student moves me beyond words. Whether it’s work on my marching arrangements, my first symphony, my saxophone pieces, or my upcoming concerto, the all-nighters writing are made worth it, hearing a professional ferociously approach it with passion and excitement. The only experience that can come close was the opening night of Shrek, which I still get comments on. Troy High has provided me with a breadth of incredible experiences and it’s near impossible to choose one of the many amazing opportunities I’ve been granted.

What teacher had a huge impact on you, why?
Mr. Nutting has, of course, influenced me more directly than many other teachers have ever come close to doing. His encouragement and support of my writing has pushed me to new limits and given me a breadth of opportunities many kids don’t experience until college. I have utmost respect for him, his passion and his program; I am so thankful for his presence in my career.

Where will you be, what will you be studying in the fall?
I’m very blessed to be attending New England Conservatory in Boston, with an intended double major in Vocal Performance and Music Composition!

Give some advice to incoming freshman or soon-to-be seniors.
Always lead with your heart. I’ve learned not to choose activities, classes, or organizations by what people told me or recommended. Always appreciate the advice people give you, as it’s usually from their heart to yours, but in the end it’s your heart that decides the final outcome. Let your heart guide your brain and don’t let what others think you should do dictate your decisions. Lead with the heart!!!

How have Troy schools helped, guided or accommodated you along the way; how are they different than other schools in other districts?
The only way I was able to achieve the education I did was through Troy High’s administrative and educational staff. Their ability to move me through high school in three years has been impactful beyond words. Their undying support of my passion, encouragement of my career, and accommodation of my course has shaped me both as an artist and an individual. Through their direction, I was able to accomplish all graduation requirements in three years while still having all my senior year experiences, including prom, concertos, and Gimmees. I wouldn’t be where I am as a musician without Troy Schools. Their willingness to support individual passions and talents is a rarity in this world, one Troy is so blessed to have.


ELLORY THILL, graduating from Athens High:
photo by Molly Grunewald Photography

Describe a day in your future, ten years from now.
Ten years from now I picture myself doing something I love. All of my life I’ve seen family members and friends spend their life working a job they’re not passionate about. I don’t want to live a life where I’m not passionate about my work and just work to make a living; I want to work to make an impact. I’m passionate about education and helping those who can’t help themselves. I am confident that I will find a job that I love.

In all your schooling so far, what was your most surprising moment?
One of the most surprising things throughout my schooling was when my third and fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Keegan, got in contact with me and congratulated me on the success of Charity Week. When I was younger, you would’ve never guessed I would be the student I am today. It was amazing to hear back from her and truly surprised me that she would go out of her way to do that.

Share one of your favorite school memories.
My favorite school memory will always be the 2017 Charity Week reveal. It was such a pure moment where high schoolers, staff and the community were so happy to have made an impact.

What teacher had a huge impact on you, why?
I’ve had many teachers impact me and shape me into the person I am today. Since the beginning, Ms. Dent has always inspired me to achieve my goals and open my eyes to the world of education. She has always lifted students up with kind words and has truly fueled my passion for education. She is and will continue to make a huge impact.

Where will you be, what will you be studying in the fall?
I will be attending Michigan State University and plan to major in Education, but I am open to many more career paths.

Give some advice to incoming freshman or soon-to-be seniors.
Step out of your comfort zone. The quicker you do it, the more you will see the benefit of doing so. I’ve grown so much due to taking a step out of comfort. By doing that, I have made so many new friends and have been given many opportunities to continue to grow.

How have Troy schools helped, guided or accommodated you along the way; how are they different than other schools in other districts?
One thing I love about Troy and the school system is how we believe that there isn’t just one way to learn and that learning sometimes doesn’t take place in a classroom like many would think. Students in Troy learn outside, in labs, on field trips and through experiences.


PARKER GILCHRIST, graduating from Troy College and Career High School:
photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy

Describe a day in your future, ten years from now.
I want to graduate from College for Creative Studies in Detroit and pursue a career in animation and teach art to others. I want others to experience the opportunity to create art and express and see their emotions and expressions in front of them.

In all your schooling so far, what was your most surprising moment?
My most surprising moment is one I talk about a lot. It was when I first met my principal at TCCHS. She gave me hope in graduating, going to college, and having a good life. Having an “aha!” moment of “Wow, I can actually do this,” was a huge surprise to me.

Share one of your favorite school memories.
I think my favorite memories revolve around karaoke. Seeing staff and students show their talent and being goofy together is just something I hold close to me.

What teacher had a huge impact on you, why?
I don’t think just one teacher has made more of an impact than another on me. They’re all so wonderful and they all helped me reach this point. They have all made me feel better on a down day. They have all been there for me and they have all just made this dream of graduating a reality.

Where will you be, what will you be studying in the fall?
In the fall, I’ll be attending OCC through my school’s dual enrollment program and hopefully working full time.

Give some advice to incoming freshman or soon-to-be seniors.
My key pieces of advice are to keep trying and to talk to people. I say keep trying because if you fall and don’t get back up, that’s it; that’s the end. But as long as you keep trying, there’s more of your story to tell. I say to talk to people because no matter what, when you talk to someone about a part of your life, it helps. You work through emotions easier; you can problem solve and you have support. It just helps.

How have Troy schools helped, guided or accommodated you along the way; how are they different than other schools in other districts?
Troy schools nurture and help you grow as a person, not just as a student. I haven’t been to a school that has cared about me as much as Troy’s have. I’m not just scores or numbers; I’m me. I matter to this district. All of us do.


Well there they are, three of the more than 12,000 outstanding Troy students. School Life Troy is proud of ALL the students in the district and wish them a fun, safe and relaxing summer!

Author: Rodney Curtis

Administrator of the SchoolLifeTroy website

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