FROM THE HALLS OF MARLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL TO LES RUES OF FRANCE

June 02, 2010

 

ALLIANCE, Ohio - They both grew up in Alliance, attended Marlington High School, graduated from Mount Union College and now they both plan to begin careers with a degree in French.

Katy Boyce and Melissa Wolpert admit that although they went to school together for years, they did not realize how similar their paths were until they were juniors at Mount Union and found themselves in many of the same courses.

"We laugh about it because it seems so ironic that little Marlington High School could produce two French teachers, especially in the same class," Boyce said. "But actually, there have been several Marlington graduates who have gone on to become French teachers and we all probably had Mrs. Hempstead as our high school French teacher too."

Boyce, daughter of Raymond and Charlene Boyce of 11190 State St. NE, graduated summa cum laude from Mount Union with a major in French and minors in psychology and secondary education. Actively involved in campus activities, Boyce was a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Mu Gamma, Blue Key, Gamma Sigma Alpha, Psi Kappa Omega and Order of Omega honoraries. She was also a member of Dance Company and earned Dean's List honors. In addition, Boyce was recently awarded the Dr. Vasile and Georgia Calesi French Prize at this year's Senior Recognition and Honors Convocation.

"When I was trying to decide where I wanted to go to college, I decided on Mount Union because I knew the college, its history and its reputation," Boyce said. "If I had to do it over again I would do the same thing. My experience was everything I hoped it would be and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I got to be a real college student and to get involved on campus."

Wolpert, daughter of David and Debby Wolpert of 14517 Cenfield St., graduated magna cum laude also with a major in French and a minor in secondary education. Wolpert was a member of the volleyball team and served as co-captain for two years. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Foreign Language Club and Alpha Lambda Delta, Sophomore Service, Alpha Mu Gamma, Blue Key, Kappa Delta Pi, Psi Kappa Omega, Gamma Sigma Alpha and Order of Omega honoraries. She also earned Dean's List honors, served as a Preview Guide and was a member of Who's Who Among America's Colleges and Universities.

Wolpert said that unlike Boyce, who originally planned on studying psychology at Mount Union, she knew that she wanted to be a French major.

"After the experience I had going to France in high school, I told myself that any excuse I could get to go back, I would take," Wolpert said. And she did.

In fact, both Wolpert and Boyce spent a semester studying at the University of Pau in Pau, France and feel that the study-abroad program is a strength of Mount Union's foreign language department.

"It is good that the college pushes its students to study abroad because there is no better way to learn about another culture than being thrown into that culture," Boyce said.

Wolpert agreed and added that studying-abroad was by far her most memorable and meaningful experience at Mount Union.

"At first I was scared because going to France with your high school class for a week is much different than spending five months alone," Wolpert said. "I can remember calling Katy when she got home, though, and after seeing all of her pictures and hearing her talk about all of her wonderful experiences at Pau, she put my mind at ease."

Boyce also remembers having reservations about studying-abroad.

"I was upset at first because I would be missing a whole semester of my college career at Mount Union," Boyce said. "But studying-abroad is one of those experiences that is hard to explain. It changed my life and opened my eyes to so much more that is out there. You develop a tolerance for others, learn to survive in a new culture and make friendships that will last a lifetime."

Having completed their years at Mount Union, Wolpert and Boyce are now anxiously looking forward to the careers ahead of them.

Wolpert has recently accepted a teaching position at Wadsworth High School. She will be teaching first and second level French classes and is very excited about the opportunity.

"I student-taught at Canton McKinley High School for ten weeks and after having such a positive experience and seeing the impact that I had on the students there, I knew that teaching was what I wanted to do," Wolpert said.

Boyce plans to begin her student-teaching at Lake High School in the fall. Although she is not sure what she will be doing after that, she is thinking about returning to France in the spring and possibly looking into a job with the USAC, the organization which coordinates the care of American students studying-abroad in France.

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