CROSBY -- When Kim Beaman transferred from Emily Charter School to Crosby-Ironton High School in seventh grade, her first classmate to befriend her at C-I was Amber McKanna.
McKanna's death Jan. 31 in a car accident was hard for her classmates, including Beaman. Complicating their senior year at C-I even further was the two-month-old teachers' strike that followed.
"I know I should try to stay positive but it hasn't been the senior year I was hoping for," said Beaman. "It was really hard when Amber passed away. That hit us really hard and then the strike. It was a lot to handle. I think (as a class) we did come together, starting with Amber's death. We used each other for support. But it's not all bad. I don't want to have a bad attitude. Even though bad things happen, there's a lot of good. We're having fun now. We're just so glad the strike is over."
Kim Beaman, 18, Emily, was named salutatorian of the Class of 2005 at Crosby-Ironton High School. Beaman, who excels at track in addition to academics, plans to major in biology at Seattle Pacific University in Washington next fall and wants to become a physical therapist.
Beaman, the daughter of Jim and Sharon Beaman of Emily, will graduate from C-I May 12 with a 3.932 GPA, securing her spot as salutatorian for the Class of 2005. She plans to attend Seattle Pacific University in Washington next fall, majoring in biology. She hopes to one day become a physical therapist. As an avid runner, Beaman has always had an interest in the body and the impact of injuries.
Beaman enjoys running and during high school has remained active in cross country and track, competing primarily in the 800-meter and 400x800 meter relay events. Most days this spring Beaman would run eight miles a day. She plans to run cross country and track at college next fall.
"It's kind of a way to relieve stress," said Beaman, of running. "It's a way to escape and it's fun, being with the people and the coach."
During the final weeks of school Beaman worked hard to catch up in her concurrent college courses since the strike ended. While Beaman said school returned to normal quickly after the strike ended, the whole event was upsetting to her.
"I was upset," said Beaman. "I don't know all the details about both sides but I was upset at both sides. They are adults and they should have been able to settle this and not put our education in jeopardy. It made me appreciate my free education. When it's taken away from you, you appreciate it. I was very glad to have it all over. I was glad to have our teachers back."
While she enjoyed high school, Beaman said she's looking forward to college and her move to Washington.
"I feel I've gotten a great education and made a lot of friends," said Beaman, of her time at C-I. "I have a lot of great memories here too. I'm feeling happy. The high school years were good but there's a time to move on."
JODIE TWEED can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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