Graduates look back on successes at Baldwin High

| Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Some of Josh Regel's best memories of high school were Friday nights under the bright stadium lights spent cheering on the Highlander football team with his classmates.

Baldwin High School's Class of 2014 graduated Tuesday night with high hopes and dreams for the future, students said. But, as they looked toward the future, the students selected to speak at this year's graduation looked back fondly on the last four years.

For Maura Kay, the best memories of Baldwin come from her time on the school newspaper staff, the Purbalite, where she went from working as a staff writer her freshman year to editor-in-chief.

“Baldwin is really, really special. You can't compare it to anything around,” said Kay, 18. “It's in its own league. It's definitely marching to its own drum and it lets the kids inside do that too. You can go from being a nobody to running a newspaper in a few years.”

Regel, Kay and graduating senior Jill McDonnell spoke at graduation as distinguished speakers, meaning they had more than a 4.2 grade point average and were selected to represent their peers.

Baldwin High School has something for everything and the students take advantage, they said.

“You find your little niche,” said Kay, 18, who plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall and major in political science.

Kay credits Baldwin High School for getting her “out of my shell.”

“This is where I became a real human being,” said Kay, who participated in the National Honor Society and Literary Guild. “Baldwin has done wonders for my personal confidence.”

“If there isn't a position available for you, make one for yourself. Find your own way,” Kay said.

Baldwin stands out for “the quality of the education” it offers for its students, said McDonnell, 18, who plans to attend the University of Pittsburgh this fall and major in pre-medicine.

“The teachers definitely care about what they teach. They prepare us for the real world,” said McDonnell, 18, whose best memory of high school life was senior prom. “That's the last time that we all got to celebrate together.”

The diverse student population at Baldwin helps to prepare students for the “real world,” said McDonnell, who participated in the National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, and started a pre-med club at Baldwin, where students were given opportunities to shadow professionals in the field and monthly guest speakers were brought in to talk to the students.

For Regel, 18, who plans to attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall and major in engineering, the “small moments” of high school life are probably what he'll remember most when he looks back his time at Baldwin.

“We've been through it all. We've been through the good times and the bad times. We were just a family through all,” said Regel, who played baseball his freshman to junior years, participated in the Red Cross Club, math league, National Honor Society and served as an ambassador for People to People in London in 2012. “We cared for each other. We were always there for each other.”

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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