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  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Milford High School Senior, Ashley Wheeler, works with an air track in one of the science labs at the high school, Thursday afternoon, June 2, 2011.
  • Staff Photo by Grant Morris


    Milford High School Senior, Ashley Wheeler, works with an air track in one of the science labs at the high school, Thursday afternoon, June 2, 2011.
Monday, June 13, 2011

Senior happy for education Milford High provided

EDITOR’S NOTE: Every year, The Telegraph profiles one senior from the various high schools in our coverage area. This is one of a series of such profiles that will be published in the coming days.

MILFORD – The other day, Ashley Wheeler tackled the sort of problem most of us try to avoid: She figured out how to replace a headlight on a friend’s car.

Not only that, she enjoyed the challenge.

The urge to solve problems is one of the reasons Wheeler is at or near the top of her class at Milford High School – she won’t learn until right before graduation on Saturday whether she or Nakit Van Biene is No. 1 – and is headed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall.

And because she enjoys nature and likes to be outside, it’s no surprise Wheeler plans to study environmental engineering, focusing perhaps on alternative energy technology or water pollution cleanup.

Milford High School is another reason for Wheeler’s success. She says it provided an excellent foundation for science and engineering studies.

She studied pre-engineering in her freshman year and engineering design as a junior.

This year, she did an independent study project on computer integrated manufacturing, using Mastercam software, which allowed her to draw machines in 3-D and figure out the tools to use with them.

“I love Milford High,” she said. “It’s not too big and not too small. I know the name of everyone in my grade. Teachers all push you to do your best and make you want to learn.

“All the teachers put a lot of time into their teaching, and you’re always learning new things.”

The school also allowed Wheeler to study Latin for four years, a language few high schools offer anymore.

Wheeler said her interest in science really started to grow when she hit high school and took biology.

Science teacher Susan Garabedian remembers when Wheeler was an incoming ninth-grader.

It was obvious she had “well-developed study skills and a special knack for science,” Garabedian said. “This, combined with her genuine desire to learn, allowed her to excel.”

Wheeler was selected as one of two students from New Hampshire to attend the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia this summer, and she’s eager to go and happy to be flying down with a girl from Barnstead, the other New Hampshire student selected for the 28-day residential science education program.

Wheeler’s interests go beyond science. She has played soccer for 12 years and is a member of the Student Council and other clubs.

She has been a junior councilor at the Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley for years, and this summer, she’ll be a full-fledged councilor when she returns from science camp.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 21, or kcleveland@cabinet.com.