WHS seniors celebrated with “What’s your E?” event

Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 25, 2024

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At Washington High School, seniors aren’t asked what they’d like to do after graduation, instead, they are asked, “What’s your E?” Meaning, after walking across the stage and receiving their diploma, what will be their next step – enrollment, employment or enlistment. 

During senior year, students choose if they want to enroll in higher education, seek employment or enlist in the United States military. 

Washington High School’s graduating class of 2024 has nearly 200 seniors. Of those, 72% plan to continue their education at a four-year college, community college or trade school. Almost all seniors plan to stay in North Carolina, and more than half of the graduates will attend either Beaufort County Community College or East Carolina University, according to Washington High School. 

A fifth of the class plans to enter the workforce, and six percent of graduating seniors plan to enlist. 

On Thursday, May 23, Washington High School hosted a “What’s your E?” presentation and reception for seniors and their families. During the presentation, several students were recognized who either graduated from Beaufort County Community College while still attending high school or students who were in the process of enlisting. 

  • Keenan Curtis, Charlotte Simons, Savannah Trower, Madison Barnes, Nishi Desai Madison Barnes earned associates of arts degrees. 
  • Audrey Miller earned an associates of sciences degree. 
  • Windsor Griffin earned a boat-building and manufacturing diploma. 

Students in the process of enlisting into the military are: 

  • Charles Andrews, U.S. Marines 
  • Terry Ebron, U.S. Marines 
  • Kayonna Manning, U.S. Navy 
  • Sophia Pena Archury, U.S. Navy
  • Amir Smith, Army National Guard 

Six students took their military oaths of enlistment during the presentation: 

  • Brittany Hernandez Ducker, U.S. Army
  • Matthew Taylor, U.S. Coast Guard 
  • Demarcus Hall-Williams, U.S. Marines 
  • Nassir Jennings, U.S. Navy 
  • Qwilique Kenlaw, U.S. Navy 
  • Tymeir Spruill, U.S. Navy 


Michael Alan Gerard Jr. graduated early from Washington High School and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was not at Wednesday’s presentation, because he is currently at Bootcamp and is scheduled to graduate on July 7.  

At the reception, several students spoke to the Daily News about what they will do after graduation. 

Olivia Rosewood plans to attend High Point University in the fall to study biology. Ultimately, she would like to attend veterinary school. Working with animals at home and taking an animal sciences course at Washington High School inspired her to go on the veterinary medicine track. 

Rosewood’s advice for rising seniors when it comes to choosing their “E” is to think about the longevity of their dream. Is it something they can see themselves doing ten years from now? “Really think about what you want to do and where you want to be in life,” she said. 

Mack Hudson plans to enter the workforce to grow his marine detailing business. He started Hudson Yacht Management two years ago. His grandfather owned a boat at the waterfront, and each time Hudson visited it, he would see nearby yachts and dream about working on them one day. Equipped with the skill to clean boats thanks to his father’s teaching, Hudson said he “found himself talking” to a captain of a yacht he admired and the rest was history. 

In the next five years Hudson hopes to “sustainably grow” his yacht management business and expand into routine maintenance and keeping boats “turnkey ready” according to the boat owner’s expectations. 

Brittany Hernandez Ducker is enlisting in the U.S. Army. Her future plans include going to school to become a dental hygienist. Ducker is a member of the JROTC program, and it is the reason why she wanted to enlist. 

“I thought, if I do the military, it has so many benefits for me – why not,” Ducker said. “Honestly, I really enjoyed it and I see so many people around me doing the Army or the Navy. It’s really amazing and something I want to do for the rest of my life.” 

Williams Figueroa plans to attend the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina where he will learn how to be a mechanic. 

“I’ve always liked vehicles. I’ve always worked on my vehicles at the house with my buddies…I love a lot of performance things so we do a lot of performance modifications to engines, and honestly, I really love the adrenaline that it gives. I think it’s a fun career that I will go into and won’t think about it as work, but as a fun field day,” he said.