July 17, 2018
School & Youth
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  • Noah Whiteman was the valedictorian for Northeast High School’s Class of 2018.
    Photo by Zach Sparks
    Noah Whiteman was the valedictorian for Northeast High School’s Class of 2018.
  • Noah Whiteman played Roger in Northeast High School’s 2018 production of “Grease.” It was his first theater performance at the school.
    Photo by Stephanie Mennell Photography
    Noah Whiteman played Roger in Northeast High School’s 2018 production of “Grease.” It was his first theater performance at the school.

Northeast Valedictorian Heads Southwest To College Park

Maya Pottiger
Maya Pottiger's picture
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June 12, 2018

Noah Whiteman is leaving his tight-knit Northeast High School community for the University of Maryland.

But there’s nothing to fear — except maybe the turtle.

Whiteman, Northeast’s class of 2018 valedictorian, will start his college journey with 10 of his close friends.

“I’m going to miss the community that Northeast has. I feel like at a big school like Maryland, it’s going to be harder to find that,” Whiteman said. “At Northeast, we have a really strong community of everybody.”

Despite his nerves, Whiteman is looking forward to the new academic challenges the university will provide.

“I’m excited that, at a bigger school, that there are going to be more academic opportunities: that there will be a class for more specific topics and dive deep,” Whiteman said. “Instead of just broad math, you can get into a specific part of it more.”

Whiteman plans to major in mechanical engineering. His mother is an engineer, so it has always seemed like a possibility to him, though he did consider a math major.

Though he isn’t looking ahead at potential jobs, Whiteman said he wants to volunteer with Engineers Without Borders USA, or a similar organization.

“They use all of their technical knowledge to solve problems that people who didn’t have access to the same kind of education can’t solve because they haven’t learned how to do it,” Whiteman said. “They go somewhere, and they make big differences.”

Whiteman said he hasn’t been able to travel around to help people yet, but has been able to make a difference in the local community through his involvement with National Honor Society and the Student Government Association, where he served as vice president and president, respectively.

This year’s blood drive was his biggest accomplishment as SGA president, Whiteman said.

“We did a better job this year than we have in prior years,” Whiteman said.

While at Northeast, Whiteman was on a number of athletic teams: cross country, swimming and track. He was captain of the cross country team and a member of the Varsity Athletics Club. At Maryland, Whiteman said he wants to join the triathlon club instead of sticking to just running or swimming.

During his senior year, Whiteman took to the stage and played Roger in the school’s production of “Grease.”

“I was never really a theater kid,” Whiteman said, “and [I liked] seeing the way that all the different people who had different outlooks on theater and life in general work together to put together such a good show.”

Though Whiteman plays guitar and piano, and pushed himself through AP Music Theory, he said he will keep music solely as a hobby in college.

Whiteman is the oldest of five. He said he’s close with his siblings, and they have a family Snapchat group that they will use to keep in touch with each other.

For the summer, Whiteman will continue working 40 hours a week as a lifeguard.


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