The world is a stage
Allison Hipple is one high school student ready to leave the nest.
"I've had senioritis since my freshman year," said the Ellsworth High School student. "I want to experience the rest of the world, and I'm so excited to visit different parts of the country and see new things."
She'll follow through on that dream by attending Ithaca College - about three hours north of New York City -- to study acting.
There is one more event in Hipple's high school career before that occurs: As salutatorian, she is scheduled to give a speech at graduation Friday night.
Going into acting was an easy choice, said Hipple, who had a part in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at 10. She's had the acting bug ever since.
She uses words like artistic, expressive, imaginative, witty, independent and creative to describe herself.
"Basically, theater is my love," she said. "And that's where I'd like to be in the future."
If acting doesn't work out, she's more than willing to try other aspects of theater.
"I'm not going to limit myself to anything," she said. "Everything in the world of theater is fascinating."
Hipple has received plenty of encouragement from her parents, Margaret and Doug of Ellsworth. She also has one brother: Drew, who is a sophomore.
"They've always been supportive of me," she said of her parents. "They love theater just as much as I do."
She said she won't be crushed if she doesn't find a role in the theater world.
"I'm going to be open to different things," she said. "I'll be prepared for anything and everything the world has to offer, wherever it may lead me."
Finishing second in the class didn't surprise her.
"I try and do my best because I'm kind of a perfectionist," she said. "I like to learn and study, gain more knowledge and gather information. That's more important to me than gaining an A. It sort of happened that I finished No. 2."
During high school, Hipple also participated in choir, band and forensics. Some of her favorite classes were advanced placement English and advanced placement history.
For as much as she is ready to be on her own, Hipple will have fond memories of Ellsworth and Ellsworth High School.
"The senior year has gone by incredibly quickly," she said. "It's hard to believe it's all coming to an end. It's bittersweet.
"Everyone knows everyone and they're so friendly and supportive ... Even though it's a small town it has a charm because of the people in it."