Windham Technical High School valedictorian and salutatorian headed to UConn

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Willimantic - posted Fri., Jun. 21, 2013
Windham Technical High School salutatorian Amber Archambault (left) and valedictorian Mikaela Worthington prepare for an awards ceremony at  the school on June 19. Photo by Melanie Savage.
Windham Technical High School salutatorian Amber Archambault (left) and valedictorian Mikaela Worthington prepare for an awards ceremony at the school on June 19. Photo by Melanie Savage.

Lebanon resident Mikaela Worthington was home-schooled during her early years and said that she was drawn to Windham Technical High School when it was time to choose a high school because she thought she might be interested in culinary arts. She ended up in the automotive program. Windham Tech students are given an opportunity to try out all of the shop choices that the school has to offer during their freshman year. During the rotation through automotive, “I kind of just decided I liked it,” said Worthington. “It’s kind of satisfying, being able to fix something and have it work. I decided that it was a good field for me.”

As the valedictorian of the Windham Tech Class of 2013, Worthington qualifies for free tuition at UConn, where she plans to study mechanical engineering. Regarding the automotive experience gleaned through her schooling and employment at Columbia Ford, Worthington said, “Hopefully I’ll be able to at least apply a little bit. I want to do something high-performance, probably design and trouble-shooting.”

Worthington participated on the volleyball, indoor track and outdoor track teams during her time at Windham Tech. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and participated in the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition.

Andover resident Amber Archambault is this year’s Windham Tech salutatorian. Archambault is graduating from the manufacturing program at Tech. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and has played for the basketball team. Archambault has achieved high honors for all quarters of her high school career, and was recognized as most outstanding student in English and math.

Archambault will also receive free tuition at UConn, where she plans to pursue a business-related plan of study. “I’m not sure what I want to do yet,” she said. “I just know I want to do something in business.”

Asked to describe her graduating class, Worthington said, “Being in a tech school is definitely a lot different than being in a traditional school.” Because of the nature of the course of study, “I think there aren’t as many cliques as there are in a traditional school,” she said. “I think we’re like a big, dysfunctional, mostly happy family.”

Archambault agreed. “In a traditional school, people tend to form cliques,” she said. “I think we’re more laid back than a traditional school. I think we’re more like the jokesters.”

Partially because the community is so close-knit, “People tend to be involved in a lot of activities,” said Worthington. “A lot of  people do clubs, and a lot of people do sports.”


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