Graduating from high school can be bittersweet.

Graduating from high school can be bittersweet.

"It's a plus and a negative," said Hannah Spicer, Canal Winchester High School senior and one of six valedictorians for the class of 2009.

The six valedictorians said they are going to miss teachers, friends and team activities from high school, but look forward to the new chapter in their lives that awaits them after their last day of school on June 1.

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled to start at 2 p.m. June 7 at the Canal Winchester High School gym.

"We all know each other," said Andi Smith. "It's just comfortable, and going to college is going to be out of our comfort zone."

Smith, a star softball athlete, will attend The Ohio State University. She's undecided on a major, but said she would like to explore more about psychology. She said her interest was piqued when she went on a visit to Cornell University and attended a psychology class.

"It fascinated me to no end," she said. "I find it fascinating, the shades of gray that humans can get into."

Spicer ran for the high school track and cross country teams. She will major in early childhood education at Kent State University.

"I've always liked little kids," she said. "I'm just very good at interacting with them."

She said she took a course called Life Search for two nine-week periods in high school. Part of the course involved acting as a student teacher at Indian Trail Elementary School.

Spicer said young children are fascinated when they meet "older kids."

"Their perspective on life is so different," said Katie Wynkoop, who took the Life Search course with Spicer.

Wynkoop will major in music education at Capital University.

"I've always wanted to be a teacher since I can remember," she said. "I love music and want to be a teacher, so why not combine those things?"

Wynkoop has played the piano for 14 years. She leads the contemporary worship service at David Evangelical Lutheran Church and has provided musical accompaniment for many church functions. She plays the clarinet and was the high school marching band's field commander for two years.

Wynkoop is the senior class president and won the Principal's Leadership Award this year.

"I've seen myself in a different way than what a leader is known for," she said.

She added she sees herself as a "quiet leader," setting the right example for others and respecting different viewpoints.

But music is truly her forte.

"She's a beast," said Mike Williard.

Williard ran for the high school track and cross country teams. He will major in biology and mathematics at Ohio State, but believes his true calling lies in the medical field.

He said he chose Ohio State because of its renowned medical program and its fame in general.

"I've always wanted to go there," he said.

Tyler Steube also will attend Ohio State for its medical program. He, however, has a more specific goal: biomedical engineering.

He said his inspiration came from high school science teacher Sharon Seckel.

"She takes the mystery out of life," Steube said. "(Biology) makes you understand the world around you better."

He said he'll miss high school, but feels he can't stay there forever.

"It's time to move on," he said. "I look forward to getting lost."

Smith said she looks forward to attending a university with a student population of about 50,000.

"I can meet lots of new people," she said. "Nobody knows you. It's finding your own identity."

Among the six valedictorians, Maria Fereira is the only one attending a school outside Ohio. She plans to major in philosophy and history at the University of Chicago.

"She's a genius," Smith said.

"She's an excellent writer, too," Wynkoop added.

Fereira was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. She said she and her parents moved to Canal Winchester before she was old enough to remember. She attended private schools before she attended Canal Winchester High School.

She said she chose the University of Chicago because of the letters she received from the school.

"They were really quirky," she said.

She said she wants to study history and philosophy because she likes the subjects. Her career goals involve becoming a lawyer or journalist.