CHRIS A. BARTHOLOW Salem High School

SALEM -- Chris A. Bartholow, who graduates from Salem High School today, is adamant about where he wants to eventually end up.
"I don't see anything wrong with Salem," Bartholow said. "All of my family is here, and I want to be here. We're a very close family -- the modern Brady bunch."
Bartholow describes himself as "the handyman of the neighborhood" who keeps busy doing yard work and snow removal for his neighbors. It's work he enjoys. So, Bartholow is considering becoming a landscaper.
While he mulls that over, he's also making plans to attend Mount Union College in Alliance. Bartholow envisions himself teaching music or science at his alma mater just as easily as he can see himself working outdoors.
He chose to attend Mount Union because, like the community he grew up in, it is small and friendly. "I visited Youngstown State University, too," Bartholow said, "but it's too big for me. There, you are just a number. At Mount Union, you're a person."
Getting advice: Bartholow said his parents have offered some input in helping him choose what to do after high school. "More heads are better than one, and I keep their opinions close at hand."
Deciding what to do after high school is one of many things Bartholow has had to do this year. Proficiency tests, the ACT, schoolwork, visits to college campuses, the prom and graduation have made for a very busy year, he said. "I wouldn't have survived if it wasn't for my family. I'm taking one day at a time. I'm taking care of this week's priorities right now. If you plan too much, it confuses you more."
Although he has no specific long-term plan, Bartholow said he and his family have talked about going into business together, maybe opening a bait and tackle shop. "My sister has the business sense," he said. He'd also like to start his own family, "but I need to get through this stuff first," he said.

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