Meet the graduate

Name: Quenten Hugie

Age: 18

School: Crook County High School

Hometown: Prineville

Post-high school plans: Enlisting in the U.S. Army, will become a combat ­diesel mechanic

Favorite food: Spaghetti

Favorite TV show: “Friends”

If you could hang out with a famous person for a day, living or dead, who would it be?: Johnny Depp

Where would you most like to travel?: Italy

If Hollywood makes a movie about your life, which actor would play you?: Matthew Perry

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth article in a five-part series about exceptional high school graduates in the class of 2019 across Central Oregon. This student is the outstanding grad from Prineville.

PRINEVILLE — For most of high school, Quenten Hugie wasn’t interested in joining the military, despite participating in Crook County High School’s Navy ROTC program during ninth and 10th grades. But on July 29, after earning his diploma, he’ll be flying to Columbia, South Carolina, for U.S. Army basic combat training at Fort Jackson.

Hugie, 18, said his decision to enlist in the Army was not only because he could see another part of the country, but also so he could earn a college degree and learn job skills at a more reasonable price.

“Come my senior year, I thought I might as well give it a shot,” Hugie said of enlisting. “It’ll get me out of Oregon. It’ll help me pay for my schooling.”

The Crook County High School senior, who graduates Friday, said he’ll be in Fort Jackson for 10 weeks, then he’ll move to Fort Lee near Richmond, Virginia, for 17 weeks, where he’ll learn the skills of being a combat diesel mechanic. Although Hugie said he wanted to become a military police officer, those positions weren’t available, so he picked a job that could potentially lead to a job after leaving the Army.

“I know nothing really about cars, so I’m hopping into cold water,” Hugie joked.

Hugie has some military family history — his great-grandfather served in the Navy. A family friend is a Marine. Hugie said he chose the Army to “try something new,” as he didn’t know anyone in that branch of the military.

Hugie is also looking forward to living somewhere new. He said he’s lived in Prineville his entire life, and the only other states he’s visited are California and Washington.

While serving out his Army contract of three years and 30 weeks, Hugie said he plans on enrolling in criminal justice classes online, so he can potentially become a police officer. He said he wants to be a police officer — if he doesn’t become a mechanic instead — to serve whatever community he lives in and fulfill his mother’s original career path.

“My mom went to school to be a police officer and didn’t finish, so I thought that I’m going to do it, and I’m going to finish,” he said.

Hugie said his mother is his biggest role model, as she raised him and his sister as a single parent.

“She’s a pretty strong person,” he said.

While serving, Hugie said his experience working part time since ninth grade at Prineville restaurants Dad’s Place and Tastee Treet will serve him well in the Army.

“I’ll be prepared to work, unlike other people that probably haven’t worked,” he said.

Although he’s ready to leave Prineville, Hugie said he was close with his teachers and fellow students at Crook County High. He added that his high school years already feel like a blur.

“It went really quick,” he said. “It feels like I shouldn’t be graduating yet.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7854,