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South High graduates 155

June 13, 1997

By TERRY TALBERT

Staff Writer

It was Friday the 13th, and it was pouring this morning as seniors at South Hagerstown High School gathered at the school on graduation day.

Despite both the superstition and the weather, commencement went off without a hitch for the 155 graduating members of the Class of 1997.

Before ceremonies began, several students talked about their feelings, and plans for the future.

"I feel happy and even though it's a rainy day, it's a good day," said Alphonso Bingham, who is 17. Bingham, who admitted being a little nervous, said he planned on going to Hagerstown Junior College (HJC) and majoring in accounting.

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"It's great," said 17-year-old Jeff Warden. The Friday the 13th "curse" made it rain on the class parade, he added.

Warden said he was going into the Marines for four years after graduation. "It will be good for me to go into the Marines, because I really don't feel like going to college right now," he said.

Christina Dobson, 17, was admittedly nervous. "It really hasn't hit me yet," she said. "I want to graduate, but I don't want to do it. I'm glad, but like, this is it." Dobson said she would try to find a full-time job, and then go to HJC in the fall.

Carin Shives, 18, said she also plans on going to HJC, where she'll study and play softball. "I'm getting kind of nervous," she said. "We've been practicing this all week, and now we've got to do it right."

Shanika Freeman, 18, had butterflies. "I'm excited, and a little nervous," she said. "I'm not sure what I want to do yet. I want to just get a job, and get my own place and settle down. You're a little confused..."

Aaron Short, 20, was a returning senior. "It's about time," he said of his graduation. Short plans on going to work as a welder for Grove Manufacturing Co.

Tia Petties, 18, said she'll leave for the Navy in September. "Everybody here says they're not going to school or anything, and I don't want to be like everybody else," she said. "I push myself to make something out of myself."

Marie Byers, president of Washington County's Board of Education, presented the diplomas at the school's 40th commencement.

Valedictorian Aaron Travis Norton of Hagerstown, son of Rex and Hilda Norton, spoke on "Be True To Yourself."

Salutatorian Jasmin Guadalupe of Hagerstown, daughter of Pedro and Isabel Guadalupe, Jr., spoke on "Dedication."

Norton has been active in the French club, Key Club, jogging, music and indoor percussion. He plans to attend St. Mary's College of Maryland, majoring in biology and pre-med.

Guadalupe has been active in band, church youth group, chorus, Key Club, National Honor Society, and All-County Band and Chorus. She plans to attend Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and major in Music Therapy with a minor in Child Psychology.

Student President was Shamika Edwards. Class officers were: President, Demetrios Chirgott; Vice President, Sarah Emral Shaool; Secretary, Jasmin Guadalupe, and Treasurer, Deanna Butts. Senior Class Advisor was Mary Fortson.

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