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Job Development Center honors grads

May 30, 1998

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

SMITHSBURG - The graduation season is under way, and perhaps one of the most emotional and meaningful ceremonies occurred Friday at the Job Development Center.

Eleven students at the Smithsburg school overcame learning and physical disabilities to take home graduation certificates.

One was extra special.

Crystal Joy Condon's success was so great this year that she was awarded a high school diploma.

In the 18 years he has been principal at the school, Gary Hollandsworth said he can only remember about half a dozen students who have received high school diplomas.

A number of awards and honors were given to the graduating class for attendance and academic improvement. When Condon rose to accept her diploma, teachers and parents gave her a standing ovation.

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Teachers say her next quest is trying courses at Hagerstown Junior College.

"That's no small feat. In fact, that's an enlightenment for all of us," said Superintendent of Schools Herman G. Bartlett Jr., who spoke at the ceremony.

"Five years ago, I never thought I'd be here receiving my diploma," Condon told the crowd.

The other 10 students received Maryland high school certificates, which are given to students who successfully complete four years of secondary school courses, said Hollandsworth.

Certificates are not as high as a diploma, which requires passage of high school functional tests, said Hollandsworth.

Many of the graduates already are working or plan to get more training after the Job Development Center. Many said they will miss the friends and teachers they have known for years.

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