Letters to the Editor 5/18

May 18, 2001

Letters to the Editor 5/18

Inmates meet their milestones

To the editor:

On May 23, Principal Brad Keller and Warden Waters of Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown will be hosting the long awaited graduation ceremony in honor of the men who managed to meet the challenge and rise to the occasion through hard work and many hours devoted to studying in order to achieve their General Education Diplomas and Vocational Certificates between April 28, 1999 and May 2001.

What is so special about this graduation ceremony is that the men in attendance range in all ages. Some prior to their incarceration were high school dropouts, others expelled from high school for misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a student and still others managed to slip through the cracks of our public school system without learning basic math skills, or how to read and write.

Determination combined with hard work helped them achieve a goal that many had long given up on has become an accomplishment worthy of praise for them. No longer will there be a need to lie on an application about their education.


Many of these men will be the first members of their families to achieve their high school diplomas, making their parents happy at last. As small as this accomplishment may seem in the overall scheme of things it is a major victory for the men themselves when you consider that at one time education was at the bottom of their list of priorities.

This simple piece of paper alone will not suffice but if they can add the three D's (determination, devotion and desire) they may be guaranteed at least a fighting chance to overcome and achieve.

So on May 23, 2001, at 1 p.m. the men will not think of themselves as inmates but as distinguished students who despite obstacles have risen to become the recipients of their General Education Diplomas and Vocational Certificates.

They will dress in their best clothes and be on their best behavior and pay full attention to the words that will be delivered by the guest speaker and guest dignitaries. And afterwards, like any normal graduating students, they will shake hands and smile for the camera while eyeing the refreshments with a devilish twinkle in their eyes.

So congratulations on a job well done and keep in mind the words of the wise: If the mind of a man can conceive it, and believe it, he can achieve it. Or simply put: ain't no stopping us now!

Rafiki Abdul Karim

MCI, 199426


Hunt Audio saved the day

To the editor:

Smithsburg is so fortunate to have so many people willing to volunteer their time and expertise to enrich all of our programs. At this time I would like to thank two such volunteers, John and Evan Hunt.

On May 8 at 1:30 a.m. at Smithsburg High School we discovered that our sound system had been stolen from our press box. This occurred after a girl's lacrosse game had been played that evening. Not only was the theft a huge loss to our program, it also came during a particularly busy sport week with many scheduled games, plus a county track meet and a playoff game.

Hunt Audio came to our rescue again, as they have many times in the past. John Hunt came out and along with Evan Hunt hooked us up a temporary system to use for our lacrosse game that evening. The next day at 11 a.m. Evan Hunt came out and worked all afternoon to get us a more permanent system to use for our play off game and for our county tract meet.

I would like to thank them for immediately putting our needs first in what must have been a busy week for them also. They salvaged what for us could have been a disastrous week and responded immediately to our needs. We cannot thank them enough.

Teresa Bachtell

Athletic Director

Smithsburg High School

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