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Taking on the future

532 graduate from Chambersburg Area Senior High School

532 graduate from Chambersburg Area Senior High School

June 06, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Student speakers from Chambersburg Area Senior High School's graduating class reveled in the completion of 12 years of hard work Wednesday evening, but they also focused on the challenges they will face in the future.

Calling graduation a time of reflection, class valedictorian Thomas Jablin asked his classmates if they had met their expectations and are they the people they want to be.

"We start again before a fresh audience now," said Jablin, who plans to attend Amherst College in the fall.

He said his own reinvention will involve concentrating on becoming better at meeting people and improving his time-management skills.

Jablin was one of four students who addressed the 532 graduates clad in white and blue caps and gowns and a crowd of parents, friends and family packing Trojan Stadium.

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Camera bulbs flashed as the graduates rounded the track and took their seats on the field under blue skies, as damaging storms bypassed Chambersburg during the ceremony.

There was plenty of advice, from Principal Dennis Hillwig and the students themselves.

"You are a very talented group. We encourage you to continue to use your gifts to reach your personal goals," Hillwig said.

Chad White, president of the senior class, urged his classmates to find their talents and to keep in touch.

"Our friendship can be our future strength," he said. "You can not build a reputation on what you intend to do."

White, who will attend the University of Pittsburgh on a swimming scholarship this fall, said he already knows what he is good at, but he said it may take others longer.

"I encourage you to find something you are great in. Everyone has a talent," he said.

Student Government President Emily Hawbaker recounted the graduates' 12-year journey.

"The path was a bare, open road" when the journey began, she said.

Teachers and parents became guardrails, leading the class in the right direction, white lines became rules, and the road became bumpier as they moved on to the junior high and high school levels, she said.

"CASHS proved to be the toughest terrain," said Hawbaker, who will attend Penn State University this fall.

Class salutatorian Allison Cook chose to focus on the journey that lies ahead.

"As we step out of childhood and enter the world, we are given the opportunity to be anything we want to be," she said. "We each have the responsibility of creating our path in life."

Cook, who will attend Lehigh University, encouraged the Class of 2002 to dream big and set high goals.

The atmosphere Wednesday made Faye Showalter emotional as she watched her first child graduate from high school.

She said her son, Dustin Cramer, 18, was nervous beforehand.

"I told him to be calm and just get through it," she said.

Graduating seniors Amanda Ward, 18, and Renata Tusker, 17, said they were more excited than anything else.

"When we sit in school we couldn't wait to graduate. But high school has flown by," Ward said.

"It's gone so fast," Tusker added.

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