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Grads told to make it count

June 09, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

As their parents will always remember where they were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the Class of 2002 will remember where they were last Sept. 11, Jefferson High School Class Secretary Emma Bowers said.

"I don't think that any student could escape the power of Sept. 11," Bowers said at her commencement ceremony Saturday.

Bowers said she will never forget the faces of her classmates as they huddled around the television watching the tragedy unfold.

"Some cried. Some were enraged. Some watched with quiet amazement," she said.

School officials handed diplomas to about 430 students during the ceremony at Shepherd College's Butcher Center.

Principal Susan K. Wall started the program by telling the graduating seniors that the memories of their graduation will last forever.

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"It is up to you to make your moments count and your memories good ones," she said.

Class President Jill Morton said while commencement marks the end of a successful secondary education, the word itself means "beginning."

"We are young, empty-handed and eager to take control of our lives," she said.

Motivational speaker Kevin Armstrong challenged the packed auditorium to stop coveting what others have and start looking for your own special talent.

"When we have to look at other people, we never find out who we are because all we're doing all our lives is living like other people," he said.

Senior vocal music students sang the class song, Green Day's "Time of Your Life."

Class Historian Candy York presented a scrapbook to Wall, who just completed her first year as principal at Jefferson.

Student Ashley Marken recited a poem she wrote for the class.

"In years to come, we will think about the friends we made and all the good times we shared. Think about the times we felt most alive, and all the ones who truly cared," one part of the poem reads.

Before the service, Ashley Angell of Kearneysville, W.Va., stepped outside in her maroon robe to call her mom on a cell phone.

Her mother had gone home to retrieve a medallion marking Angell's graduation with cum laude honors and Angell wanted to make sure she would return in time. She did.

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