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Williamsport awards 200 diplomas

June 14, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Quoting from a popular song, Williamsport High School's Valedictorian told her classmates Thursday to "remember being small, playing under the table and dreaming."

When they were in elementary school, the members of the Class of 2002 had no limit to their dreams, said Jennifer L. Blasko.

Blasko asked the class to remember that feeling as they embark on their life's journey.

"When it comes to our future, anything really is possible," she said.

School officials handed diplomas to 200 graduating seniors Thursday morning in a ceremony at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic Recreation and Community Center.

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An estimated 1,500 family members and friends packed the auditorium.

Blasko said she wasn't sure what to say in her address, but she decided to draw on the insight of her idol, musician Dave Matthews.

Using lyrics from his song "Ants Marching," she urged the class not to put off their dreams.

"Our future is now, not tomorrow," she said.

Salutatorian Jill N. Mease donned a striped "Cat in the Hat" style hat before she began her address.

Mease read the Dr. Seuss story "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

Some graduates said they were excited and nervous.

"Just trying to get it over with," said student Derrick Sweigert, who was waiting to line up for the processional.

Parents said they felt mixed emotions about watching their children reach a turning point in their lives.

Darryl and Margaret Bingaman remembered when their oldest child, Teresa, was about to start kindergarten and she broke her leg. She almost wasn't able to start school with her classmates.

"I was having a real hard time letting her go," Margaret Bingaman said.

"It's true what people say, life goes by quick. They grow up fast," Darryl Bingaman said.

In between graduation speakers, the school's Show Choir entertained the crowd. Senior members of the choir stood in the front rows and sang solos.

Guidance counselor John F. Homan announced that the class has been offered $1,976,389 in scholarship money.

Homan presented local scholarship and achievement awards to dozens of students.

As a gift to the school, the class donated $2,500 to replace microscopes and enlargers in the art and science departments.

Principal Roger B. Giles presented awards to four seniors who had perfect attendance throughout their high school careers. They are Jennifer Brown, Jonas Dawson, Kevin Farmer and David Gildersleeve.

Giles gave a service award to Katharine Mayhugh for being the school's morning announcer for the last two years.

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