Hancock graduates 35

June 14, 2002|by DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

HANCOCK - Thursday was a day of excitement tinged with sadness in Hancock, as 35 young adults graduated from Hancock Middle-Senior High School.

Class valedictorian and co-president Alicia Jean Barnard said, "I'm excited but kind of sad about leaving."

Barnard, who plans to study biology at Villa Julie College in Stevenson, Md., told her fellow graduates that their time together has passed quickly.

She thanked her friends and classmates for their support over the years, and told them that whatever path they choose after high school they all can accomplish great things.


"This ceremony is all that's between us and the real world," class co-president Lainnie Opal Bivens told her classmates. Bivens plans to study business administration at Hagerstown Community College.

Hancock Principal John Davidson stressed the importance of having a good attitude. He told the graduates to persevere and not give up on their dreams.

"Remember, your lives are just beginning," Washington County Board of Education President Edward Forrest said. He challenged the graduates to "push the envelope."

Class salutatorian Derek Gregory Yost told his fellow graduates to focus on the future and the opportunities before them, instead of the past.

Yost, who plans to study computer science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, said he had mixed emotions about graduating.

"I'm excited but yet sad," he said as he and classmates made last-minute adjustments to their white and blue gowns. "Sad because I'm moving on. I love this school."

Cindy Presgraves cried before the graduation, and predicted the tears would return during the ceremony. But they would be tears of happiness over her daughter Kristin's graduation.

"I'm excited because she's going to Hagerstown Business College," she said.

Of the 35 graduates, 15 are going on to a two-year college, six plan to attend a four-year college or university, four are joining the military, two are going to trade schools and the rest are entering the work force, said Jaime Vallo, school counselor.

Vallo said the graduates have been awarded $236,000 in scholarships.

Barnard closed her commencement speech by dedicating the graduation to the parents.

"(You) never gave up on us even when we gave up on ourselves" Barnard said. "We love you and could not have done it without you."

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