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Jobe Development Center graduates celebrate achievements

May 31, 2003|By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Donning a light blue cap and gown, Wanda Webb told a crowd of about 100 people Friday that she didn't think her high school graduation would ever come.

After years of hard work and trust in herself, Webb was able to walk across the stage before friends, family and teachers to proudly receive her graduation certificate.

"I would like to say I made my dream come true," Webb told the crowd moments before she was awarded her certificate. "I did this by having trust in myself."

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Webb was one of eight students at the Washington County Job Development Center who received high school graduation certificates. The commencement was held at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater.

Job Development Center students must overcome hurdles caused by learning and physical disabilities to receive their certificates. The center teaches students skills so they can find jobs after graduation.

Webb said she hopes to find a job in housekeeping.

Tanisha Ann Ailstock, Gerard Crawley Jr., Tyesha Latoya Crump, Elizabeth Marie Diener, Linda Anne Doudna, William Edward French and Matthew Anthony Teal were the other students who received their certificates.

The certificates were presented by Washington County Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan and School Board member Russell Williams.

"It is time to think of pride and duty and joy," Williams told the graduates. "You will be able to proudly say, 'I finished high school.' Your parents will proudly be able to say, 'My child finished high school.' "

Williams also told the students to use what they've learned at the Job Development Center to help others, even if it's just a simple smile or a friendly "hello."

"Please be sure you use your education to help those who are not as lucky," he said.

French thanked his teachers and staff for helping him graduate from high school. He said his favorite courses were math, woodworking and cooking.

"Best of luck to everyone. Thank you," French said.

French said he would like to find a job in housekeeping.

The new graduates also received awards from the staff and faculty members.

French received awards for having perfect attendance for the 2003 school year and for five straight years of perfect attendance. He also was given the Most Improved Award.

The Outstanding Employee Award was given to Crawley. Webb received the Citizenship Award, and Diener won the Distinguished Service Award.

Doudna received the Special Person Award, Ailstock received the Star Performer Award and Teal and Crump each received the Excellence of Performance Award.

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