High school seniors honored at celebration

November 18, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

Juggling sports, friends, work and school can be a difficult task for most high school students, but on Monday night, 194 Washington County high school seniors proved that school doesn't have to get lost in the shuffle.

At the annual Celebration of Excellence, an awards ceremony held at North Hagerstown High School, county high school seniors were honored for maintaining a minimum 3.7 grade-point average through the end of their junior year.

Those students received the Superintendent's Award for Academic Excellence.

"Your success is our success as a school system," Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan told the honorees.

Washington County Board of Education President Bernadette M. Wagner also addressed the students.

Quoting Phillip Brooks, Wagner said, "Do not pray for easier lives, pray to be stronger men and women. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks."


Wagner said the students honored Monday night did not take the easy path and she hopes that they will continue to challenge themselves.

Morgan said enlightenment is the true benefit of pursuing high academic achievement.

Quoting Albert Einstein, Morgan said, "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."

For Hancock senior Mia Hornbaker, being recognized for her commitment to her education was a special treat.

"I think it's important to give people confidence in these types of abilities," she said.

Hornbaker, 16, said it's hard to balance her time working at a pizza shop and her other responsibilities with schoolwork, but she manages.

Benjamin Lloyd, 17, a North High senior, said he has to make the most of the time he has in order to keep his schoolwork from suffering. He plays football and baseball, and volunteers at a hospital.

Rhet Troxell, a Williamsport High School senior, said he plays sports, too. He said he manages his schoolwork by doing a little bit of studying each night. On the weekends, he said, he "hits the books hard."

Staci Grabill, 17, a senior at Williamsport High School, has a strategy of her own.

Grabill, who plays three sports, said that at the end of the school day, and after any practices and games, she finishes her homework before doing anything else.

"It feels great just to know that all our hard work paid off," she said.

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