Six receive diplomas from Franklin Learning Center

June 02, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Not every graduate gets to hear his original poem read by the commencement speaker, but Mark Brake, 18, did at his graduation from Franklin Learning Center.

Brake, of Waynesboro, Pa., and six other students in green gowns crossed the stage at Franklin Learning Center in Chambersburg on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaker Robert Lindsay, assistant director of special education for Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12, which offers educational support to districts in Franklin, Adams and York counties, read Brake's poem about sunrise and sunset.


Waynesboro Area School District Superintendent Barry Dallara presented the diplomas while Jane Adams-Delp, Franklin Learning Center principal, moved the tassels to the opposite sides of the students' mortarboards.

Franklin Learning Center is a public school facility that serves students with special needs. The school is supported and operated by the Chambersburg, Greencastle, Fannett-Metal, Tuscarora and Waynesboro school districts.

Receiving diplomas were Wallie Byler, Fannett-Metal School District; Brake, Waynesboro Area School District; Shawn Briggs, Greencastle-Antrim School District; Ethan Funk, Tuscarora School District; Amy Hornbaker, Chambersburg Area School District; Shane Pryor, Waynesboro; and Amy Snowberger, Waynesboro.

Lindsay said his favorite books are the Bible, books about Abraham Lincoln and books about retirement.

He told the graduates to think about their life as a book.

"You are in the early chapters, and you have lots more to go," he said. "Your next step is very exciting, and I expect good things from you. Reach for the stars."

Lindsay will retire next month after more than 30 years in the special education field.

Before presenting the diplomas, Dallara congratulated the parents.

"It's your day, too, as you continue to help your children become as successful in life as possible," he said.

Amy Snowberger, 21, who led the Pledge of Allegiance during the ceremony, said she plans to find a job working at a preschool in Waynesboro. During her time at Franklin Learning Center, she assisted one of the preschool teachers. She is a fan of Harry Potter and The Baby-sitters Club book series.

Brake plans to take a year off to work at Mountain Gate Family Restaurant near Waynesboro.

"I'm looking at colleges," he said.

He would like to go into animation or the games development field.

"I'm interested in a lot of different things," he said.

A fan of the Left Behind series, Brake likes math and is learning to drive. Brake's mother, Naomi Bumbaugh, and his father, Geary Brake, and many other relatives attended the graduation.

Shane Pryor, 21, said he plans to increase his hours at the Hampton Inn in Chambersburg, where he works in the laundry and cleans. He likes wrestling and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In addition to his parents, Roy and Chris Pryor of Waynesboro, Pryor's grandparents, brothers and aunts saw him graduate.

Fellow graduate Shawn Briggs, 20, also works in the laundry at the Hampton Inn. A NASCAR fan, Briggs is a volunteer in the Greencastle Fire Department.

Pryor and Briggs obtained work experience through the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, Adams-Delp said.

"They have job coaches to teach them, and they are really excited," she said.

Both students took part in the work experience class at the center, working and drawing a paycheck at Schreiber Foods in Shippensburg, Pa.

"They showed that they have job skills," Adams-Delp said.

Beginning in upper elementary school, some students work in the school cafeteria to acquire job skills such as being on time and respecting the employer, she said.

"We're not training cafeteria workers, we're training workers," Adams-Delp said.

Students may attend Franklin Learning Center until they are 21 to fulfill graduation requirements.

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