Jefferson School awards diplomas

June 07, 2004|by DON AINES

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - After a baker's dozen of high school graduations, one might think Roberta Glenn would be a bit jaded about ceremonies like the one Sunday afternoon for Jefferson High School's class of 2004.

"Thankful ... with a capital 'T,'" the Charles Town, W.Va., woman said after watching the last of her 13 children graduate.

"I'm the last of 13 kids and the first one to go to college," said Alicia Glenn, who graduated Sunday with approximately 460 other high school seniors. She said she will be attending Norfolk State in Virginia next year, where she will study computer sciences.


"I think it's a relief. It's a struggle and then, when you get to the end, it's a relief," Roberta Glenn said of raising each of her children.

For the parents of many graduates, that struggle is over, perhaps to be replaced by the struggle to pay for the college education of their sons and daughters.

"He's going on to a technical school and then to a four-year college," Elizabeth Johnson of Charles Town said as she waited for her son, John Volkmer, to receive his diploma. She said his grandfather came from Missouri to attend the graduation.

"He's 18 ... He's just glad to get out of high school," Johnson said when asked what her son is going to study. "He's looking forward to summer and then taking some classes and seeing what he likes."

From 7 months to 89 years, a large contingent of Heather Buettner's family showed up for the ceremony. Her father, Robert, said the youngest of his four children had a packed weekend, having taken her SATs on Saturday.

"The only bad thing is when they want to move away," Mary Licodo of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., said as she watched for her son, Matthew. He is the second of her five children to graduate and Licodo said her son plans to start a decking business with his father.

Several graduates said they will not be going far from home, at least not yet. The graduation exercises were held in the Butcher Center at Shepherd University and a number of them will end up there in a few months.

George Bell of Harpers Ferry said he will attend Shepherd next spring to study music. A member of the all-state chamber choir and all-state chorus, he said his career has included "every vocal musical group at Jefferson High School except the women's choir."

Ashley Wilson of Harpers Ferry said she will study elementary education at Shepherd. Mara Spilman, also of Harpers Ferry, said she will study sociology and plans on a career in the intelligence field.

Courtney Donnelly-Boyce seemed to have the next few years of her life mapped out, including studying psychology and anthropology at Ohio State and joining the Peace Corps to teach English as a second language in Africa.

Others may have less-detailed plans, something graduate Megan Carrigan may have summed up well in a couple of lines from the senior class poem:

"We have to grow up and be adults now,

Whether we want to, or even know how."

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