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Tech graduates 179

June 09, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

HAGERSTOWN

scottb@herald-mail.com

Washington County Technical High School on Tuesday held a graduation ceremony for its largest class in history - 179 students - and student leaders encouraged them to chase their dreams.

Last year the school's graduating class had 145 students, Principal Jeffrey E. Stouffer said.

The school has been operating for about 25 years, he said.

Stouffer estimated about 2,200 friends, family members and school staff attended the graduation ceremony for the class of 2004 at Hagerstown Community College. Just as the school's enrollment is growing, so is the audience and graduation class size, he said.

The school valedictorian was Ling Xiao, and the salutatorian was Richard A. Hult III, he said.

Washington County Board of Education member Princeton Young urged the class to help those less fortunate and to give something back to society.

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The class song was "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd and the class motto was "Get 'er done," a phrase shouted several times by audience members during the ceremony.

Student Tiffany L. Dillman gave a graduation address on the theme "If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It." She mentioned Walt Disney, Sam Walton and the Wright Brothers as examples of people who successfully pursued their dreams. She encouraged students to follow that example.

"Class of 2004, we are the dreamers and the doers," she said.

Christina M. Merrbaugh spoke on the theme "What's Yet to Come?"

"Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability and give it all you have got," she said.

Thomas Wibberley gave two seniors, Bradley Lee Wyand and Michael Wayne Fox, $1,000 scholarships in memory of his son, Craig, who died in the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000. Craig Wibberley was a 1999 graduate of the school.

After the ceremony, students celebrated their graduation.

Asked how he felt, Steven Jeffrey Muse, 17, said, "Better than you can imagine."

Muse, whose attended North Hagerstown High School, said he plans to attend Hagerstown Community College in the fall.

"I'm proud that I made it," said Nicole Knable, 17, who attended Smithsburg High School. She said she plans to attend Hagerstown Community College in the fall with the goal of becoming a fashion designer.

Her proud mother, Sheri Kipe, said graduation has been an emotional time.

"I could not even buy a graduation card without bawling my eyes out," Kipe said.

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