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513 seniors awarded diplomas in Chambersburg

June 11, 2004|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Doug and Pam Lentz were in the stands at Trojan Stadium watching their daughter, Laree, 18, take her turn getting her diploma among the 513 seniors who graduated Thursday from Chambersburg Area Senior High School.

The Lentzes are getting familiar with their vantage point overlooking the athletic field. Last year, their daughter, Laisha, 19, graduated from the school.

The Chambersburg couple has two more high school graduations to go. Their daughter, Logan, 15, enters her sophomore year this fall and Lexi, 12, is in Corpus Christi School.

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Laree will follow her older sister to college in North Carolina. Laisha is at Belmont Abby in Charlotte and Laree will enter the University of North Carolina in the same city to major in art.

Alex Columbis had a number of family members in the stands to watch him graduate.

His mother, Tina Grant, was there, along with her daughter, Cassandra, who graduated from CASHS last year. Tina's husband and his sister were there. So was Alex's father. His stepgrandparents came all the way from California.

"We also have some family friends here, too," Tina said.

Alex is headed to Penn State Mont Alto to study broadcast communication. "It's sad to see your baby grow up and leave, but I'm very proud of him," Tina Grant said.

Cindy Scanzello of Chambersburg saw her son, Michael Johnson, walk up for his diploma. "He's the first one to set off," she said. Her other son, Charlie Scanzello, is in the third grade. "I have nine years to go for him," Cindy said.

Barry L. Purvis, principal of CASHS, told the seniors they were a "wonderful group of students." He urged them to continue to use their talents throughout life to improve their community and society as a whole.

"Tonight breaks the tether of the last 13 years," said Christopher Boryan, president of the class of 2004. Public education, he said, "is the foundation of this nation. It taught us to be life-long learners."

The message Michael Jablin, class salutatorian, left with his fellow seniors was to push themselves to exceed past being average or just good enough. "Push back the fear of failure. Grasp success," he said.

Zachary Mills is the valedictorian. He told his classmates that they were facing a new freedom and more significant challenges than they faced in high school.

"Our lives, our choices, begin now," he said.

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