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'High school drama' ends in grand finale

June 12, 2004|By GREGORY T. SIMMONS

Over four years of high school, there are about 720 days of class time, give or take a few.

The Boonsboro High School seniors who graduated Friday said any one of those days could have brought a new challenge.

At their graduation ceremony Friday at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic Recreation and Community Center, some of the 212 graduates said the problems they faced were both life-changing and trivial, but they needed to deal with them before they got to where they were Friday.

Nicole Kay Smith, 19, said that in the 10th grade, she had hoped to get into a program at Washington County Technical High School. She didn't pass the test to get in and thought about quitting school.

Her parents "told me to stay in school," she said. The following year, she took a child development class, and now wants to run a day care.

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Tests and academic crises weren't the only things students dealt with, though.

Crystal Thompson, 17, put it this way: "High school drama. Boyfriends and girlfriends."

"It's just the high school drama you have to get past," Thompson said. One couple argues, then pulls in their friends, who pull in their friends, and then soon enough, "everyone participates in high school drama"

"It was just funny," she said. The daily dramas could be minor annoyances, but "you just ignore it."

Students also needed to finish community service to graduate.

Sherrie Dwyer, 17, said she needed about 70 hours of service to graduate, but "I went over just a little bit just to make sure."

Dwyer said she had to find the place to do her community service - "70 hours is a lot" - then she had to write up what she learned.

"I got it over with. I'm here now and I graduated," Dwyer said.

Sarah Smith, 18, said the challenge for her was not finishing on time. She actually finished her high school work in January and has started classes at HCC.

Rather, it was getting people here to see her walk. She said some family members were en route from Louisiana.

"They even had their car break down along the way," Smith said.

Then, as the minutes ticked away toward the final ceremony, it seemed to drag on just a little more, said Mike Winpigler, 18.

Two graduation practices Thursday lasted three hours, Winpigler said.

"Kids just wanted to graduate - and not practice graduating," he said.

After the ceremony, a little bit of celebration, cheers and tears, the students started on their ways home.

Smith, who had grappled two years ago with staying in school, and more recently with geometry, said she had a simple plan for the next few days.

Smith said she'd be "just relaxing for now."

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