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Hagerstown Business College holds spring graduation

April 24, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

Two cum laude graduates of the spring of 2005 class of Hagerstown Business College told their stories to a packed auditorium Saturday morning at North Hagerstown High School.

Robert Shipley, a graphic design graduate, told his 170 classmates and their families and friends that he struggled with career choices because of learning difficulties.

He recalled happy times with classmates, which included serenading a teacher in class, and more frustrating moments.

"You look at that list of courses you have to take, and it's a mile long," Shipley said. "But you stuck it out, and you will continue to do so. (Graduation) is the beginning of our careers."

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Medical secretary/assistant graduate Teresa Reid works in a multiphysician practice in Bethesda, Md. A wife and the mother of three children, Reid said making the decision to go to college was the hardest step she ever made because "high school was awful."

Reid said she started out in the certificate program, then switched to a degree program.

"I'm a worrier and I didn't think I could do it, but the more I got into it, the better I felt," she said. "There wasn't one teacher who didn't go the extra mile for me. When I'm doing EKGs and giving injections, I think about you guys. I got the best training from the best people."

"You've been given a precious gift," HBC President W. Christopher Motz told the class. "You've been given the tools to perform the work you have chosen to do."

Motz advised the graduates that the most important trait for success at work is attitude.

"Smile, never be late, look for the good, respect others and do more than your job requires," Motz said.

Deanna Johnson, 37, of Bunker Hill, W.Va., earned a certificate in the medical billing and coding course. She works at Medic Inc. in Winchester, Va., and was congratulated after the ceremony by her husband, two children, mother and brother.

Johnson said she could relate to Reid's speech.

"I was second-guessing myself," she said.

Cindy Simons, 34, of Hagerstown, earned an associate's degree in health information technology. Her mother, Barbara Garde of Fairfield, Pa., took her picture after the ceremony.

"This is a real proud moment for me," Garde said.

Darius Long of Gaithersburg, Md., celebrated not only his graduation Saturday, but his 22nd birthday. A graduate of the two-year graphic design course, he designs promotional materials for a church.

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