Smithsburg grads told to remember to laugh

June 11, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

HAGERSTOWN - S. Joshua Carson was determined not to offer up any canned quotes or points of deep introspection for his part.

Valedictorian for the 164-member graduating class of Smithsburg High School, Carson instead offered up the advice he clung to through the tumultuous times of his high school career, during those moments when life got just a little too serious.

"Think about what our world would be like if everyone from the U.S. to Iraq to China could just sit and laugh together," he said Friday morning from the stage of The Maryland Theatre, moments before raising his voice several octaves for what he was to say next.


"As the little kid from 'The Incredibles' said, 'It would be totally wicked.'" Carson said.

"Never lose your ability to laugh, but laugh responsibly," he said. "Life's not long enough to live in a state of unsatisfaction."

Smithsburg's graduates had plenty of opportunity to laugh and cry during their final year of high school. Along the way, salutatorian Katherine H. Brady said they forged memories that will last a lifetime.

"Today, we graduate, and this is the last time we will all be together as a class," Brady said. "I love you, you mean so much to me and I will remember you forever."

Of graduation, Brady went on to say, "I hope that you are proud of the person you have become, because you should be."

Principal Valerie Novak said among the graduates, 53 will go on to a two-year college, 46 to a four-year college, five to technical schools, five to the armed forces and 46 into the working world.

Lauren Wright said there certainly were parts of high school that she could take or leave, among them the drama of relationships between students. Still, she said, it was within that environment that she discovered who she was and emerged from a shy freshman to a confident senior.

"I think I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot academically, but I learned a lot about myself," said Wright, who plans to study accounting at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. "I'm just excited. I'm excited to go to the beach (a celebratory trip of graduates to Ocean City, Md.), but I'm sure after I get back, it will sink in."

Steven Broussard breathed a sign of relief following the ceremony, but also spoke fondly of his experiences at Smithsburg.

"It's done, it's over ... the last 12 years of my whole life have been school," said Broussard, who plans to study radiology at Hagerstown Community College. "It teaches you a sense of responsibility along with being a part of something."

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