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Waynesboro High graduates 292

June 08, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Vehicles surrounded Waynesboro Area Senior High School with messages like "Seniors," "WASHS Class of 2006," "Congrats Seniors" and "Bye Bye 'Boro!" sprawled across their passenger windows and rear windshields.

The vehicles bearing yellow and blue paint were parked well beyond the confines of the high school's parking lots as 292 students graduated Wednesday evening in a ceremony where speakers looked to the future.

"This ceremony serves as the bridge to the first day of the rest of your lives," Superintendent Barry Dallara told the graduates with gusty winds tugging at the American flag behind him.

Before the ceremony, many of the young men and women saw their futures taking them on different paths and opted to reminisce about the four years that made them part of the school's 124th annual commencement. Specifically, without prompting, several of the small groups said they will miss "mashed potato day" in the high school cafeteria.

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Molly M. Mullarky, class president, even mentioned times when students "get an extra scoop of mashed potatoes" in her address to the faculty, administration, graduates and family and friends packing the stadium bleachers.

For the bad rap cafeteria food has gotten over the ages, that being served in Waynesboro is "not really that bad," Shane Vulgamott said.

The cafeteria also is good for "just hanging out with your friends at lunchtime," Jessica Sweeney said.

Those friends will change just like hairstyles and cars, Mullarky said. What hopefully won't change, she said, is "who we are."

"Despite many external changes, you can always count on what lies inside of us to guide our paths in life," Mullarky said.

Principal Jon Bilbo, completing his first year in Waynesboro, commended the students on who they are, saying they have been exceptional role models to younger students and represented the district well in their travels.

"As a principal and as a faculty, we could not have asked any more from this class than what they did for us on a daily basis. .. They constantly represented the outstanding students we (have)," he said.

Co-valedictorian Gabriel M. Fickett pointed to "this clichd new chapter in our lives" by urging his classmates to do what is important in the world like the character Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings."

"Life has a bad habit of knocking on your door at the most inconvenient times," Co-valedictorian Patrick S. Hess said, after guiding the class through a knock-knock joke and congratulating them on opening the door for "Life," who was doing the knocking.

"Tomorrow is a whole different ballpark for most of us, whether it's going to college, the military or entering the workplace. ... It is tomorrow we become the world's future," Mullarky said, speaking through tears.

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