Salutatorian says dream big

June 09, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ


Coast into a comfortable life? Not a chance for Clear Spring High School's graduating class.

Not if Washington County Board of Education member Paul Bailey decides.

During Thursday's commencement, Bailey set lofty, global goals for the class to meet.

"Do some fixing up in our world," he said, urging them to take on poverty, hunger, human rights violations and racial conflicts. He challenged them to find a cure for AIDS, cancer and other diseases.

Quoting Abraham Lincoln, Bailey said, "The fate of humanity is in the hands of our youth."

Before 96 students in the graduating class received their diplomas in the school auditorium, salutatorian Amber Hendershot encouraged her classmates to "dream big."


"Never stop challenging yourself ...," she said. "Expect nothing less than the best."

That will mean different things to different people, valedictorian Sondra Lavigne said during her address. One person might be content to fall in love, another will want to be president of the United States and another might try to raise the best cattle.

She quoted Walt Disney: "All our dreams can come true if we only have the courage to pursue them."

She asked what would happen if top achievers gave up at the first sign of failure.

Jaclyn Hornbaker, a student speaker, said laughter played a key part in her high school career and is the most important element of who a person is.

But, even laughter isn't as important as family support, she said. "Without one's family, the laughter and tears would mean nothing ...," she said. "Never forget that there are people behind you."

Hornbaker, like several classmates, described concrete paths for themselves while celebrating afterward - small steps, perhaps, towards Bailey's grand challenges.

Hornbaker will play soccer at Monmouth University in New Jersey. She plans to study secondary education, she said, because her four years at Clear Spring High were good and she wants to give back.

Track athlete Donald Lapole will start off at Hagerstown Community College, then transfer to Salisbury University on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Joshua Keyfauver, another track athlete, will go to Salisbury University to study exercise science, putting him on a path to be a personal trainer.

Katrina Hendershot also will go to Hagerstown Community College, to become a dental assistant.

Donald Shirley II wants to study criminal justice, then enroll in the Western Maryland Police Academy.

He said he worked with Eric Knode, a Hagerstown Police Department officer, in a lawn-care business.

"Between that and watching 'COPS' on TV .... I've always had a love for it," Shirley said, "and now it is time to do it."

Graduation ceremonies

The following is a list of the graduation times for public high school graduations today in Washington County. Ceremonies are at the school unless otherwise indicated:

Boonsboro High School, 9 a.m., at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center

North Hagerstown High School, 10:30 a.m.

South Hagerstown High School, 11:30 a.m.

Smithsburg High School, 2 p.m., at The Maryland Theatre

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