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Greencastle seniors give thanks at commencement

June 08, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Greencastle-Antrim Senior High School's graduates of 2007 thanked teachers, family, friends and the community for their support at Friday night's graduation ceremony.

The school concert band played the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance" as 221 soon-to-be graduates marched down the aisles.

"It is with great pride that I address you this evening," said senior class president Brittany Main, who will attend Hagerstown Community College and major in radiology. "We should all give thanks tonight for those who have helped us on our way."

Valedictorian Matthew George began by thanking teachers and staff at the school for their support.

"Many of these memories would not be possible without the help of teachers and staff at our beloved Greencastle," he said. "So teachers and staff - I'm sure I speak for all graduates when I say thank you for teaching and, more importantly, thank you for caring."

George also thanked all of the graduates' parents as well as his own.

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"I thank all the parents for putting up with us for 18 years," he said. "Mom, you've always been there to help me."

For valedictorian Mark Mohler, graduation was a time for him to speak to his classmates about the future.

"Some of us know what we're going to do, and some, like me, have no idea," he said. "What we can do is think about where we'll be in 10 to 20 years."

Salutatorian Emily Izer took the opportunity to speak about the character of the high school and surrounding community. She also thanked her teachers for their guidance.

"The character and values present in the Greencastle community will be passed on from generation to generation," she said. "The spirit of our community is awesome. We have such pride in our community. I hope that our community's tradition of spirit will continue."

Katherine Barnhart, also a salutatorian, commented about the group's unity in entering and graduating high school together.

"We entered high school as one, and we will leave as one," she said. "Today, we all sit here united, focused on the same thing - getting through this graduation."

Although this graduating class, like others, was about to embark on the next journey in life, most of the students did not seem upset to be leaving high school behind.

"It's awesome," said Jaren Gembe, who will attend Shippensburg (Pa.) University in the fall. "I'm starting a new chapter in my life, but also ending this one."

Main also was ready to move on with life after high school.

"It's a relief and I'm very excited," she said. "It's a big step in my life and I'm looking forward to college."

Kelsey Oliver also was glad to be finished with high school, but said she would miss "just being around friends, just hanging out and having no worries and hanging with family." Oliver will attend the Veterinary Technician Institute of Pittsburgh.

Janelle Wenger said she was excited to graduate, but that she "wouldn't choose another school."

"I love Greencastle," she said. "I love the opportunities they give to the students."

The guest speaker for commencement was Ken Berry, who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail. He spoke about making an impact, and how it means to go beyond what is expected and sometimes requires a risk.

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