Clear Spring grads have plans for future

June 06, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

CLEAR SPRING -- Looking at his fellow graduates, Mackenzie Blair saw that each one was different.

Each member of the Clear Spring High class of 2008 will leave high school and achieve different things, he said during Thursday's commencement ceremony.

They were the "school hottie," the bookworms, the band geeks and the "goth," Mackenzie, the class valedictorian, said. About 120 students graduated from Clear Spring High School Thursday.

"It might be hard to tell under my cap and gown ...," said Randall Lavigne. "But I am nerd."

Randall hopes to design video games as a career.

"Since I was a small child, I've known that was my dream job," he said. "So, I'm going for my dream."


The graduate said he plans to attend Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire, but he'll always remember performing in the high school marching band.

Danielle Adams plans to go to Hagerstown Community College to become a radiology technician. By the end of the summer, Danielle hopes to have her own apartment. She isn't sure yet if she'll live with roommates, but says that change is all part of graduating and growing up.

"I'm excited, but kind of nervous," she said. "I'm not ready to grow up."

Mandi Shoemaker also plans to go to Hagerstown Community College, and she plans to work with children with disabilities. Mandi's 13-month-old son, Joshua Johnson Jr., is legally blind and only half of his brain was developed at birth.

She said she wants to help other children like her son, who was watching her graduate Thursday.

Mandi said life won't change much for her after graduation. She grew up a lot after becoming pregnant in her sophomore year, she said.

Mandi attended the past two years of school at a family center, where she could take her son to school with her. She plans to use HCC's daycare program while she attends classes in the fall.

Keith Gilchrist will be at HCC as well, where he plans to play basketball. Keith was on Clear Spring's basketball and baseball teams.

He said his best memory from high school was winning the regional championship in baseball this year.

"It hasn't been done in a long time," Keith said.

Nicholas Hall will spend his first year of college at HCC before moving on to Washington College in Chestertown, Md. He plans to study economic and international relations.

"I'm excited to be able to go out into the world and fulfill my dreams," he said.

That is exactly what longtime Washington County teacher and guidance counselor, Budd A. Moore, would have wanted for the graduates, speakers said Thursday. Moore died in April of kidney cancer while he was working at Clear Spring as a guidance counselor.

His wife, Faye Kilbride Moore, was at Thursday's graduation. The class of 2008 paid tribute to him during the ceremony.

Matthew Henesy, a graduate who spoke during the event, said he remembers talking about his future with Moore for about an hour.

"In that time, I felt like I was talking to an old friend," Matthew said of Moore.

Assistant Principal Robert J. Beard Jr. said Moore was a gifted resource for students and wanted every student to succeed.

Choking up when talking about Moore, Beard said he would have left the students with a few parting words, "Good luck and Godspeed."

Clear Spring graduation at a glance

Number of graduates: About 120

Valedictorian: Mackenzie F. Blair

Salutatorian: Laura A. Canfield

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