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Williamsport grads urged to continue pursuing success

June 06, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

HAGERSTOWN -- As the Williamsport High School class of 2008 lined up Thursday to receive a document that would authenticate the past 13 years of their lives, the blue- and white-robed seniors shared a mix of emotions that ranged from pride to nostalgia to apprehension.

"I'm a little scared," admitted Kyle McDannell, 17, as he wrote his name inside his graduation cap. "You're like, 'Man, I've got to be a man now. Now I've got to pay my own bills and make my part-time job a full-time job.'"

For Takaila Warfield, 17, the overwhelming emotion was relief.

"I can't wait to get it over with," said Warfield, who said she was the first in her family to graduate high school. "It's been a long 12 years."

Brandi Mellott, 17, said she was happy to finally move on and follow her passion for art. She said the hardest part of graduating was leaving behind all the good times she had in high school with her friends.

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"They're the biggest part of the high school experience," she said.

The Williamsport High School graduating class has been especially close-knit, said Alli Zabe, 18, who planned to go bowling with her friends after the ceremony to celebrate what she called "the culmination of everything."

"It's finally real that we're finished," Zabe said.

During the ceremony at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic Recreation and Community Center, Salutatorian Alicia Lenore Domsky took the opportunity to remind her classmates of the unique memories they shared as "the kids of the '90s."

"As we arrived on the first day of kindergarten, with light-up shoes on our feet and Trapper Keepers in hand, we prepared ourselves to embark on this 13-year journey," Domsky said.

In bidding her classmates farewell, Domsky invoked another icon of her generation.

"Remember, that through the great phenomenon of Facebook, we are always only a click away," she said.

Valedictorian Julie Ann Cook used her speech to look back on the class's "many and varied successes," from the girls track team's state title to the Blue Band's all superior ratings.

"Let's continue to pursue success, taking risks and having fun along the way," she said.

Williamsport graduation at a glance



Number of graduates: 208

Valedictorian: Julie Ann Cook

Salutatorian: Alicia Lenore Domsky

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