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Greencastle-Antrim grads urged to strive for meaning

June 06, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

GREENCASTLE, PA. -- Homecoming. The senior prom. A state basketball championship game.

Those events paled in comparison to the eighth-grade butter incident for some of the members of the Greencastle-Antrim High School class of 2008.

"Definitely a good memory," Sarah Louzon said.

The prank involved students strategically placing butter packets on the floor as they left the cafeteria, causing a mass slip and slide throughout the hallways.

That was one of the episodes the class of 2008 remembered Friday night as 211 graduates received their diplomas under abundant sunshine at Kaley Field.

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The other memories were a bit more conventional, such as Julia Stein's of the senior class trip to Disney World, which principal Ed Rife still is wondering about the 18-hour bus trip he enjoyed as a chaperone.

"This will be always be the class that somehow convinced me into a class trip to Disney World," he said.

From the butter incident to the persistent pursuit of vacationing to "the happiest place on Earth," the Greencastle-Antrim class of 2008 was a relentless one.

"Every teacher knew we were the worst class, and we struck fear in their hearts," salutatorian Josh Frankenfield joked during his address. "I wouldn't want to graduate next to anyone else."

Valedictorian Janelle Stottlemyer advised her classmates as to what to do from this point forward.

"Instead of success, I would like for us to strive for significance. Or significant success," she said. "You must decide if you live meaningfully."

Class of 1990 graduate Wendy Beaver Coy spoke at length to the students about overcoming adversity. She talked about her parents' divorce as a child, the day she found out she was adopted, the death of her brother, single parenthood and a long line of illness that struck her and her son.

Through all of that, she now is the controller of Hoffman Automotive in Hagerstown and was the first female service worker on the East Coast.

Her advice was forthright and simple.

"Never let the situation dictate the outcome. I place emphasis on what I have been given, not what I have lost," she said. "If you dream it and believe it, you will accomplish it."

Rife said more than 70 students have obtained college-level credits and the class neared $1 million in scholarships. The institutions are as close as Hagerstown Community College and Shippensburg (Pa.) University and as appealing as Coastal Carolina University near Myrtle Beach, S.C.

But the students urged the need to maintain the Greencastle-Antrim bond.

"We need to stick together, even as we get scattered across the nation," Frankenfield said. "Don't forget our times here."

Greencastle Antrim Senior High School graduation at a glance



Number of graduates: 211

Valedictorian: Janelle Stottlemyer

Salutatorian: Josh Frankenfield

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