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James Buchanan High School grads begin their celebration early

June 07, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

MERCERSBURG, PA. - They once dreamed of being actors, doctors, lawyers, stuntmen and cheerleaders, and Friday, the James Buchanan High School class of 2008 stepped into the "real world" where, as each commencement speaker reminded them, anything, especially their dream, is possible.

After 18 years of waiting for the day their names would be announced as graduates, the class of 2008 could not hold out until the end of the ceremony to celebrate.

Each speech offered to the group only prompted more beach balls and strings of sticky foam to soar across the caps of fellow graduates seated in neat rows on the field at Rocket Stadium.

The 2008 class showed family and friends that if anything, they were a class that knew how to have fun.

Class adviser Samuel Dickey said it was what made the group unforgettable.

"The most memorable thing about this class is that they weren't the brightest group," he said. "But they were always willing to have fun and look for the bright side of every situation."

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Even as the sound system chirped with feedback, the students found humor in the situation.

Expect the unexpected, Superintendent Dr. Rebecca Erb told the graduates through the feedback.

"The unexpected may be joyful and it may be troubling," she said.

Yet for all of the laughs shared as Erb read vignettes of the graduates told by their elementary school teachers, the evening was not without its tears.

Sue Statler said she went through quite a few tissues while she watched her first child, Rodina, graduate.

"I cried about three times," she said, choking back more tears. "It is just so wonderful. I am so proud of her."

The students were itching to get onto what was next.

"This was an amazing, unforgettable day," Bethany Lorshbaugh said.

"I am done," Emily Armstrong said. "There were times I didn't know if I would even pass this year."

"This was so exciting," Adam Dick said. "Bring on what's next."

Number of graduates:

188

Valedictorian:

Rachel Reeder

Salutatorian:

Marcy McLaughlin

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