Some things change, but others stay the same at Chambersburg High

June 08, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - As they have for decades, parents, grandparents, siblings and friends squeezed their way onto the field of Trojan Stadium Friday night to greet the 617 graduates of the Chambersburg Area Senior High School who received diplomas.

The field itself, however, now is artificial turf, so the few dozen students who marked this rite of passage by lighting up a stogie had to wait until they were outside.

Graduates still stand for photos with friends and proud parents, but the Polaroid and the Kodak largely have been replaced by Sonys and Canons.

For as many names as had to be called during commencement, it lasted only 78 minutes, but half an hour after the last of those names - Eric William Zentmyer - echoed over the public address system, some of the 4,000 people in the stands still were working their way down to the field.


Off by themselves were Lydia Hubble and her mother, Mary. Part Potawatomi Indian, Lydia will he heading to college in the fall, but also has received a scholarship to learn about her Native American heritage this summer in Shawnee, Okla.

"It's been a very emotional day," Mary Hubble said.

What kind of emotion?

"Sad. ... It's the end of childhood," she said.

"I'm very close to my mother," Lydia said. "She's the most important person in my life."

The days, weeks and months ahead will be a parting of the ways from families and classmates, with several already signed up for the military and, said Assistant Principal Patricia Jacobs, two already in basic training.

Beth Dunn said her son, Thomas, worked his way through a bout of "senioritis," but added that "he's really a good student. ... He's been so happy these last couple of days."

Thomas earned a gold medal in a national German test and his father, Mark, is taking him to Germany this summer as a reward.

Dunn, Hubble and other students gave thanks to their teachers and parents for their help and support, but not everything about high school was wonderful.

"There were so many students and we were really crowded," Hubble said. That will be changing in a couple of years as a $74 million renovation and expansion of the school gets under way in earnest this summer.

Graduation does bring to an end to the "trials, tribulations and stringent rules that have governed our lives" for 13 years of public school education, salutatorian Renee Byers said, but life will not be all beaches and pina coladas.

"The price of freedom is responsibility. ... We must don the mantle of responsibility and do our part, whatever that might be," Byers told the graduates. They now will begin the process of creating their own set of rules to live by, she said.

"Live the life you love and love the life you live," valedictorian Kathleen Kolumban said.

Chambersburg Area Senior High School graduation at a glance

Number of graduates:



Kathleen Kolumban


Renee Byers

On the Web

Read about all the Tri-State-area graduations and view hundreds of pictures on our Web site at Just click on the Photo Store icon and click Graduation - Class of 2008.

The Herald-Mail Articles