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Greencastle-Antrim graduates joined in celebration by school officials

June 13, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The students in the Greencastle-Antrim Class of 2008 weren't the only ones happy to see their academic culmination last Friday night at Kaley Field.

There was superintendent C. Gregory Hoover, who remembered the class's first day of kindergarten while he was principal of Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School.

Ed Rife pointed out the class as the first to graduate during his reign as high school principal.

Then, there were the hundreds that filled the stands and lined the track at Kaley Field, all holding stake in the students who had come so far and have so much more left to do.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened," Hoover said. "Smile because you're here today."

Hoover talked about the first day of school for many of the students, way back in the mid-1990s. He remembered how many of them cried as they got off the school bus and headed to kindergarten.

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More than a decade later, he observed some as they wept after receiving their diplomas.

"Go forth with so many learning opportunities ahead of you," Hoover said. "Refresh and renew your excitement and enthusiasm."

Later, Rife presented the Class of 2008, and sounded pleased with the 18 January graduates that sat before him, as well as two that graduated one year early.

There were 211 graduates in the class and Rife watched each of them as they crossed midfield to receive their diplomas.

So, too, did friends and family members of the grads, who poured onto the field as the concert band played "Huldigungsmarsch."

The photo opportunities by some of the giddy spectators were countless. Their kind words endless.

"I'm so proud of you."

"You finally did it."

"You've come a long way."

One student interrupted.

"We've come a long way," she said.

The student seemed to understand that behind every graduate there are firm motivators - parents, teachers, etc. - that might just deserve their turning of the tassel.

Even if it's in the form of a genuine, "Thank you."

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