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Jefferson High grads to decide what happens next

May 30, 2009|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -- Natalie Bonner Snyder, one of 380 Jefferson High School seniors who graduated Saturday in Shepherd University's Butcher Center, remembered her class' early days as freshmen.

"Days and weeks went by and, before we knew it, we started to forget who was from Charles Town, Shepherdstown or Harpers Ferry and we simply became the Cougars of Jefferson High School," she said.

Snyder, one of 134 seniors to graduate with honors, said in remarks to her class, "During our four years walking those halls, sitting in those classrooms and being with each other, we have had many accomplishments that have reflected the group we are and the individuals we have become."

"We have been preparing for life after high school for the last 18 years. Now high school is coming to an end," said Lindsay Cobb, president of the Class of 2009. "What Happens next? When we wake up tomorrow, next will be here ... and we can make whatever we want out of what happens next."

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Most members of the Class of 2009 were born in 1991, Principal Howard Guth said. The first Gulf War occurred in that year, the elder George Bush was president and "Cheers" was popular on television. 

Now, the current war with Iraq is "hopefully winding down," Barack Obama is president, and "American Idol" and "Desperate Housewives" are some of the more popular television shows, he said.

But the biggest change, Guth said, comes in the form of Twitter, iPhones, iPods and new technology.

Guth asked the graduates what they think their world will be like in 18 years ... the energy sources, the economy, political structure and which countries will be the most influential.

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