North High grads excited and grateful

June 05, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The clapping in unison grew louder Friday morning as members of the North Hagerstown High School class of 2009 lined up to begin the graduation march from the gymnasium to the auditorium.

In just a few short hours, the 329 students in the graduating class would make the transition from high school seniors to the real world.

Cameron Kay, 18, said college is not a part of his plans at the moment. For now, he said he just wants to find a summer job.

"I'll do anything ... anything within reason," Kay said. "I just need a change of scenery."

But like many of his classmates, Kay said he will miss the daily routine of seeing his friends and teachers.

"I guess I'm going to miss my teenage younger years," said Mikhaela Pozhoga, 18. "The pep rallies. The assemblies. I'll miss all of that."


Pozhoga said she plans to attend photography school in Washington, D.C., and hopes to become a fashion photographer in Europe.

Ashlyn Powers, 16, said she skipped a grade and graduated early.

"I got my credits really fast," she said. "I'm excited to be out of high school."

Powers said she wants to study at Hagerstown Community College to become a nurse.

She thanked her teachers for their commitment.

"I really had good teachers," she said. "They're the best."

Forty students in North High's class of 2009 had grade-point averages greater than 4.0. The class, in all, received more than $2.5 million in scholarships.

Washington County Board of Education member Donna L. Brightman reminded the students the entire Washington County community made a huge investment in their education

She suggested they challenge authority and "then question their answers."

"I implore you to be fully engaged," Brightman said. "It's much easier to make money than to make a difference."

During his speech, class valedictorian Christopher Bradford acknowledged all of the parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and teachers who helped the class of 2009 along the way.

"Plan for anything and everything that will place us in an advantage in our lives," Bradford told his classmates. "... Our actions in the present are ephemeral, and will live on only in our memories of the past."

North Hagerstown High School

Number of graduates: 329

Valedictorian: Christopher Bradford

Salutatorian: Adeline Cumpata

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