Tears, nervousness at WASHS graduation

June 10, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- The Waynesboro Area Senior High School graduation ceremony had just begun when Stephanie Scott's right foot began to bounce anxiously. Her eyes quickly welled up with tears.

Stephanie, 17, had predicted it would happen.

"I'm crazy nervous because I'm going to cry," she said before entering the gymnasium Wednesday.

Family and friends filled the gym and watched a video feed in the auditorium for the school's 127th commencement, in which 264 students participated. Another 29 seniors are expected to complete eligibility requirements in the next few days and receive diplomas.

Many of Stephanie's fellow classmates wiped tears from their eyes, but Class President William A. "Billy" Mullarky lightened the mood during his address. He pulled off his blue graduation cap and replaced it with a Waffle House visor for an extended analogy comparing school to the restaurant.

"Think about the customers actively seeking nourishment every time they walk through the door. Those are our students," he said. "I hope each of you leave the Waffle House, I mean Waynesboro High, with the same fulfillment."


Valedictorian Bryan R. Lowry received a hearty round of applause before launching into his own speech, which was more serious in nature.

"This is the beginning of something new," Bryan said. "It will be different and uncomfortable at times. ... We must persevere before we can achieve our potential."

He acknowledged the graduates have been looking forward to "this day" for a long time.

"We have been taught by the best, so therefore, we will become the best," he said.

Principal Christopher Dennis shared favorite memories, including the time students partnered with an assistant principal to assign Dennis "detention" for a public display of affection -- kissing his wife at a weekend event.

"The class of 2009 has collectively been awarded in grants and scholarships $1,441,709," Dennis announced.

Paige Fleagle, 18, said before the ceremony she was nervous about making her planned remarks at the ceremony's start. She will most remember prom, homecoming and football games.

Friends Ben Grove, 17; Zach Glenn, 18; and Mike Gorman, 18; will attend Penn State Mont Alto together this fall.

"We're just getting out in the real world," Ben said.

"There's been a lot of good memories," Mike said.

John Diggins, 18, marveled that graduation day had arrived.

"I can't believe I made it," he said.

"I really wish now that I hadn't wished my years away waiting for graduation," said Kara Vinson, 17.

John and Kara joined Haley Tester and Dale Hummer, both 18, in reminiscing about the class trip to Florida.

"That was amazing," Kara said. "I actually made new friends I never thought I'd talk to."

Waynesboro Area Senior High School

Number of graduates: 264

Valedictorian: Bryan R. Lowry

No salutatorian

Follow the grads

Find more coverage of Franklin County, Pa., graduations this week in The Herald-Mail and on our Web site

In the June 13 Herald-Mail

James Buchanan High School: Friday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m.

Chambersburg Area Senior High School: Friday, June 12, at 6:30 p.m.

In the June 14 Herald-Mail

Greencastle-Antrim High School: Saturday, June 13, at 10:30 a.m.

The Herald-Mail Articles