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CASHS class is big, but close

June 12, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Logging 620 members, the Chambersburg Area Senior High School class of 2009 might be Franklin County's largest group of graduates, but that doesn't mean the students are not close.

"Our class is filled with friendships that will absolutely last a lifetime and that will never be forgotten," said Brennan Elliott, president of the class of 2009.

Throwing their arms around each other's shoulders, graduates Kylee Timbrook and Pierce Thompson took a moment before the ceremony to relax and acknowledge their building nerves.

"(I am) really nervous," Timbrook said.

"Yeah, (I'm) really scared," Thompson said.

The girls knew moments later, thousands of parents, family and friends would drown out the pomp and circumstance with cries of, "Baby, you did it! Go, Zoe! Woo, hoo!."

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Sharing a nervous laugh, Thompson and Timbrook explained it is hard enough to cross the threshold into tomorrow, but in heels, the journey is twice as precarious.

"I really hope I don't fall," Timbrook said.

While the graduates sweated the moments before the ceremony, their families got ready to scream, cry, clap and celebrate like crazy.

Graduation always is a day of pride for a family, said Elizabeth Naylor of Hagerstown, aunt of Tyler Stoner.

"This is a big accomplishment for any student," she said.

Graduation day is a tough time for adults, Elliott said.

"They come to the ceremony as full-time parents, and after 18 years on the job of child raising, they come home unemployed," he said.

Yet for the thousands of people crammed into Trojan Stadium, not every parent was able to take part in commencement.

"I wish my dad could be here. He is in Iraq," Curtis Tarman said. "I'm just glad he will be able to see me graduate."

To include parents such as Tarman's father, who serves in the Air Force, Chambersburg Area Senior High School reached across the world Friday by broadcasting the ceremony live over the Internet to active-duty parents during the wee hours of the Iraqi morning and by linking some parents by videoconference.

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