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End of beginning for Greencastle grads

June 13, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- Graduate: To pass from one stage of experience, proficiency or prestige to a usually higher one.

For most high school seniors, the graduation ceremony is a fleeting moment between yesterday and tomorrow, between beginning and end.

"This is not the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning," said Dennis Owens, a news anchor for ABC27 in Harrisburg, Pa., and guest speaker for Saturday's Greencastle-Antrim High School commencement, paraphrasing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Yet for the 211 graduates of the class of 2009, the bridge between high school and the real world was as novel as it was traditional.

It was the first Saturday morning graduation, Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover said.

Still, dozens of classes before had marched into Kaley Field to "Pomp and Circumstance."

The class of 2009 was the first class to win $1.5 million in scholarship money, Principal Ed Rife said.

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But it was not the first to blast one another with Silly String and toss striped beach balls in celebration of their victory.

It was the first time a commencement speaker sang a Bob Dylan song to the graduates, yet the times, they have been a-changin' since at least the 1960s.

And while Wyatt Carbaugh was the first of his siblings to graduate, John Frick II was the last in his family to receive a diploma.

Watching her first born take his first steps into the real world brought Rhonda Carbaugh to tears.

"Its an emotional day," she said. "I am just so proud of (Wyatt)."

Sharing in his last child's graduation also evoked strong emotions for John Frick.

"He is my third, and him being the last is extra special," he said.

Like most of the 3 million "newly minted" graduates nationwide, whether they were the first or the last to cross the stage, they were tasked Saturday with playing their part in polishing a brighter future.

"Do the best you can in everything," Gladys Doyle told her grandson, Jared Doyle.

"Stay focused, keep your eyes on the prize," Frick said. "Have fun, but not too much."

And in the words of Dylan:

"Come writers and critics

Who prophesize with your pen

And keep your eyes wide

The chance won't come again

And don't speak too soon

For the wheel's still in spin

And there's no tellin' who

That it's namin'.

For the loser now

Will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin."

Greencastle-Antrim High School



Number of graduates: 211

Valedictorian: Daniel Ray Hess Jr.

Salutatorian: Matthew Steven Barnhart

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