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25 graduate after summer school

July 30, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Amanda Snyder said missing the 2010 senior prom at Clear Spring High School would be her biggest regret about graduating a year early.

Snyder, 17, was one of 25 students from Washington County Public Schools to graduate Thursday after completing summer school.

The ceremony was held in the auditorium at North Hagerstown High School.

"I will miss going to senior prom and most of my friends," Snyder said. "I just felt like I was done with high school. Now, I'm ready to move on to college."

About 500 students participated in this year's Washington County Public Schools Summer Learning Center, a program that began June 22.

Some students went to summer school to pick up credits they needed to graduate, said Michael Chilcutt, principal of the Summer Learning Center.

Other students used the program to take classes to gain credits for early graduation, Chilcutt said. The program also gave eighth-graders a chance to meet their teachers for the coming academic year to help make the transition to high school a little easier.

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"They've all worked very hard," Chilcutt said after the ceremony. "I'd have to say that the summer school staff has been excellent ... The kids met with a lot of success."

Many of the students paced as they waited to start the graduation march into the auditorium.

Dustin Harmon, 17, of Boonsboro, said he took an English class four days a week this summer to graduate ahead of time.

Harmon said he intends to join the U.S. Coast Guard after he gets consent from his parents.

"That's all I need," he said. "I was a little bit tired of high school."

The 20-minute ceremony was highlighted by speeches from Boyd Michael, deputy superintendent for school operations, and Wayne Ridenour, president of the Washington County Board of Education.

Ridenour said attending graduations is the highlight of his service on the board.

"The fact that you are here is indicative of your courage," Ridenour said in his speech to the students. "We are very proud of your accomplishments."

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