Evening High School student talks of challenges she met

Cassandra M. Burkhart overcame her mother's death, ADHD to earn diploma

May 27, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION
  • Brittany Bell, left, and Cassandra Burkhart share a laugh on stage Thursday during the Washington County Evening High School commencement.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

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    HAGERSTOWN -- It was a night filled with emotions, as students spoke Thursday about obstacles they overcame and challenges they met head-on to earn a high school diploma, during graduation ceremonies for Washington County Evening High School.

    The graduation address during the ceremony at Washington County Technical High School was given by Cassandra M. Burkhart, one of 12 evening high school students who received diplomas.

    Burkhart talked about sickness in her family and how her mother died before Burkhart was able to accomplish some of her goals.

    Burkhart said she also dealt with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which includes symptoms such as difficulty staying focused, difficulty controlling behavior and hyperactivity.

    She credited the staff at Washington County Evening High School with helping her through her studies.

    "I know I can do whatever I set my mind to doing. It just takes hard work, time and patience," Burkhart said.


"We did it," Burkhart told a crowd in the technical high school's dining area.

Applause went up from the audience as Burkhart returned to her seat.

Students who attend evening high school range from those who are graduating early and taking college prep courses to those who have attendance or behavioral issues, said Christine L. Corbeil, administrator of the evening school.

Corbeil said she did not have a total number of students who graduated from the evening school. Some of the graduates will particiapte in graduating ceremonies at their home school, she said.

Thursday night's ceremonies included song and inspirational advice from speakers like Washington County Board of Education member Paul W. Bailey.

Among the graduates was Justin Rhinehart, who said he dropped out of school at age 16 to take a full-time job, and later two full-time jobs. But he returned to evening high school to finish his education, and now he wants to study biomedical engineering and learn how to make prosthetic limbs.

"We made it," Rhinehart said of the students' group effort.

Washington County Evening High School, Class of 2010

Date of graduation: May 27, 2010

Number of graduates: Twelve

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