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A new beginning for Berkeley Springs graduates

May 30, 2010|By TRISH RUDDER

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    BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Smiles and tears were abundant at the Berkeley Springs High School graduation on Sunday evening.

    "This is not the end of something. This is your time of beginning," said guest speaker Sarah Morris, former Berkeley Springs High School English teacher and West Virginia's 2007 Teacher of the Year.

    More than 500 people applauded and cheered family members, friends and classmates as they received their diplomas on the school's football field.

    "It's very emotional; I may cry, she's my baby," said Kim Jackson, mother of Kasi Jo Jackson, one of the 22 National Honor Society graduates.

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Kasi, 17, will attend Shepherd University in the fall, Jackson said. Her son graduated last year and is studying engineering at Fairmont (W.Va.) State University.

Assistant Principal Lance Fox said the 163-member graduating class is one of the largest in the 121 years of commencements at the school.

"This class is a group of kids that are more than academically able. They are caring individuals who care for each other, their community and their school," Fox said.

Honors student and class president Cory Yarrington said "to those of you sitting her with tears of joy, we did it for you," but now we face our own destiny, he said.

Valedictorian Corrine Martin, 17, is also an honors student who will study graphic design and business at West Liberty University near Wheeling, W.Va.

Corrine said in her address "that graduation is the conclusion, but by no means the end."

Honors student and co-salutatorian Mary Schultz, 17, plans to study speech pathology in the fall at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa.

The theme of her address was to put the knowledge the class learned to good use, she said.

"The class is so full of energy," Mary said.

"We know how to love friends, family and your community. We know how to win. We know what is going on in the world around us," Mary said.

Honors student and co-salutatorian Katarina Napfel said her classmates should make good decisions.

"You are given a new chance on how you will be remembered," she said in her salutatory address.

Napfel, 18, said she will attend Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va.

Honors student Lesley Yost, 18, had a big family in attendance to watch her receive her diploma, said Judy Michael, her grandmother, as she and Craig and Crystal Michael, her aunt and uncle, stood in the shade in front of the bleachers.

Yost will attend West Virginia University in the fall, Judy Michael said.

Nicole Roehm and Megan Risinger, both 2009 Berkeley Springs graduates and Shepherd University students, brought four red roses to give to Dylan Walsh, Corrine Martin, Joseph Nickles and Jackie Bisset.

"The biggest one is for Corrine," Roehm said.

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