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Choices endless for Washington High graduates

May 30, 2010|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

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    SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va.-- Choices appear to be endless after talking to some of the 179 Washington High School seniors who received diplomas Sunday evening at commencement exercises in the Butcher Athletic Center at Shepherd University.

    Take Raphaella Eastman of Charles Town, W.Va. She enrolled in West Virginia University's nursing program, but she really wants to be a doctor, a surgeon really.

    "I'm scared. Being a surgeon is what I really want to do, but I'm going to be a nurse first, then maybe...," Eastman said.

    Graciela Isabel Debord-Cisneros is from Gaithersburg, Md., and wants to be closer to home. Debord-Cisneros has enrolled in Montgomery College for the next two years as a way to meet her goal of becoming a teacher. After that, it's off to West Virginia University to finish up the next two years for a degree.

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Ethan Bellotte has his sights set a lot higher.

Bellotte already has a commercial pilot's license and a rating to fly single-engine float planes, which he qualified for in Florida.

He's heading to Alaska to be with his father, a pilot who does some bush-country flying, something Bellotte said he wants to do.

"It's pretty wild," he said.

All of Sunday's Washington High School graduates spent their first two years at Jefferson High School. They transferred to Washington High when it opened in 2008.

Washington High won't have its first four-year graduation class until 2012, said Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Susan K. Wall.

Just because things are difficult doesn't mean they are impossible to overcome, Nikole Renee Hilbert, class president, told her fellow graduates. She said that Washington's class of 2010 has the power to change the world. No one who doesn't try will succeed, she said.

The graduates gave an American flag and a banner to hang on the walls of their high school as a lasting memory of the class of 2010. The gift was announced by Arabia Darsha Anderson, class treasurer.

"This class has won my heart," said Judy Ann Marcus, principal.

She commended the students for all they accomplished for themselves, their school and their community.

"Use your intelligence for good, not harm," Marcus said.

"You will be successful because this group has demonstrated that you know the value of hard work," Marcus said in remarks in the graduation program. "You have realized that to complete some tasks, you must work together to achieve your goals."

According to the program, 80 of the 179 seniors graduated with honors.

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