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Williamsport High grads remember lost classmates

June 03, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION
  • Jesse Moreno glances back at friends following the processional into Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center for commencement ceremonies for Williamsport High School.
Kelly Hahn Johnson, Staff Photographer

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    WILLIAMSPORT -- As they received words of wisdom and encouragement, Williamsport High School seniors graduating Thursday night at Hagerstown Community College remembered two students who died of cancer this year.

    The class gift presented to the school was a check for landscaping, and some of that money will be used to establish a scholarship in memory of Josh Forsythe and Katarina "Katie" Stains, both of whom died after being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

    School officials said 196 seniors received diplomas during the ceremony at the Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

    Washington County Board of Education member Paul W. Bailey left the students with some words to live by, like perseverance and persistence. On a lighter note, Bailey repeated wisdom once offered by television personality Andy Rooney.

    Rooney said that no matter how serious life becomes, everyone needs someone "to act goofy with," Bailey said. Rooney also said love, not time, heals all wounds and although life can be tough, students need to say to themselves that they are tougher, Bailey said.

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"You get back up," Bailey said.

Parents, friends and teachers of the students were packed into the building on a warm evening and many fanned themselves to keep cool as other speakers like class valedictorian Chelsey L. Baturin approached the podium.

Baturin's speech was titled "Hakuna Matata," after a saying taken from Disney's "The Lion King" that means no worries for the rest of your days.

Baturin encouraged her peers to accept what they cannot change and told them that the definition of happiness will change as they go through their lives.

"Now the world is calling for us. We must show the world what we can do," Baturin said.

Bailey said graduation is a tough day for parents because they come into the ceremony as parents, but they leave as contemporaries.

For students, Bailey encouraged them to do volunteer work because it is "the lifeblood of this country. If we give, it will grow. If we do not, it will die," Bailey said.

Williamsport High School



Williamsport High School, Class of 2010

Date of graduation: June 3, 2010

Number of graduates: 196

Valedictorian: Chelsey L. Baturin

Salutatorian: Brittany A. Weaver

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