Clear Spring graduates urged to pursue their happiness

June 03, 2010|By DAN DEARTH
  • Brianna Davis, left, and Amanda Paylor share a hug Thursday before the processional begins at Clear Spring High School's graduation.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

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    CLEAR SPRING -- The Clear Spring High School graduation was delayed for several minutes Thursday while school officials quibbled with a senior who had displayed the words "Dream Big" across the top of her cap.

    Senior Paige Shirk initially refused to change the cap during a brief dispute with officials as the class waited to take the stage in the school auditorium, but relented when she was told that she wouldn't be allowed to participate.

    The ceremony began about five minutes late after she exchanged her cap for a plain one and returned to her spot in line.

    "It wasn't something that would offend anyone," Shirk said after the ceremony. "I was very disappointed. In fact, I cried for a long time."

    The events that occurred before the ceremony somewhat paralleled the speech that was given later by valedictorian Aaron Hetzer, who encouraged his classmates to shove back as they begin their journey into adulthood.


"The nation of America was founded on the idea of staunch individualism," he said, "the concept that every man has the worth and ability to self-determine what life holds for him. It was the fruition of this that was the American Dream."

Hetzer urged the Class of 2010 to pursue whatever it is in life makes them happy -- even if that entails working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in a cubicle.

"You can realize that success is not found in a paycheck or a larger house, but rather it is found in a realization of your own goals and satisfaction therein," he said.

Several hundred people packed into the school auditorium as speeches were given and scholarship recipients were asked to stand and be recognized. Board of Education member W. Edward Forrest gave the keynote address.

Many of the 108 students in the Class of 2010 said they would miss their friends when they start college in the fall.

"It's going to be hard not to see everybody's faces," said Dylan Baker, who plans to attend Hagerstown Community College before transferring to the University of Maryland. "I'm sure we'll keep in touch on Facebook."

Maggie Harmon said she will attend HCC before transferring to a four-year college.

She said she began attending Clear Spring High School as a sophomore after attending private school for most of her life.

"It's always hard being the new kid," she said. "But everyone accepted me. I've made some very good friends here."

Zachary Uchima attributed much of his growth as a person to his classmates.

"It's been a great four years," he said. "I'll never forget the people I'm graduating with. They definitely shaped who I am today."

Clear Spring High School

Clear Spring High School Class of 2010

Date of graduation: June 3, 2010

Number of graduates: 108

Valedictorian: Aaron David Hetzer

Salutatorian: Amanda Jacqueline Fawley

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