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Smithsburg grads reminded of strong foundation

June 04, 2010|By HEATHER KEELS
  • Smithsburg High School Senior Justin McLawhorn shares a laugh with classmates during graduation ceremonies Friday afternoon at The Maryland Theatre.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

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    HAGERSTOWN -- Star Trek, doughnuts and even ninjas were invoked at Smithsburg High School's graduation ceremony Friday as speakers searched for parting words that would entertain as well as inspire graduates and their guests.

    Addressing the graduates from the stage of The Maryland Theatre, Smithsburg High School teacher Edward Gift shared a favorite memory about the time when his students complained about a custodian's noisy vacuum equipment and he suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that they come dressed as ninjas the next day to battle the machine.

    "Unfortunately, some of them took me at my word," Gift said. "When I got to class the next day, there sat about three or four students dressed as ninjas and they wanted to know when were we going to attack."

    Gift also took advantage of Friday's status as National Doughnut Day to quote some advice from inspirational speaker Murray Banks: "As you ramble on through life, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole."

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Washington County Board of Education President Wayne D. Ridenour chose a quote from Data, an android character from the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series.

"Asked why he tried so hard to be human when he's an android, (Data) said, 'It matters not whether we succeed; the effort yields its own rewards,'" Ridenour said.

Ridenour encouraged the students never to be satisfied and to strive to make each day or phase of life better than the last.

"Don't believe that today is the pinnacle of your life," he said. "It's a good day. It's a great day. If you believe, though, that your high school career -- or your college career even -- are the best years of your life, you're going to sell yourself short."

Class valedictorian Lara M. Seidman struck a more serious tone with her speech, in which she reminded her fellow graduates that their generation must tackle challenges such as climate change, environmental catastrophes, unemployment and national security.

"Though these problems may seem insurmountable, I'm certain the class of 2010 will make a positive difference in the world," Seidman said.

Salutatorian David R. Wilson also spoke about the importance of thinking big and reminded the students they were more in control of their lives than they had ever been before.

"Everyone you see on this stage has been prepared for what comes next," Wilson said. "The future may be uncertain, but the foundation provides a great comfort."

Smithsburg High School, Class of 2010



Date of graduation: June 4, 2010

Number of graduates: 173

Valedictorian: Lara M. Seidman

Salutatorian: David R. Wilson

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