SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — With 381 graduates, the Martinsburg High School Class of 2012 is the largest yet, interim Principal Trent Sherman told a capacity crowd Friday night at the school’s 134h commencement exercises.
The graduating class — which received about $2.5 million in scholarships and can claim a stake in state titles won in show choir, basketball, baseball and back-to-back crowns in football — may hold the graduate record for years to come, Sherman said.
Next year’s graduating class is smaller, and a fourth high school is also set to open then, he said.
Considering the school’s lengthy history, Sherman told the class that should never make light of the fact that they are graduates of Martinsburg High, conservatively estimating it is among the top 5 percent of the nation’s oldest high schools.
Before proceeding into the gymnasium in the Butcher Center at Shepherd University to receive her black and orange diploma, Madison Yoder, 18, said she was going to miss winning state championships at Martinsburg High.
“It’s a good feeling knowing you’re the best,” Yoder said.
Kaitlyn Wagoner said she was going to miss her friends she has met over the years and the teachers who helped her along the way.
Good Times show choir Director Linda Snyder, who is retiring, was one in particular, she said.
“She’s kinda graduating with us,” said Wagoner, who served as a section leader in the group.
After graduation, Holly Jefferson said she is bound for El Salvador for a year of missionary work. And after she finishes that, Jefferson said plans to obtain her missionary degree, with plans to go to Afghanistan and serve as a missionary nurse.
Among the highlights of her time at Martinsburg High was helping coordinate the Fields of Faith event as part of Fellowship of Christian Athletes last fall, she said.
“They still talk about it,” said Jefferson, who shared her own testimony at the event.
Katelynne Yates said her most memorable moment was becoming homecoming queen her senior year.
Alex Aable, who plans to attend Montgomery College, had a hard time picking one special time at his alma mater.
“My best time would probably be .... I honestly don’t even know; there was too many good times,” said Aable, smiling.
Encouraging fellow classmates to become successful in life, National Honor Society President Marqus Burrell said what they make of themselves would come from the motivation from within.
Burrell finished his speech by quoting Abraham Lincoln.
“... Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and, in the end, you are sure to succeed.”