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'Hard to say goodbye' for Clear Spring High's graduating seniors

'We have showed numerous times that being small doesn't mean that we can't make an impact'

June 06, 2013|By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@hearld-mail.com
  • Clear Spring High School Valedictorian Sean Kreps speaks Thursday night at commencement.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

The finality that comes with high school commencement was dawning on members of the Clear Spring High School Class of 2013 Thursday night before the 104 graduates received their diplomas.

“Most of us have been here for all 12 years, so it’s kind of hard to say goodbye,” said 18-year-old Shannon Bishop of Clear Spring, describing a “surreal” feeling moments before she and her fellow classmates marched before their family, friends and teachers in the “Pomp and Circumstance” processional.

Bishop’s sentiment paralleled the remarks of one of the senior class speakers, Victoria Albert, who was one of 11 students who received highest honors. 

“When we are settling down and getting married, having kids and buying a house, we won’t remember who lost the FBLA election for vice president or who failed a chapter test in psychology. Our lives will have moved on from the things we thought were important in high school, and we’ll be in the process of making a life for ourselves,” Albert said.

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Quoting the “wise words” of Andy Bernard, a fictional character from the popular television series “The Office,” Albert concluded her address with a thought that perhaps was on many minds of those about to be conferred.

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them,” she said.

Exemplifying the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., Valedictorian Sean Kreps said that although the entire Clear Spring High School population is smaller than  some other school’s entire graduating class, a person’s small-town roots are not indicative of their success. 

“We have showed numerous times that being small doesn’t mean that we can’t make an impact,” Kreps said.

Several hundred people filled the auditorium and an overflow area for the school’s 97th commencement, during which awards were presented and Washington County Board of Education member Karen Harshman delivered the keynote address.

“I encourage you to take every opportunity to learn as much as possible, because no one can ever take away your knowledge,” Harshman said. “And knowledge is power.”

The graduating class, with the girls dressed in white robes and the boys in blue, received a total of $3,016,084.44 in scholarships, said Rachel Kurtz, college and career readiness coordinator.

Prior to commencement exercises, Principal James Aleshire said the one word fitting of the Class of 2013 is “extraordinary.”

“This is going to be a very difficult class to see leave,” said Aleshire, noting that he has grown close the class after being the school’s principal for the past two years. 

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