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Although paths of Williamsport High grads will be different, they 'hit the finish line together'

'Now it is time to leave this school for something beyond this community'

June 06, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Williamsport High School Valedictorian Amanda Brechbill walks up to the stage to deliver her graduation address Thursday during Williamsport High School's commencement at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic Recreation and Community Center.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

Touching on themes as varied as legacy, the workforce, teamwork and the speed of technology, student and adult speakers took to the podium Thursday night to prepare Williamsport High School’s 206 graduates for the next chapter in their lives.

Co-Salutatorian Benjamin M. Seibert, asked the students how they want to be remembered in life. Will they volunteer? What kind of parents will they be? Will they put others’ needs before theirs?

“Only you know the answers to these questions,” Seibert said in his address inside Hagerstown Community College’s Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

Co-Salutatorian Stephen C. Flessner said members of the 2013 graduating class now stand at a crossroads that might lead to more academic study or possibly entry into the military. Others might attend a technical school to learn a trade, while others might go directly into the workforce, Flessner said.

Although the paths will be different, Flessner said each of the graduates could take pride that they stood side-by-side Thursday night with “great honors. We have all hit the finish line together.”

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Valedictorian Amanda M. Brechbill talked about realizing one’s potential  and how she became inspired by “opening, of all things, a fortune cookie.”

The fortune inside read in part to “believe in your ability,” Brechbill said.

Brechbill said it may be scary for the students to test their abilities in the world, but they need to forge ahead, Brechbill said.

“Now it is time to leave this school for something beyond this community,”  Brechbill said.

Justin M. Hartings, president of the Washington County Board of Education, drew a round of laughs when he talked about following such good student speakers. Hartings said he was “tempted to root around in the podium” for help.

He first thanked people in attendance who have dedicated their time and careers to the public school system. To illustrate the importance of teamwork, Hartings recounted how President Kennedy visited a space center and asked a man cleaning the floors at the center what his job was.

The man responded by saying he was working to put a man on the moon.

Each employee of Washington County Public Schools, whether a bus driver, a cook, a nurse or a teacher, are assembling the best education they can for kids, Hartings said.

“It takes each of you working toward that single mission,” Hartings said.

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