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Many Hancock High graduates will leave town but they'll always have ties to 'tiny community'

For about half the class, the next stage in life begins with a two- or four-year college this fall

June 06, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Sara Wagner is Hancock High School's valedictorian for the class of 2013.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

Scenes from their lives passed before the Hancock High School Class of 2013 Thursday evening in the form of a slideshow flashing images of the past four years across a wall of the auditorium.

The musical accompaniment to the slideshow included John Mellencamp’s “Small Town,” an appropriate selection for the town and the school, which sent 43 young men and women off into the adult world.

“Of course, we all want to take risks and live life to the fullest,” said Valedictorian Sara Wagner, whose address theme was “You Only Live Once.”

The risks chosen have to be wisely considered, she said.

“Realizing you get one chance at life means doing the best you can with as little regret as possible,” Wagner told her classmates.

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game,” Salutatorian Jessica Martin told the class, quoting that philosopher of the baseball diamond, Babe Ruth.

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Many will be leaving Hancock to begin the next stage of their lives, but they will always have ties to their school and tiny community, Martin said.

For about half the class, the next stage in life begins with a two- or four-year college this fall. High School Counselor Susan Schultz noted that members of the class earned almost $1.1 million in scholarships from colleges, universities and community organizations.

About half a dozen others stood up when Principal Rodney L. Gayman asked which graduates were going on to serve in the military.

Nathaniel Souders is leaving Hancock behind for the life of a U.S. Marine Corps infantryman.

“The relationships with teachers and friends,” Souders answered when asked what he will miss most about high school.

On the other hand, in a small school, you know everyone and they know you, he said.

“It’s small, so I guess a lot of drama spreads,” Souders said.

Elizabeth Teeter said she will miss family, friends and sports, although she plans to play volleyball at Allegany Community College, where she will study art and psychology.

“The little drama stuff, I won’t miss that,” she said, echoing Souders.

“As you continue on life’s path, I encourage you to be a giver,” Washington County Board of Education member Melissa A. Williams said. “Each day, just try to be better than you were the day before.”

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