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Principal challenges Chambersburg graduates to be men and women of honor

June 08, 2013|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Aryn Rebok waves to family after receiving her diploma at graduation excercises for Chambersburg Area Senior High School Saturday.
By Ric Dugan / Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Before making the trek across Trojan Stadium on Saturday, Ty Fletcher waited patiently with the rest of the Class of 2013 inside the gymnasium at Chambersburg Area Senior High School for his high school career to end and the next phase of his life to begin.

“I’m just ready to get out of here,” Fletcher said as he sent a text to his girlfriend.

Fletcher, who will join the military in August, not only was eager for commencement to begin, but also for his post-high school life to get under way.

The cancellation of Friday’s 6:30 p.m. graduation due to rain added to the graduates’ heightened anticipation.

“Let’s get this goin’,” said Deidra Grimm, who was seated beside Fletcher and was raring to get graduation under way.

“I’m excited to get out of here and start the rest of my life,” said Grimm, who will attend Point Park University in Pittsburgh and study biotechnology.

Promptly at 2 p.m., a sea of 630 blue-and-white robed graduates filed down the track to their seats on the football field while thousands of family and friends cheered from the packed bleachers.

Principal Burdette “Buddy” Chapel told members of the Class of 2013 that they had restored school spirit, pride and traditions to the high school.

Then, he challenged the graduates to be men and women of honor.

“I want you to think about not what you are going to be, but who you are going to be,” Chapel said. “Remember, in America, you can be anything you want to be. You can be a doctor, or lawyer, contractor, plumber, chef or a teacher, just to mention a few. It is more important to decide who you want to be.”

Senior class President Mark Leeper then spoke to his classmates.

“I can confidently say this group of people behind me is the greatest group of students to ever come through CASHS,” said Leeper, who will attend the University of Pennsylvania and study modern Middle Eastern studies and Arabic.

“The Class of 2013 is a class of integrity, dedication, determination and leadership,” said Emily Neady, student government president. “One student who exemplified all of these attributes was Jorge Navarro.”

Jorge was a fellow classmate who was killed in a car accident in December 2012.

He was the type of person who was friends with everyone regardless of whether you knew him or not, Neady said.

“I don’t think he realized how much of an impact he had on the people he encountered. But after this tragic event, our class became more unified,” said Neady, who will attend West Virginia University and study forensic science. “Although Jorge will not be walking with us today, he is still in our hearts.”

Salutatorian Brent Rice told his classmates to thank those who made a difference in their lives.

“It is important for us to reflect on how we got to this point because achievement is not reached by an individual alone, but through the help and support of others,” said Rice, who will attend Grove City (Pa.) College and study physics.

Valedictorian Rachel Maynard told the graduates they have the power to change the world.

“We all have the opportunity to affect the world in some way,” said Maynard, who will attend the University of South Carolina and study molecular biology and biochemistry. “Every one of us has the possibility to make a difference. Each one of us needs to act on this potential because our future depends on what we do with it.”

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