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James Buchanan graduates encouraged to 'Reach for the stars, drag them down and capture your dreams'

June 08, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Jonathan Glass raises his hand in acknowledgement of his name being called to receive his diploma during graduation excercises for the Class of 2013 at James Buchanan High School Saturday.
By Ric Dugan / Staff Photographer

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — For about the first two years that the Class of 2013 attended James Buchanan High School, the school was undergoing a major remodeling project, not unlike the students themselves as they evolved from freshman to seniors, Principal Rodney N. Benedick told the 167 graduates.

“I understand you are anxious to go out and take on the world,” Benedick told the soon-to-be graduates. He asked that they not forget James Buchanan High School and check back once in a while so their alma mater can see how they are doing.

“Be positive, be courageous, be motivated, be successful, be friendly and be content,” Benedick said.

“Reach for the stars, drag them down and capture your dreams,” Class of 2013 President Shae Foreman said.

“Although high school is something I would not wish on my worst enemy, it has given us the chance to grow up,” Valedictorian Kirsten Riggle said in her address.

“Where else in this world can you challenge what you know, and what you think you know?” Riggle asked.

The time had come, she said, to leave the protective embrace of school and home and “strike out on our own.”

Life as an adult, making their own choices, often will be difficult, Salutatorian Jennifer Schofield told the graduates, their families and friends at the school’s football stadium.

“We will get knocked down over and over again,” said Schofield, who is bound for the Ivy League. “But how does one get knocked down over and over again if he or she does not first get up again?”

“We live in an immediate gratification society,” Tuscarora School District Superintendent Charles A. Prijatelj told the seniors. He urged them to resist the temptation for short-term gain in favor of spending the thousands of hours of dedicated practice it takes to perfect skills.

“Our greatest commodity is our drive to succeed,” Prijatelj said.

“They’ve been filled with memories and a lot of hard work, which I think have prepared me for the University of Pennsylvania,” Schofield said after the ceremony.

“I’ll be real busy,” said Stuart Ocker, who has lined up a job in a machine shop and hopes to be working full time soon.

Quinton Spigler said he is looking for some kind of post-secondary training or education.

“We’ve had fun for the last four years,” Hayden Mease said. “Now, I guess we’ve got to grow up.”

The program for graduation listed about 40 community colleges and four-year institutions that students plan to attend next fall, along with those joining the armed forces.

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