Washington Co. Summer Learning Center students receive high school diplomas

August 02, 2013|By KAUSTUV BASU |
  • Graduate Morgan Hose gets a hug and kiss from her niece, Remy Wilson, 5, before the processional of the Washinton County Public Schools' Summer Learning Center Graduate Recognition Ceremony on Thursday.
by Yvette May / Staff Photographer

Cheered on by family members and friends, 21 Washington County students received their high school diplomas Thursday during a ceremony at North Hagerstown High School.

In addition to the students who participated in the ceremony, there were about 20 other graduates from the Washington County Public Schools’ Summer Learning Center this year, according to Scott Buhrman, coordinator of summer school programming for the school system.

He said students attend the summer program for a variety of reasons.

“There are some students who are graduating early, so they are in 11th grade, and they had one more course to take, and so they are able to graduate early to start in the work force or start college,” Buhrman said. “There are other students ... they were one credit or two credits short of graduating on time. So they were able to do that and become a summer graduate.

“Sometimes they are students who are ahead, and sometimes students who have dealt with setbacks for various reasons,” he said.

County schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox and Paul Bailey, vice president of the Washington County Board of Education, spoke at the ceremony.

“Your persistence inspires me,” Wilcox told the assembled graduates. “You have done and will do big things. And finally, I want to encourage you to be nice because being nice is always the right thing to do.”

 The graduation was not only symbolic but would serve as a passport to a changed life, Wilcox said.

 Lauren Martin of Williamsport High School, who was the student speaker at the ceremony, is headed to Hagerstown Community College and said she dreams of going to law school.

 The summer program was a stepping stone to the future, she said.

“When I accomplish my personal goals, I can look back on all these good and bad times and say, ‘That is what got me where I ended at,’” Martin said.

Wilma Stover, whose grandson, Bradley Socks from Clear Spring High School, was among the graduates, said Thursday was an emotional day for her.

 “His grandfather died eight years ago. But I know his grandfather is looking down on him. He is the oldest grandchild in the family,” she said. “I’m just so happy for him .... I get to see him graduate.”

New graduate Enoch Castro from South Hagerstown High School said he was nervous about the ceremony.

“I did not want to trip and do anything embarrassing. I just wanted to get my diploma,” said Castro, noting that he probably would celebrate the day with a cookout with his family.

Castro, who is also headed to HCC, said he wants to pursue a career in acting.

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