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By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | July 21, 2013
The issue of whether the valedictorian and salutatorian should get first crack at being graduation speakers is being reconsidered by a Washington County Board of Education committee after one school's valedictorian didn't get to speak this year, school system officials said. Board of Education member Jacqueline Fischer, who chairs the board's Policy Committee, said Superintendent Clayton Wilcox asked the committee to review the issue after he received a complaint that Washington County Technical High School's valedictorian didn't get to speak at the June 4 graduation ceremony.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | July 23, 2013
Two of three Washington County Board of Education members who sit on the board's Policy Committee said Tuesday that they favor allowing a high school valedictorian and salutatorian to have the right of first refusal when it comes to deciding which students speak at graduation ceremonies. However, the committee wants to hear from the board's student representative before making a recommendation to the seven-member school board. Policy Committee Chairwoman Jacqueline Fischer said she would ask student board member  Jessan Groenendyk to speak informally to some other Student Government Association members to get feedback he can bring to the Policy Committee's Aug. 27 meeting.
NEWS
June 11, 2007
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Seventeen students graduated June 2 from Faith Christian Academy, according to an academy press release. The valedictorian was Kyle James Tucker. The salutatorian was Corey Thomas Ash. Graduates are: · Christopher Earl Apple · Corey Thomas Ash · David Beltrami · Jacob Aaron Cave · Heather Lynnette Childs · Emma Kirk Cook · Seth Michael Cook · Jenna Lynn Donivan · Joel Christopher Heslop · Danielle Marie Kerns · Aaron Wesley Ladd · James Alexander Skarbek · Kyle James Tucker · Justin Ryan Walls · Brendan Caleb Way · Jacqueline Ann Werhoff · Autumn Danielle Zack
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 1, 2013
A Washington County Board of Education committee will recommend the school board amend its graduation honors policy so the valedictorian and salutatorian are given the first options - at all county public high schools - to provide commencement speeches, school board officials said. All three members of the board's Policy Committee said they agreed on that recommendation. Board President Justin Hartings and board members Jacqueline Fischer and Karen Harshman serve on the committee. If the valedictorian and/or salutatorian doesn't want to give a speech at graduation, the honor would be passed to the student with the third highest grade-point average, and so on, down the GPA list, said Fischer, who chairs the Policy Committee.
NEWS
By MARLO BARNHART and BRENDAN KIRBY | June 18, 1999
North and South Hagerstown high schools sent another class off into the world Friday morning. North High, which featured a commencement address from Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, graduated 128 students. South High graduated 125 students. "I just want to be happy. Isn't that what everyone wants?" said South High salutatorian Kari Belin, who plans to be a cardiologist. South High Valedictorian Grace Thammasuvimol said she has wanted to be a pediatrician ever since fifth grade, when her cousin helped her over an illness in Thailand.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | June 7, 2012
Elizabeth J. Groenendyk moved to the area from northwest Iowa two years ago, and enrolled at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown as a junior. At that time, she wasn't sure what to expect. But Groenendyk fit in right away. “Coming into Barbara Ingram as a new student was definitely an interesting experience, but it was so great,” she said. “Everybody was so nice to me.” The valedictorian of the Class of 2012, Groenendyk and 24 of her classmates were commended for their excellence in the arts and academics Thursday night during commencement exercises at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown.
EDUCATION
October 17, 2011
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Amber Keck, a junior at Penn State University, was inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars in a ceremony Sept. 18. She is majoring in statistics. She is carrying a 3.75 grade-point average. She is a 2009 graduate of Clear Spring High School, where she was co-valedictorian and a member of the National Honor Society with a 4.39 GPA. Amber is the daughter of Julie Taylor of Clear Spring, and the granddaughter of Artie and Sondie Barnhart of St. Thomas, Pa. ST. JAMES - Senior David Suh of Korea, a student at Saint James School, is one of 16,000 semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
NEWS
By TRISH RUDDER | June 8, 2008
McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - The high school journey came to an end Friday night for McConnellsburg High School's class of 2008. The senior class of 65 students received numerous scholarships and awards, and a crowd of close to 500 family members and friends applauded vigorously with each announcement. Principal Todd Beatty praised the class for its high achievements and readiness to go forward. "When the rubber meets the road, they're on it," he said. Class valedictorian Stephanie Robinson received multiple scholarships.
NEWS
By CANDICE BOSELY | May 30, 2004
SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Just a few weeks into their sophomore year, members of Hedgesville High School's class of 2004 found themselves watching history on classroom televisions. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, made them more proud to be Americans, but also marked the last time a more innocent group of people would be together, co-valedictorian Brandon Kerns said during the school's commencement ceremony Saturday morning. The graduation ceremony, in which 281 students received diplomas, was held at Shepherd University's Butcher Athletic Center.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | June 8, 2012
Draped in their red gowns, Benjamin Shuster and Edward Beachley took the podium together Friday morning - and got the full-house crowd laughing inside North Hagerstown High School's auditorium. The tandem, North High's Class of 2012 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, went back and forth, alternating every few words in their opening remarks. “But no, we would not do that because that would be...,” Beachley said. “Very annoying,” Shuster quickly chimed in, prompting widespread laughter.
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NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 3, 2013
After much discussion Tuesday, the Washington County Board of Education voted 6-1 on first reading to change the graduation honors policy systemwide so that valedictorians and salutatorians would have the right to speak at their high school graduations. The board also voted 6-1 to support having the grade-point averages used to determine top academic honors calculated at the end of the final marking period, and that the changes would go into effect with the 2014-2015 school year. Currently, the GPAs for graduation honors are calculated at the end of the third marking period.
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NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | September 1, 2013
A Washington County Board of Education committee will recommend the school board amend its graduation honors policy so the valedictorian and salutatorian are given the first options - at all county public high schools - to provide commencement speeches, school board officials said. All three members of the board's Policy Committee said they agreed on that recommendation. Board President Justin Hartings and board members Jacqueline Fischer and Karen Harshman serve on the committee. If the valedictorian and/or salutatorian doesn't want to give a speech at graduation, the honor would be passed to the student with the third highest grade-point average, and so on, down the GPA list, said Fischer, who chairs the Policy Committee.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | July 23, 2013
Two of three Washington County Board of Education members who sit on the board's Policy Committee said Tuesday that they favor allowing a high school valedictorian and salutatorian to have the right of first refusal when it comes to deciding which students speak at graduation ceremonies. However, the committee wants to hear from the board's student representative before making a recommendation to the seven-member school board. Policy Committee Chairwoman Jacqueline Fischer said she would ask student board member  Jessan Groenendyk to speak informally to some other Student Government Association members to get feedback he can bring to the Policy Committee's Aug. 27 meeting.
EDUCATION
July 21, 2013
The following is the text of the graduation speech that Washington County Technical High School Valedictorian Bethany Magner wanted to give at Tech High's commencement: Abraham Lincoln once said, “I believe that people should fight for what they believe and only what they believe.” Belief comes in many forms; in religion, school, sports, and just everyday life we all believe in something. Whether it's that you're going to pass your next test, or that your team will win the World Series, belief is what drives us to have faith and trust.
NEWS
By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com | July 21, 2013
The issue of whether the valedictorian and salutatorian should get first crack at being graduation speakers is being reconsidered by a Washington County Board of Education committee after one school's valedictorian didn't get to speak this year, school system officials said. Board of Education member Jacqueline Fischer, who chairs the board's Policy Committee, said Superintendent Clayton Wilcox asked the committee to review the issue after he received a complaint that Washington County Technical High School's valedictorian didn't get to speak at the June 4 graduation ceremony.
EDUCATION
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | June 7, 2013
Caitlyn E. Wilson had a little fun during her valedictorian address Friday afternoon - although some of her Smithsburg High School classmates had asked her to give “the short version” and “hide her crazy.” “I feel like a flying squirrel in this thing,” Wilson said of her purple commencement gown, garnering a collective chuckle from the capacity crowd inside The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown. Wilson's speech included a long list of memories that brought smiles to faces of many of the 173 graduating seniors in Smithsburg's Class of 2013, just before the group received their diplomas during the school's annual commencement ceremony.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | June 6, 2013
In 2009, a group of Washington County students about to make the transition into high school made a bold choice to break away from their home schools to attend a new arts school in downtown Hagerstown. To focus on their love of the arts or to start with a brand new group of kids - whatever the reason - it was the perfect choice for those 64 students. And on Thursday night, that Class of 2013 received their diplomas and graduated from the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts before a full house crowd at The Maryland Theatre.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | June 8, 2012
Draped in their red gowns, Benjamin Shuster and Edward Beachley took the podium together Friday morning - and got the full-house crowd laughing inside North Hagerstown High School's auditorium. The tandem, North High's Class of 2012 valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, went back and forth, alternating every few words in their opening remarks. “But no, we would not do that because that would be...,” Beachley said. “Very annoying,” Shuster quickly chimed in, prompting widespread laughter.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | June 8, 2012
When his time came to speak during Friday's Smithsburg High School graduation ceremony, Valedictorian Abdul R. Latif chugged some water and grabbed the microphone. Nine minutes later, he had received two standing ovations for a sharp, punchy monologue filled with inside jokes, advice and a tribute to a classmate who died - all delivered without notes. Near the end, he zipped through a one-minute rap-style chronology of the Class of 2012's high-school career. It was a lively sendoff at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown for a class that has experienced both significant successes, through its athletic teams, and the loss of a friend - Mitchell Akers, who died in April after an accident at Municipal Stadium.
NEWS
By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com | June 7, 2012
Elizabeth J. Groenendyk moved to the area from northwest Iowa two years ago, and enrolled at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts in Hagerstown as a junior. At that time, she wasn't sure what to expect. But Groenendyk fit in right away. “Coming into Barbara Ingram as a new student was definitely an interesting experience, but it was so great,” she said. “Everybody was so nice to me.” The valedictorian of the Class of 2012, Groenendyk and 24 of her classmates were commended for their excellence in the arts and academics Thursday night during commencement exercises at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown.
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