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s clouds loomed overhead outside, spirits remained up in the Lancaster High School gymnasium. Just after 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, LHS administrators made the decision to move the graduation exercises indoors.
“I promise you, I heard thunder as I walked in here,” LHS principal Joseph Keenan joked with the tightly-packed crowd. “I hope you all understand why we did this. When you’re outside and it starts raining, there is no alternative.”
The water theme appropriately continued when class salutatorian Evthokia Elizabeth Spears urged her fellow classmates to replicate a famous cartoon sea creature.
Spears, who had a final GPA of 5.176, told the graduates to “be a SpongeBob.”
“He always had a smile on his face and took life one day at a time with his ‘I’m ready’ attitude. That is what I challenge you to do," Spears said.
The students laughed with Spears and nodded along.
Among the graduates, 74 percent plan to further their education and 11 percent will enter the workforce directly. Another 8.5 percent will enter military service. These students were honored separately by LHS lead vice principal Richard Pringle.
“We are most proud of their willingness to step forward and protect the freedoms you and I enjoy each day,” Pringle said.
The LHS class of 2014 also had the distinct honor of having six students who received a GPA of 5.0 or higher – the most in the school’s history. In all, 57 percent of the graduates received a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Valedictorian Georgiana Walters Scott, reaching her status with a 5.204 GPA, had inspiring words for her fellow graduates, urging them to not let circumstances out of their control dominate their future decisions.
Scott, who has never met her biological father, said she used to blame her familial shortcomings on her own misfortunes, but has now learned that is inexcusable.
“At some point in our life we have all felt we lived under a shadow,” Scott said. “That shadow is not real. Don’t lose yourself worrying about it.”
As students walked across the stage, they each handed Keenan a marble in exchange for their diploma – one last joke from a light-hearted class.
And though rain did not fall from the sky outside as predicted, everyone was in good spirits with the view of a different kind of shower – a sea of blue graduation caps thrown into the sky inside.
Contact reporter Laura Caskey at (803) 283-1158