Graduates sing from their hearts at commencement

June 04, 1993|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Staff Writer

Atholton High School has meant a lot to graduate Ruby Dunston over the past four years, so she wrote a song about it.

Ms. Dunston and the senior members of the Concert Choir sang her song, "Shining Star" to parents, friends and more than 250 graduates of Atholton High School's class of '93 during their commencement ceremonies at Merriweather Post Pavilion yesterday afternoon. The song brought a standing ovation from the crowd of about 600 people.

Ms. Dunston wrote the lyrics of the song earlier this year and math teacher Bryan Rowe wrote the melody.

"It's about a star guiding you through life and it's thanking our parents and teachers for all of their support," Ms. Dunston said.

The lyrics speak to a shining star and ask for guidance: "We need you here, here, our guide be. We have visions, we have dreams. Take us to our new extremes."

It was her first try at writing a song, and Ms. Dunston says it has a special meaning.

"It's sort of personal. My dad passed away two years ago and even though he's gone, I still think of him as a shining star. It's about the class because we're independent now. We're 18 and we're all leaving, but we're still going to need something, someone there for us."

Commencement speaker Al Sanders, anchorman at WJZ-TV 13, told the students to follow their dreams.

"The need for fulfillment is like hunger; it's generated deep inside," he told them. "Don't accept someone else's vision for your own. Choose to do the things that make you feel the best about you. Follow your dreams, and when you think you're just about ready to reach it, expand it. That way you'll always have something to reach for."

Ms. Dunston has already determined what her goals are. She will attend the University of Maryland Eastern Shore next year on a full scholarship, studying biology. She plans to become a doctor, and although she knows it will be difficult, "I'm going to do it because I'm determined," she said.

"I learned it's not always the brilliant people who get things, it's the persistent people. If you want something badly enough, you can get whatever you want."

Ms. Dunston received many awards from the school, including the Helen Gattis award for school and community service and an Outstanding High School Senior Recognition award, given to four students at the school this year.

In the farewell she gave to students yesterday, Ms. Dunston told her classmates the story of a boy named Johnny who had a sack full of beautiful potatoes he hoped to sell at the fair. When Johnny returned home with the sack, his mother asked why he still had the potatoes.

"I guess people just aren't interested in potatoes anymore," he said. "No one asked me what was in my sack."

Ms. Dunston encouraged her classmates to "open your sack for the world to see. We will and shall be significant."

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