Glenelg graduates are expecting great things

June 06, 1993|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Staff Writer

To Principal Jim McGregor, Glenelg Senior High School is a three-legged milking stool in perfect balance. Hard working students. Dedicated teachers. Involved parents.

As 234 seniors bade a bittersweet farewell to their high school days at Friday night's graduation in the school auditorium, Mr. McGregor smiled approvingly, content with the knowledge that the stool will remain sturdy.

"You'll only see bigger and better things from this point," said Mr. McGregor. "The [Class of 1993] has been an inspiration for others to come."

This 36th graduating class at Glenelg has indeed put positive peer pressure on those that follow. The Class of 1993 had 14 students with 4.0 grade-point averages, and more than half the students had averages of 3.0 or better. To match excellence in academia with athletic prowess, Glenelg seniors helped their school win state championships in baseball, soccer, and track ,, and field in the 1992-1993 school year.

But Friday night, the accolades of the year were second to the challenges that face the graduating seniors in the future, including the plague of drugs and crime, and inequality in South Africa, said Edward Hogan, one of the valedictorian student speakers.

"Every generation is expected to make the world a better place. We expect no less of ourselves," Edward said. "Now we open the doors to freedom, but also the doors of responsibility."

Guest speaker and syndicated columnist for The Sun Roger Simon coaxed laughter from the audience of parents, teachers and graduates with anecdotes of his own school years and a buffoonish gym teacher who challenged him to succeed.

"America has an overwhelming commitment to mediocrity," said Mr. Simon, adopting a more serious tone. "By choosing to be excellent, you can achieve glorious things."

Many seniors were anxious to take advantage of the advice.

For some of the students the ceremony was a sign of maturity, and a time for reflection and of packing up the good and bad times and moving on.

"High school has been great, but I'm ready to go to the next level," said James Brinker, 17, who starred on both the soccer and baseball championship teams while staying on the honor role. James plans to attend Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg in the fall, where he will major in business management.

When the sun and fun of summer have faded, Lisa Roscoe, 17, said she will head for Randolph-Macon, a small liberal arts college based in Ashland, Va. She wants to major in biology in pursuit of her dream of becoming a nurse at Shock Trauma.

David Buckholtz, 18, wants to do what bullets and diplomats have failed to do -- make world peace. Among his goals is to "solve problems in world hot spots" like the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East.

But first, Mr. Buckholtz, a baseball player and president of Glenelg's National Honor Society, will pursue a degree in political science or international studies at Emory University in Atlanta.

"This was one of those exceptional groups who come through high school every once in a while, caring kids who cared about each other and other people," Mr. McGregor said.

"You'll see a lot of great things from our class," Mr. Buckholtz said.

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