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A Day to Remember at Edison High

Thomas Edison High School graduates urged to be “doers and not watchers.”

Anna Williams leads students into D.A.R. Constitution Hall for Edison High's graduation last Friday.

Anna Williams leads students into D.A.R. Constitution Hall for Edison High's graduation last Friday. Photo by Steve Hibbard.

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Anna Williams and Joelle Luginbill celebrate graduation from Thomas A. Edison High School: Williams is a track star and won first place at the Penn Relays for the triple jump. The Class of 2013 at Edison received a total of $5.6 million in scholarships.

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Sarah Gubara and Rasul Gupta.

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Jada Carpenter, Selina Chavez and Annmarie Carroll.

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Victoria Payne, Ryan Palompo and Steven Pagach.

After an array of silver and light blue caps and gowns filled Constitution Hall at Thomas Edison High School’s graduation ceremony on Friday, June 14, the commencement began with Principal Pamela Brumfield at the podium.

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Caroline Hayden “I’m going to Virginia Tech, and have been accepted into their business school. I intend to receive a master’s degree, and hopefully work at a business firm.”

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Yasmine Bekheet and Pegah Bakhshi.

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The National Anthem is recited during Edison High School's graduation ceremony at D.A.R. Constitution Hall last Friday, June 14.

Through references to terms familiar to students such as “lessons” and “schedules,” she said, “For the last 10 years or so, everything has been put in front of you, but in life there’s no one making a schedule for you … what’s most important is that you learn from the lessons around you.” Her speech was very much in favor of leaving the past and learning from the future, and concluded by advising student, “Be a doer and not a watcher … you can manage and control your destiny.”

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Richard Jones “I’ll be studying music education at VCU. In 10 years from now, though, you’ll see me at the Grammy’s next to Jay-Z and Kanye West.”

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Lauren Dawson “I’m going to Evangeline University to study music education and church music. In the future I hope to be teaching school and have a family.”

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Fareeda Nasser “I’m going to start at Northern Virginia Community College, and then transfer to George Mason. I plan on studying business management with a minor in marketing. Ten years from now I see myself owning my own business.”

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Vanecia Miller “I’ll be going to West Virginia in the fall and majoring in business. I’d like to own my own spa and nail salon, but eventually I’d like to be a stay at home mom.”

Following the principal’s address was Kira Omans, an honor graduate, giving her reflections on her high school career.

Kira asked the students to remember their first day walking into high school as freshmen with big expectations. “What were your values?” she asked. She ended her address of looking back on high school by looking ahead into the future and seeing all the different futures the graduates will have. “We each have something different to contribute to the fields we’re interested in.”

Before the students received their diplomas, there was one more speaker to be heard. This year’s senior voted faculty address was by Scott Racek, a history professor and the social studies department chair at Edison High School. He began by asserting that, “Everyone in this room has been through a journey that got them to where they are today.” He then asks the seniors, “What are the moments you’ll remember and reflect on?” The memory he has of the seniors that he wants to reflect on is how much they have grown. He uses the school building as a metaphor for the students informing the audience that, four years ago, the school was in disarray from renovations. Now, after a few years, the school is polished and grown. Urging them to be “polished individuals,” Dr. Racek left the students with advice to remember the rest of their lives: “Life is largely about being there. Dive into life and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.”