I went to graduation ceremonies Sunday for the Peabody-Burns High School class of 2010. School and sports reporter Janet Post usually covers this event and certainly does a much better job with photos for the paper than I. But she was out of town and when that happens, the buck stops on my desk. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
As always, it is an eye-opening experience when I watch the children of my children’s friends reach milestones in their lives. These occasions just make me itch with the desire to tell them stories about their parents. I often wonder if other people feel that way. Maybe I will just write a book.
I would like to note that never in my wildest imagination could I have envisioned my assistant high school principal Ellen Sorenson tolerating the Silly String phenomenon that took place after the presentation of the PBHS class of 2010. Not that we had anything like Silly String, but she would have burst a blood vessel on the spot and the following Monday we all would have found ourselves beginning our freshman year all over again.
It is funny that I can remember her and picture her reaction and she was only the assistant principal. I don’t even remember the name of the principal, but that is because Miss Sorenson was the school disciplinarian and I don’t know of anyone who would have dared to pull something like that at a graduation exercise.
Times have changed.
As always, when we celebrate high school graduations, I am amazed at the generosity of groups and individuals from our communities who have established monetary awards for our graduates. It shocks me that there is so much money available to help our young people. It all started back in the early 1960s when Superintendent Harry Brown — for whom the Brown Building is named — convinced the school board to offer a $100 scholarship to a member of the graduating class who was headed for college. On Sunday, the awards and scholarships topped $15,000. And it is that way every year.
Some years the economy is not as great as others and the stipends are smaller or fewer in number. That is to be expected and this year is one of those.
Still, that is an impressive sum of financial aid, distributed to a fairly small group of people. It is a nice tradition, started by a caring superintendent several decades ago, and expanded to help more graduates than Harry Brown could ever have foreseen.
So good for all you who care and contribute.
And to those of you who received an award this year or in past years — remember it. There will come a day when you have some discretionary income and you can share the rewards of your life. Of course, we would love for you to remember Peabody-Burns High School, but by then your allegiance may lie elsewhere. And that is alright. Just be sure to give back and help another youngster the way someone here thought of a way to help you.
— Susan Marshall