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WCS grads advised to keep learning, care for others — and unplug smartphones

At the conclusion of their commencement ceremonies June 21, Warrensburg High School graduates throw their ceremonial caps into the air and celebrate the beginning of a new phase in their lives.

At the conclusion of their commencement ceremonies June 21, Warrensburg High School graduates throw their ceremonial caps into the air and celebrate the beginning of a new phase in their lives. Kim Ladd/Lifescapes Photography

— D.A. Hogan offers her advice

Keynote speaker Kate Hogan, Warren County District Attorney, said that through the first 18 years or so of their lives, the soon-to-be graduates had parents, teachers and the state telling them what to do.

“Now, you’ll be making the choices,” she said, offered suggestions for how they could experience fulfilling lives:

• Keep an open mind about people, issues, ideas and interests;

• Work hard and follow your passion;

•Be kind and maintain a positive attitude — the way you treat people matters; and

•Never compromise your integrity.

“It’s your beginning, your choices, your direction, your effort — Make the most of it,” Hogan said.

High Honor student Beecher Baker also talked about the transition into adult life, with graduates becoming independent, self-sufficient and responsible.

“After tonight, the decisions in our lives are solely up to us,” he said. “This may seem daunting; but to me knowing that the direction of my life lies in my hands, is very liberating.”

The school chorus and Seniors involved in the school’s 2013 musical “Grease” sang “We Go Together” from the production.

The school’s choruses and Mastersingers, directed by James Corriveau, sang a medley as a prelude to the ceremony as well as a selection midway through the event.

Duell: unplug and embrace reality

Principal Doug Duell noted how technologically savvy the graduates were, with the many new ways to access and share information resulting from the “electronic tsunami” taking place in society.

However, Duell advised that in order to achieve true fulfilment, it was necessary to balance real life with the virtual world.

He urged the students to engage in face-to-face connections, rather than merely rely on Facebook updates, texting and tweeting.

“After all, you have been given a real life to live,” he said, noting how Warrensburg’s bicentennial in 2013 serves as a reminder that community life was vibrant for centuries before the technology age.

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