Brett Templeton, one of the advisers for Frederick High School’s Class of 2019, admits that he initially had his doubts.
Early in the year, “we weren’t really so sure about” whether the class would be able to uphold all of the various senior class traditions, Templeton said Tuesday.
Traditionally, the school’s senior class raised money throughout the year so that every member of the class was able to go to prom free of charge.
The fundraising didn’t always go as smoothly as it had in the past.
“I was stressed out for most of the year,” said Gerald Norgbe, the class treasurer.
But ultimately, the class pulled through and raised the money necessary for the free prom, as well as several of their other traditions.
The Class of 2019 was a tight-knit group, a really nice class, Templeton said.
“They’re a good group of kids,” he said.
The 288 graduates in the class brought their high school days to a close Tuesday in a ceremony at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg.
As graduates found their places in line before the ceremony, teachers helped with last-minute adjustments, tying ties and helping with stuck zippers on gowns.
Graduates lingered, talking with friends and reflecting on how four years of high school have changed them.
“It feels like I’ve been on a journey,” said Dorvall Bedford as he waited in his cap and gown.
He said he’s learned a lot about communication — about talking to people and making friends — and about empathy during his time at Frederick High School.
In a school with such a diverse population, you can really learn to see things through other people’s eyes and learn from their experience, he said.
Tiara Crawford came to Frederick High in her sophomore year from Germany, where she had family in the military.
When she first came, she was shy and didn’t talk to a lot of people, she said.
Through her classmates and the school’s faculty, she learned how to open up, and find people with whom she really wants to be friends.
If she didn’t know how to handle a situation, there were always teachers and staff there to help her, she said.
This year’s class made the transition from the old Frederick High School to a new building, spending their first two years at the old school and moving to the new school for their junior and senior years.
“Our memories were formed in two very different buildings,” class speaker Kayla Nazaire told her classmates.
Tuesday marked the end to the prologue of what will be the rest of their lives, she said.
She urged them to take charge of their own narratives.
“Never allow someone else to be the main character of your story,” she said.
The day’s events brought a lot of emotions — mostly joy, Norgbe said, as he waited to move into the arena for the ceremony.
“Everybody’s living in this moment, like, we’re finally here,” he said.