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Graduation Day arrives at Waccamaw High

By Sarah L. Smith
Coastal Observer

As Waccamaw High School seniors practiced marching into the school’s gym Wednesday morning, the only advice they needed was to slow down.

“We’re going to play the music until you all come in,” principal David Hammel told them.

The seniors will get their diplomas today, cheered on by nearly 1,500 family members and friends. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m.

As they marched in and out, the Class of 2009 joked, whispered or just laughed out loud.

While 164 students walked last year, 177 will graduate tonight. Eighty-seven percent will continue their education at a two- or four-year college, about 10 percent will go into the military and the rest will enter the work force. They’ve earned about $4 million in scholarships, compared to $3 million earned by the Class of 2008, said Chris King, one of the school’s guidance counselors.

While most students are bound for higher education, Hammel still felt the need to give the seniors a lesson on ironing graduation robes.

“Guys, listen,” he said as he bent down, hugged the podium and looked at the students. “Iron your gown on low because it’s polyester, not cotton. Or, put it in the dryer with a wet washcloth.”

Don’t come with your robe looking like a checker board, creased in wrinkled squares, Hammel said.

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