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High schools ushering students into real world

ROME TOWNSHIP — A half-hour before show time, and the back hall of Fairland High School was packed with seniors decked out in the school’s colors of white and green waiting their last instructions before they were on their own.

Gals were in white silky robes, many wearing three-inch heels, and the guys in green.

English teacher and Drama Club director Tara Sansom was putting order to the 122 seniors getting them ready for the 60th commencement exercises.

“I’m going to let you line yourselves up, then I’ll check you,” she told the crowd.

Many of these students Sansom had had in the classroom for all four years.

“It is awesome to see them graduate,” she said. “You get attached to them.”

There were jokes, hugs and last-minute instructions on how to wear some of the graduation paraphernalia like the academic recognition cords that signified everything from those graduating summa cum laude to those in Mu Alpha Theta.

At a distance the concert band could be heard rehearsing “Danny Boy” as proud parents filed into the gymnasium or found a seat in the overflow room across the hall.

It was the future that Amogh Gudivada was focusing on as much as the night’s festivities. His goal is to become a surgeon or anesthesiologist.

“I get to move on to the next stage of my life,” he said.

Excitement was the watchword for Lauren Philips, wearing insignia that noted she was a member of the National Honor Society. Philips plans to study accounting and business at Ohio State University.

“It hasn’t hit me yet,” she said. “In 20 minutes it probably will.”