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Good luck graduates
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During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. "Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello." I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

— Joann C. Jones

 This week is graduation week here in Newton County. For the last few weeks we have published the profiles of the valedictorian and the salutatorian of all three county high schools.

 Each profile was impressive and encouraging.

 In this edition we have inserted special graduation section that features the names and pictures of almost all of our new graduates; we salute each and every one of you.

 Graduation is a bittersweet time as you prepare to separate from your friends. You will clutch your yearbook, which contains messages from folks who have shared joys and sorrows with you on your journey to graduation. Cherish those comments now, for in a few years you might not remember who "Sparky" or "Peaches" is and why they had such nice things to say about you.

 You will remember your high school education, though, because it’s from the four years you just spent that your character and will to succeed were either molded or wasted depending on your own efforts.

 Some of you will go on to college and we wish you well. Some will go directly into the work force and you will become the backbone of our communities.

 We believe that through hard work, loyalty and honesty you can progress to a leadership position in any career you choose.

 Class of 2009, you are inheriting a country and a world in turmoil; we are counting on you to correct our trajectory toward a brighter future.

 We particularly need you to succeed because your success will continue to ensure that our way of life will continue and even improve. Through your leadership, our country will continue to be the beacon of prosperity, fairness and freedom for the world.