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Southmoreland High School commencement on Friday

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Marilyn Forbes | for the Daily Courier
Speakers for the Southmoreland graduation ceremony include salutatorian Kaidia Pickels and valedictorian Shelby Poorbaugh.
Thursday, May 30, 2013, 7:06 p.m.

Southmoreland High School will be hosting its graduation program on Friday with approximately 140 seniors receiving their diplomas.

The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

“These students have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership and character,” high school principal Daniel Krofcheck said. “It has been a pleasure for all of us here at SHS to have worked with them both inside and outside the classroom.”

This year's valedictorian is Shelby Poorbaugh, who will be presenting one of the speeches to the class at the graduation ceremonies.

Poorbaugh has been involved with the Alpha gifted program, is vice president of the National Honor Society, is treasurer of the Spanish NHS and enjoys arts and music.

“I'm going to tell the seniors to forget the rules of high school, strengthen what they believe in and go out into the world in an intelligent manner,” Poorbaugh said.

Poorbaugh said she is thrilled to be one of the commencement speakers.

“I'm very honored to be speaking,” Poorbaugh said. “I'm a little nervous, but I'm honored.”

Poorbaugh, 18, is the daughter of Cindy and Scott Poorbaugh of Scottdale.

Salutatorian is Kaidia Pickels, 17, who will also give a speech at the ceremony.

Pickels has been active in Outdoor Odyssey, NHS, French Club, Alpha gifted program, Marching Band and Pep Band.

”I'm going to tell the students that graduation is not a number,” Pickels said. “You are not graduate number this or graduate number that, you will graduate as a person and to go on to begin the next important stage, and it's because of this high school that they will be able to do that.”

Pickels said she had hoped to speak at graduation as a way to thank her fellow classmates who have become important to her.

“I'm excited,” Pickels said. “I was really hoping that I would have the chance to give a speech so I can tell the students what effect some of them had on me and how I feel that they helped me to become the person that I am today.”

Pickels is the daughter of Mary and Dwayne Pickels of Scottdale.

“I have been here for 20 years and I have come to expect a lot from our students, in terms of personality, talents and academics, and the Class of 2014 has certainly lived up to my expectations,” Southmoreland Superintendent John Molnar said.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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