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'Some of the brightest' in Harford graduate from Edgewood High Wednesday

The valedictorian of Edgewood High School's 57th graduating class quoted Isaac Newton in her speech: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

As the Rams were presented their high school diplomas Wednesday, Edgewood's Class of 2015 seemed especially grateful to their teachers, with many graduates recalling the influence of an instructor on their lives.

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Valedictorian Nimra Nadeem, "the daughter of two immigrant parents," said her school has been "home to some of the brightest teachers and students from Harford County."

"It takes a village to raise a child," she told her 271 fellow soon-to-be graduates, sitting before her in their red caps and gowns, and their friends and relatives. "Thank you, Edgewood High School, for all the memories and thank you for being my village."

Before the formal ceremony, held in the school's gym, students remembered the teachers who played a part in their lives.

Danietta Joejoe, Katlin Koscielski and Alyssa Locklear mentioned teachers who served as mentors or were simply "the best."

"They made it fun here, not like I was in jail," Danietta said. She plans to attend the University of Maryland, College Park.

About graduation, she said: "I am scared to start the rest of my life."

Daquan Jobes called Edgewood, where he spent two years, "a good experience," better than his previous school. He said he hopes to become an electrical engineer.

"It was a fun experience," Tyrell Lynch said.

He said he liked "the environment; it made me feel safe."

Tyrell said he was "excited" to graduate and plans to study broadcasting communications at Lincoln University. He also pointed out his favorite math teacher, who "got me through high school."

Following a rendition of "You Raise Me Up" by the high school chorus, speakers during the ceremony offered the Class of 2015 both cheeky and thoughtful advice,.

Senior class president Angela Lacerna got a laugh from the audience for wishing her class a wealthy future.

"We are finally getting this long-awaited piece of paper," she said about their high school diplomas. "May you continue to get paper."

Joseph Hau, a member of the Harford County Board of Education and the parent of an Edgewood student, gave the class some very practical advice: "Learn how to read a paper map."

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He said modern technology may make everyone dependent on GPS and computerized directions.

But, he said, "in life, there are no turn-by-turn directions."

Like one famous set of explorers, Lewis and Clark, the graduates will encounter "deep canyons," "raging rivers" and other obstacles, Hau said.

"You will want to learn to navigate these... so they don't stop you on your journey through life," he said. After learning how to read a map, students should also work on designing their own "map" to get them through life, he said.

Principal Larissa Santos recognized the latest inductees into Edgewood's Hall of Fame: Sharon Daughaday, Edward Kimmel, Lawrence Melfa, Stephen Moyer and Bruce Riley. The group was inducted Wednesday afternoon and a dinner was held in their honor prior to the graduation ceremony.

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