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Members of the Fallston High School Class of 2018 cross the stage to receive their diplomas during last year's graduation ceremony at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena. The 2019 graduation season begins Friday.
Members of the Fallston High School Class of 2018 cross the stage to receive their diplomas during last year's graduation ceremony at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena. The 2019 graduation season begins Friday. (Matt Button / The Aegis)

Thirteen years of education come to an end over the next nine days for thousands of Harford County Public Schools students who will move on to the next chapters of their lives.

It’s graduation season and high school seniors are ready and eager to accept their diplomas at ceremonies that start Friday and continue through the following Friday, May 31.

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“To all of our senior friends, we’re gearing up for the last week, so best of luck to everybody in their future plans,” Josh Oltarzewski, the student member of the Harford County Board of Education, told his classmates during the board meeting Monday night.

Oltarzewski, in the cybersecurity/computer and networking technology program at Harford Tech, is graduating May 31.

“Congratulations to our graduates,” school board vice president Laura Runyeon, whose term ends June 30, said. “I urge our seniors as they consider how they celebrate, they make really good choices. Bad ones will live with you for the rest of your life.”

Board member Robert Frisch also will be attending his last set of graduations as a board member.

“It really is an honor to be able to share in that wonderful experience of students achieving a goal, that right of passage,” Frisch said. “It’s probably what I’ll miss the most.”

Tom Fitzpatrick, too, finishes his term June 30.

“It’s always been one of my greatest pleasures of being on the board, to share with our staff and teachers the celebration of our handiwork,” Fitzpatrick said.

Superintendent Sean Bulson, on the other hand, will be attending his first Harford graduations.

As a high school principal, Bulson said he reminded his students that graduation isn’t just for them.

“For the parents and family members who come, it’s such an important event for them,” Bulson said. “Sometimes high school students don’t necessarily see just how important it is for those who are there, so I ask them to really take the opportunity to thank their parents, thank their teachers, thank everyone who helped them get there, and make sure we celebrate in a way that everyone can really enjoy it.”

The high school graduation season kicks off Friday with ceremonies for the Center for Educational Opportunity at 10 a.m. at the CEO building. Later that day, C. Milton Wright students will graduate at 1 p.m. and Edgewood at 6 p.m., both at the APGFCU Arena on the campus of Harford Community College.

John Carroll’s 189 seniors will receive their diplomas at 9 a.m. Saturday on the football field.

After a break Sunday and Memorial Day, the ceremonies will resume Tuesday — Patterson Mill at 1 p.m. and Aberdeen at 6 p.m. at the APGFCU Arena.

They will be followed by Joppatowne at 1 p.m. and North Harford at 6 p.m. next Wednesday at the APGFCU Arena, then Fallston and Bel Air at 1 and 6 p.m., respectively, on May 30 at the APGFCU Arena and Havre de Grace at 6 p.m. at the school.

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Graduations end May 31 with John Archer at 1 p.m., Harford Tech at 5:30 p.m. and Harford Christian at 7:30 p.m., each at their respective schools.

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