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Seth Hoover/The Daily ItemLine Mountain High School Class of 2007 valedictorian Rachael Long and Shawn Fausey, class president, talk during graduation Tuesday night

HERNDON -- An alumni of Line Mountain High School encouraged this year's graduating class to follow the example of their late, late ancestors as they prepare to enter life after high school.

Samuel Kieffer, a 1997 graduate who works for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and serves in the Army National Guard, spoke to the graduating class Tuesday night and used a pop culture reference to pass on some advice.

"Welcome to life after high school -- So easy a caveman can do it,'"‰" he said, quoting a popular car insurance ad.

He told the 94 seniors they could learn a lot from the caveman.

For example, cavemen often used cave paintings to communicate with each other, he said.

"You are probably not going to be carving on rocks, but you will need to communicate with others ... Effective communication can keep you and others from making the same mistake twice. It can open doors and maintain positive relationships."

He urged students to be "hunters and gatherers" of information and to adjust and adapt to their environment, like the caveman, to achieve success in life.

"Adjust and adapt your approach to your job, profession or academic pursuit by the mistakes others make," he said. "Adjust your plan according to your mistakes, the mistakes of others and the information you have obtained from hunting and gathering."

Line Mountain valedictorian Rachael Long also had some advice for her fellow graduates, urging them to take the time to enjoy life.

"My dad has told me a number of times, You are going to work the rest of your life, don't be in a rush to start,'"‰" she said. "However, I never before realized how true that was until I sat in my room yesterday with a big gold gown ... staring me in the face ... Don't rush through college or life like there's a prize at the end; the journey and what you do along the way is the prize.'"‰"

She told the students to take risks and to continue to learn.

"I don't mean the word learn' in terms of school," she said. "You can go to school for a day and learn nothing. You can also do a lot of learning without school. Learning is not just an event, it is a process. Never stop learning."

School principal Karen Wiest said the graduates were "an exceptionally nice class to work with ... We know every student. Because of that we have a strong connection."

She said 67 percent of the 2007 class members would be pursuing education beyond high school, with 16 going into the medical field and a large number seeking jobs in engineering. Most students will attend colleges in Pennsylvania.

Approximately 500 spectators attended the graduation, which was held in the high school's gymnasium, according to the principal. "It was actually the nicest graduation I've ever been to."

n E-mail comments to rscott@dailyitem.com.

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