Beginnings and endings of graduations

A friend is having a party this weekend, and she’s sad.

Not a great way to head into a party, I thought.

But it’s a graduation party for a daughter.

“You wait,” was her warning to me — knowing I face my oldest son’s graduation in a couple of years.

Graduations, like weddings, are bittersweet for parents.

The band Semisonic will never, ever be mistaken for Dylan, Springsteen or Mellencamp. But they penned a good lyric in the ’90s:

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Hellos are great; good-byes can be tough. Neither exists without the other.

I’d have to admit to being a bit melancholy already for our graduations — and it’s three years out.

And oblivious to most of this are the kids — and your newspaper aims to share in their fun.

High-school graduation season is a cherished part of The Vindicator’s life coverage.

We aim to be part of your family at birth, marriage, death and many other key points, such as graduations.

Our recent pages have rolled through many 2012 graduations already.

On Monday, we’ll showcase in our news pages the ceremonies at Boardman, East, Lowellville and Girard.

And also starting Monday is another part of our graduation coverage. We set out to run every grad’s name from the schools that participate. And many do.

Here’s the day to find your school:

Monday: Alliance, Austintown Fitch, Badger, Bloomfield, Brookfield, Boardman, Bristol, Campbell, Canfield, Commodore Perry.

Tuesday: Mooney, Chalker, Champion, Chaney, Columbiana, Crestview, David Anderson, East, East Liverpool, East Palestine, Fairhaven, Farrell, Girard, Hickory.

Wednesday: Greenville, Heartland Christian, Howland, Hubbard, Jackson-Milton, Kennedy Catholic, John F. Kennedy, LaBrae, Lakeview (Pa.), Laurel, Leetonia, Leonard Kirtz, Liberty, Lordstown, Maplewood.

Thursday: Lowellville, MCCTC, Mathews, McDonald, Mercer Area, Mineral Ridge, Mohawk, Neshannock, New Castle, Newton Falls, Niles, Poland.

Friday: Reynolds, Salem, Sharpsville, South Range, Southern, Springfield, Sebring, Southeast, Struthers, Summit Academy, United, Ursuline.

Saturday: Victory Christian, Warren G. Harding, Wellsville, West Branch, West Middlesex, Western Reserve, Youngstown Christian, Youngstown Early College, Lakeview, Shenango, Union.

I had a chance Friday to attend graduation for 38 unique students.

Mahoning County High School was opened in 2008 by juvenile court Judge Theresa Dellick.

It’s a place of second chances for some of the most hardened and lost kids in our county.

The school’s population is filled mostly with those who’ve been delinquent, expelled, committed assaults and other misdeeds, or at one time dropped out.

Graduating is a challenge for all seniors.

At Mahoning High, life is a challenge for the kids. Graduation is hardly on their radar.

Sure, they’ve created some of their own challenges. But most of them were born into challenges most of us would struggle with and fare far worse. From their first breaths and steps, they’ve never had a chance to share some of the more desired or destined paths of other Valley teenagers.

On Friday, they shared a title with them all:


Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes e-mails about stories and our newspaper. E-mail him at He blogs, too, on

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.