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The seniors' high school careers culminated with graduation on Saturday, May 21.

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Graduation

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page SARAH BARTLEY AND KAITLIN JOSHUA

Job #: 6008210 Pages: 188-189 26-May-2016 (RequestID: 958fd660-051e-457d-9dbf-6e5fc736e4b6 SpreadID: RlDBTtn3iO8qj0O6VXrYCX72 Type: Preview PDC: https://sto.walsworthyearbooks.com.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/Proof/958fd660-051e-457d-9dbf-6e5fc736e4b6/RlDBTtn3iO8qj0O6VXrYC

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the class of all that it had accomplished. By discussing with a short


fable about a boy and a spoon of oil, Bailey told the graduates to
move eagerly through life but to still remember their souls in the midst
of life. I really enjoyed getting to listen to the salutatorian and
valedictorian speeches. I feel like they both captured the spirit of the
Class of 2016, Samantha Moffett said.
Soon, the first row of seniors stood up, after four years of pep rallies,
football games, parades, cheers, and homework, to receive their
diplomas. Each graduate went down the line, shaking the hands of
grinning administrators as their full names rang across the Coliseum.
Austin Brown happily handed each student his or her diploma,
celebrating the work that each student had put in to finally earn it.
Over 400 seniors later, the last graduate walked quickly to her seat.
Chandler Molpus gave the benediction, and with that, the ceremony
ended. While junior onlookers realized that they had finally become
seniors, the new graduates felt the wave of relief that the end of high
school held. I finally felt done. It feels good to know that youre done
with all the grades and assignments, Mahmoud Abdo said.
The seniors were finally alumni. With their tassels now drawn to the
other side, they tossed them gleefully into the air. Tiny blue dots floated
above the crowd for a split second before falling back down to their
owners. Smiles and cheers abounded as graduates raced laughing to
find their friends and relatives and to receive their hugs and flowers.
Though, for many, their education was far from over, graduation still
marked the turning of life's pages. [Graduation] essentially marks the
end of an era that has lasted for almost the entirety of our childhood
and marks the beginning of a new one, Summer Caraway said.

Left The seniors toss their caps after the ceremony.


Far Above Summer Caraway, Rachel Hobby, and Molly McKeown smile after receiving
their diplomas.
Above Molli Lott and Kennedy Lowther walk in the processional.

Above Zack Bailey practices his valedictory speech.


Above Right Alex Parker looks for her parents after walking the stage.

Graduation

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9:57, the Coliseum was swamped in swaths of blue fabric.


Dozens of seniors moved about the sea of graduation gowns, hugging
their friends and snapping pictures of their last moments as high
schoolers. Many hands were adjusting tassels, straightening cords, and
fixing hair, as the new SGA memebers moved through the fidgeting
students to dispense programs. Every so often, one could hear the sound
of a parent both crying and sighing at the sight of her child dressed up
in his or her cap and gown. My babys all grown up, one mother cried
as she embraced her child.
Though the parents expressed it much more visibly, the seniors, too,
felt the mix of emotions that came along with leaving high school
behind.
[Graduation] was extremely bittersweet. I loved everything about
high school. I am going to miss the athletic events, the schedule, and
my friends. But there is nothing you can do about growing up, so I am
trying to get excited about school next year, McRae Clay said.
At precisely 11:00, the processional began. The first of the graduates
marched into the Coliseum beaming to the onlookers' excitement.
Behind them came the rest of the Class of 2016. There was much
variety among them, some with freckles, others with glasses, and still
others with newly dyed pink hair. However, they were all united in that
final hour of moving past high school and into the real world.
Amye McDonald gave the invocation, and the ceremony began.
Austin Brown welcomed the crowd to the graduation ceremonies and
introduced the salutatorian, James Asbill, and valedictorian, Zack
Bailey. Asbills speech focused on praising the Class of 2016 for its
many triumphs, using Queens We Are the Champions to remind

Job #: 6008210 Pages: 188-189 26-May-2016 (RequestID: 958fd660-051e-457d-9dbf-6e5fc736e4b6 SpreadID: RlDBTtn3iO8qj0O6VXrYCX72 Type: Preview PDC: https://sto.walsworthyearbooks.com.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/Proof/958fd660-051e-457d-9dbf-6e5fc736e4b6/RlDBTtn3iO8qj0O6VXrYC