While the seniors certainly took center stage during the Palmetto High School graduation ceremony, held at the Bradenton Area Convention Center on Friday evening, they were eager to share the spotlight.
Several students mentioned teachers and administrators by name in speeches, thanking them for the impact they had on their lives. The red, black and white clad seniors cheered loudly for each name.
And Principal Carl Auckerman told the class they would always be special to him because it is his first year at Palmetto, a remark that elicited a loud, “Awww” from the student body.
Student speaker Jacqueline Perez, who will be attending Duke University next year, encouraged her classmates to not tolerate low expectations, and she gave them advice that several seniors had mentioned earlier when talking about the next chapter of their lives.
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“Do your future self a favor, and start working hard now,” Perez said. “We have to make things better.”
PALMETTO HIGH SCHOOL
Graduating class: 58th
Speakers: Principal Carl Auckerman, student speakers Annabel Russo, Halley Lawrence, Jacqueline Perez and Hannah Monhollon
Shining moment: Perez said she was considering running for president during her speech.
Interesting fact: The class earned more than $2.1 million in scholarships for athletics and academics.
Best quote: Lawrence began her speech with a quote she attributed to the “Rapper and philosopher Drake...”