BRADENTON — They were a little nervous.
They had to keep tassels in place. Some were flapping their black gowns trying to cool off as the moment drew closer.
They had to get in line.
With smiles abounding and a couple of quick embraces, approximately 68 students attending Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School graduated at Bradenton Municipal Auditorium on Friday evening.
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All of the students at the private college preparatory school were accepted into college, said Jan Pullen, head of school. A couple are taking a break before attending.
“Their matriculation list is phenomenal. They are going to some of the best schools in the country,” she said.
Three students plan to attend Ivy League schools, one student is going to West Point, and two are attending Johns Hopkins University, she said.
“Students, we are so happy for you. You have accomplished so much and are ready to go,” said Pullen, addressing the graduates.
Over 50 percent of the students are attending out of state schools and the graduating class earned $3.3 million in merit based scholarships, she said. The graduating class also has 12 students signing up to compete in NCAA sports.
Elan Nguyen, president of student council, spoke at the ceremony.
She reflected on her time at the school she has attended since she was in first grade. Now she will be going to Harvard University.
“To ease my adjustment, I plan continuing to follow the dress code,” she said in jest.
She spoke of her fears ranging from leaving home to getting a roommate who may snore like a grizzly bear.
She told her classmates to make sure they keep in touch.
“As we go our separate ways, let us keep in touch with each other and help each other when in need,” she said.