Almost 385 students left the Bradenton Area Convention Center on Saturday with their “PhDs” — or Palmetto High Degrees — as Breena Bustle called them.
“We turn this last page together,” she told her fellow graduates. “We made it.”
Class president Samantha Lee got her speech off with a bang by breaking out a megaphone, before reminding students not to waste the time they have.
“All we have is now,” she said.
Valedictorian Shelby Watson urged students to break the stereotypes plaguing their generation by working hard and being respectful.
“Some of us feel we are entitled to success,” she said. “That’s not how life works.”
And Samuel West read his fellow classmates a poem, joking it may by the last poem any of them ever actually hear on purpose. The poem, called “The Builder,” is about a person seeing men tear down a building in his hometown, and realizing how much easier it is to tear something down than it is to build something from scratch.
West thanked the list of people who had helped build the foundation for Palmetto High graduates so far.
“The rest is up to us,” he said.
Palmetto High School
Graduating class: 57th
Speakers: Students Samantha Lee, Samuel West, Breena Bustle and Shelby Watson
Shining moment: Lee closed her speech by throwing confetti in the air at the podium.
Interesting fact: The students chose “I Lived” by One Republic as their class song.
Best quote: “I am incredibly proud of each and everyone of you,” valedictorian Shelby Watson said.