Education

Never forget your past, says graduating senior at Palmetto High School

‘The race is long.’ Palmetto High principal addresses Class of 2019

Principal Carl Auckerman encourages Palmetto High School graduates to be mindful of their health and actions after the May 15th ceremony.
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Principal Carl Auckerman encourages Palmetto High School graduates to be mindful of their health and actions after the May 15th ceremony.

The future is limitless after graduation, but the seniors at Palmetto High School were encouraged to cherish their past as they venture into the great unknown.

Daisy Guel, the senior class president, underscored the possibilities during her commencement speech at the Bradenton Area Convention Center on Wednesday evening.

Students in the Class of 2019 will go on to serve in the military or law enforcement. They may pursue dreams of becoming a professional athlete, or continue their education at a university of community college.

“You’ll be the future nurses, speech pathologists, teachers, lawyers and so many other great things,” Guel said. “But don’t forget about the town that built you. Don’t forget to come back and be grateful for all you have here.”

Guel encouraged graduates to remember the coaches, teachers, counselors, friends and family members who supported their efforts. And just as important, she said, were the other students who shared in struggles and triumphs at Palmetto High School.

She said Wednesday marked one of the largest graduating classes in the school’s history, and that dozens of students earned a Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education, or AICE Diploma, a mark of their dedication to challenging courses.

“Go find yourself and go big, but never forget this town,” she said.

Graduating senior Mackenzie Lang opened up about her many breakdowns on the path to graduation. Whether it be in the lunchroom, on the school tennis court or in her car, anxiety struck at the most inconvenient times.

She knew college wouldn’t be any easier, but she also knew many other Palmetto graduates shared her struggle, along with her ambition to overcome whatever obstacles may arise.

“I’m scared to go to college,” she said. “I don’t know what I want to do with my life, but the only thing that comforts me is knowing the 456 kids sitting in front of me probably don’t know either.”

De’Quan Simmons said he plans to attend Florida Gulf Coast University, in Fort Myers, to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Simmons and his peers did plenty of dreaming over the past four years. However large or seemingly unrealistic, he encouraged the graduates to pursue their ambitions, backing every goal with action.

“When I look across our senior class, I seem more than a few familiar faces,” he said. “I see the future of the world.”

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