High School Sports

Sentimental journey: Bradenton Preparatory Academy seniors say goodbye

With their lives stretched out ahead of them, Bradenton Preparatory Academy’s 2009 graduates allowed themselves a little time for reflection during their recent graduation ceremony.

Salutatorian Nick Roberts captured the sentiment during his speech.

“All of the things we have done up to this point, be they special or sentimental, have brought us to this path, this road, this passage to the beginning of something else,” he told his classmates. “It is funny how at the end of things we look back to the beginning to reminisce and at the beginning of something new, we look toward the end and to what may become.”

Overall, Bradenton Prep said goodbye to 68 seniors Saturday at the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium.

Online valedictorian Melanie Galbraith realizes the journey ahead of her. She plans to start classes at the University of Georgia this fall.

“My dad asked me this morning what it feels like, and I told him I didn’t know what to do with myself,” she said Monday.

Class valedictorian Justin Keville offered some encouragement to his classmates during his speech as he looked back at a particularly great year.

“We appreciate the opportunity to be challenged and to reach our highest goals. Our class did not waste this opportunity and has not only met, but surpassed the scholastic excellence of the classes we have followed,” he said. “Each of us has contributed to a grade point average that is greater than any class preceding us at BPA. You can all be proud of this achievement.”

His classmate, Lisa Colin, understands that. As international valedictorian, Colin said she has come a long way in the school.

A native of France, Colin moved to Florida seven years ago and attended Bradenton Prep.

When she arrived, she could only say “yes” and “no” in English.

Years later, she has improved her English and even picked up Spanish, she said.

“I think it’s exciting to know I was able to come that far and reach a high level of grades and communication skills, and to be given the honor of being the speaker as international valedictorian of the school,” she said. “I am happy for it all to be over, but I am sad to go away from the school and people I have known for seven years.”