East Lake High School
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 7, 2002
NUMBER OF STUDENTS WALKING IN CEREMONY: 404.
VALEDICTORIAN: J. Stanton Hill.
SALUTATORIANS: Daniel Crimi and Elizabeth Herman.
SPEAKERS: Hill; Crimi; Herman; Clayton Snare, principal; Mallory Szymanski, student body president; Amy Fretto, senior class president; David Everling, teacher.
BEST QUOTE: "We cannot dwell in the past. That is the only thing that can slow us down. Making a mistake is a part of life; learning from them is a part of success. Each one of us can change the world. To become a famous scientist you must first become learned; to become an army general you must first overcome basic training; to head a Fortune 500 company you must first learn the file cabinets. Never underestimate your potential," said Hill in his valedictory address.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Some 80 percent of the class qualified as Florida Merit Scholars and will receive Florida Bright Futures scholarships. The class will receive $3-million in scholarships and had four National Merit Scholars.
LENGTH OF CEREMONY: One hour, 25 minutes
BEHIND THE SCENES: A Bayfront Center security guard confiscated numerous air horns from members of the audience.
SCENES AND SIGHTS: At the end of the ceremony, graduates tossed their caps all over the arena, striking at least one person (a member of the wind ensemble).
SEPT. 11: Fretto, senior class president, suggested graduates develop the kind of character exemplified by New York firefighters. "Find the unselfish part of your heart," she said.
TOTAL LENGTH OF SPEECHES: 23 minutes.
PATRIOTISM: After the national anthem at the start of the ceremony, the audience clapped and cheered for at least 30 seconds.
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