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    Osceola High School

    [Times photo: Michael Rondou]
    The crowd at Tropicana Field Thursday wasn't there to cheer on the Devil Rays, but to congratulate the graduating seniors of Osceola High School. The graduating class boasted 59 seniors who graduated either summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude or with distinction; 21 seniors were members of the National Honor Society, and 47 seniors were Bright Future Scholarship candidates or recipients.

    By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published June 7, 2002

    NUMBER OF STUDENTS WALKING IN CEREMONY: 215.

    VALEDICTORIAN: Kimberly Dawn Conaway.

    SALUTATORIAN: Lindsey Marie Cobb.

    SPEAKERS: Conaway and Cobb; Stefanie Lynn Romer, student council president; Phuong Hanh Nguyen, senior class president; and Bilon Jacquelle Schultz, highest-ranking minority student, who gave farewell address.

    BEST QUOTE: "If you dream it, you can achieve it. Five years ago I listened to my brother make his valedictory speech. That became my dream and here I stand today. Dream big. Dream huge. No one can make your dreams come true but you," said Conaway.

    ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 59 seniors graduated either summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude or with distinction; 21 seniors were members of the National Honor Society; 47 seniors were Bright Future Scholarship candidates or recipients; 65 seniors were designated "college ready" and 15 seniors received diplomas as part of the school's "Early Graduation Option" program.

    LENGTH OF CEREMONY: 1 hours, 30 minutes.

    CLASS GIFT: Senior cafeteria table laminated with photos, art commemorating the Class of 2002.

    BEHIND THE SCENES: Despite largely unobtrusive security in the stadium, women had purses searched at the entrance.

    SCENES AND SIGHTS: Enthusiasm, cheers and applause filled the mostly empty expanse of Tropicana Field.

    CELL PHONES: No cell phone interruptions, but loud cheers and name-calling drowned out some graduates names as they were called to the podium.

    TOTAL LENGTH OF SPEECHES: 30 minutes.

    AVERAGE TIME OF HANDSHAKE: 2.5 seconds.

    POP CULTURE: Triumphal dance steps by several seniors as they crossed the stage.

    PATRIOTISM: National anthem sung by Schultz.

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