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Pasco High celebrates with Silly String and ice


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 27, 2001

DADE CITY -- Pasco High's commencement ceremony had the requisite laughter and tears, but it also had a raucous side.

The capacity crowd and the 214 graduates were asked twice to quiet down so everybody could hear the names being called. Once the tassels were turned, the graduates erupted into a sea of Silly String, ice and long-stemmed roses.

Pasco principal Patrick Reedy then reminded the graduates to pick up their actual diplomas before rushing off.

This class wasn't finished, however, filing onto the football field to form the numeral one to signify the Class of 2001. Most of the class then remained on the field, taking everything in. "I just can't believe that it's over. We're going to lose a lot of friends, but you're going to gain a lot in the future," said graduate Elizabeth Ford, who will attend Pasco-Hernando Community College.

"I'll always remember grabbing my diploma and knowing it's done."

Julie McLeod, who will start at St. Petersburg Junior College in the fall, said: "I'm going to miss all my friends. This is really sad. I'm leaving and all my friends are staying here."

Although many graduates will be leaving Pasco County in the fall, salutatorian Benjamin Raposa spoke of remembering one's roots.

"This community has given me so much to build on," said Raposa, who will attend the University of Florida. "I could not imagine growing up anywhere else."

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