Graduation 2010: Small Everglades class marked by rousing spirit

— Likely one of the smallest graduations in the state, the ceremony for eight seniors at Everglades City School generated enough spirit to split the seams of the cafeteria venue.

There were whoops for the processional, whoops for the introduction of Pastor Morris Danton for the invocation, and whoops for each of the speakers. But, there was also decorum and dignity as the ceremony developed towards the graduation itself.

The eight graduates, most of whom plan to attend college, were Sierra Arroyo, Peyton Beebe, Kimberly Brown, Lous Daniels, Rosa Gonzalez, Nicholas Kalmanek, Leah Minton and Dwight Wood.

Valedictorian Peyton Beebe will study psychology, and will be bolstered by a string of scholarships garnered because of her academic achievements during her school career.

School district representative Mary Anne Gemmill said in her commencement address that the graduates would face many obstacles from here on. "But," she said, "it is your duty to perform and live up to your duties."

At the same time, Gemmill said there should be some lightheartedness in the graduates' approaches to life. "Don't forget that part of life is a game," she said. "You have serious studies ahead, but don't forget to take time out and play."

She also spoke of the graduates now having the skills to solve the mysteries of life. "Life is about spirit," she said, "release that spirit."

About 140 people attended the ceremony.

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