Island Coast holds graduation
Wrapping up its second year in a new building, Island Coast High School hosted its Class of 2010 graduation ceremony in its auditorium with more students earning a diploma than last year.
A total of 149 students graduated Saturday at 2 p.m. Before entering the auditorium to pomp and circumstance, the graduates sat in the dimly lit school cafeteria to try on their green robes and organize for the ceremony.
Casi Gilpin, Alyssa Buster and Scout Cook are close friends who not only graduated together on Saturday, but plan on attending Edison State College together in the fall.
“It feels unreal, I have a whole bunch of feelings all bunched into one,” said Gilpin, 18, who will major in nursing.
Buster, 18, said she is pursuing a business degree and Cook, 18, wants to study criminal justice. These two have been friends since the fourth grade. Gilpin moved to Island Coast High only a few months ago, but has grown into a close relationship with the other girls.
“We all wanted to go to different schools, but since we are graduating together, we want to go to college together,” said Buster.
Teachers also pointed out that Island Coast was graduating three triplets. Even though Stergos, Manolis and Dimitrios Papadimitriou were born together, and graduated together, the three are starting their lives after high school in different locations.
Lindsay Ellis graduated Summa Cum Laude with the highest grade point average at Island Coast High, 5.096. She also delivered a commencement address to the Class of 2010.
“We have all sacrificed many things across our journey, but have done so with the knowledge that we will succeed,” she said.
Ellis not only graduated with a high school diploma, but she already has her associates degree. After finishing her bachelors at Florida Gulf Coast University she plans on pursuing a medical degree at the University of Florida.
Yaritza Muniz, 17, the 2010 class president, led the pledge of allegiance and gave Principal G. Peter Bohatch the two class gifts – a mural on the senior’s wall and a photograph of the class to be hung in the school. She’s been active in student government for the last two years and is excited about what the future holds. And for Muniz, it’s a degree in business management from Edison State College.
“It’s mixed feelings, this really is the beginning of the rest of your life,” she said. “It’s scary, but exciting.”
Another graduate who addressed the Class of 2010 was top student Luis Ramirez, who earned a $192,000 scholarshipsto attend Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania as a biochemistry major.
“In these past 13 years, the most important things we learned aren’t from textbooks,” he said. “We learned from our teachers, but the most we learned was from each other.”
Lee County School Board Chairman Steve Teuber recognized that the graduating class completed all the requirements set forth by the school board and state in order to receive a diploma. Matthew Sturgill performed the National Anthem on the electric guitar and the school’s Vocal Ensemble performed “The Irish Blessing.”