Ida Baker holds graduation
The Class of 2010 graduation for Ida S. Baker High School began with thunderous applause inside the Lee Civic Center.
Hundreds of families and friends of the graduates filled the center as if a headlining concert or event was scheduled, yet they came to witness more than 500 students receive their diplomas and cross the stage into the real world.
Ceremonies by Ida S. Baker High and Mariner High, both scheduled Sunday at 7 p.m., marked this year’s final commencements in Lee County.
Principal Melissa Robery said the Class of 2010 was the largest ever in the six-year history of the high school. Overall, Baker students received more than $2 million worth of college scholarships, donated 38,000 community service hours, earned 172 industry certifications and had 130 students with a grade point average of 4.0 or higher.
“They are outstanding young adults who are worthy of recognition this evening,” she said.
Senior Class President Rachel Collins, a holder of the Miss Teen Florida title, offered advice to her fellow graduates. She told them to be passionate, stay true to themselves, continue learning and find the joy in life.
“In the midst of the long journey, make sure to look up and enjoy the view,” she said.
The graduating class voted for student Phil Sierocinski to serve as another commencement speaker.
“The past, roughly, 18 years has been a preparation for the test called life,” he said. “The truth is the test called life is open notes and open book. Today isn’t just the end of a good time, but it is a beginning.”
Chris Wood, secretary for the Class of 2010, presented the class gift. The class presented the school with a brand new marquee to promote upcoming events, with a plate stating it was a gift from this year’s graduates. Wood added that the new marquee also comes with fresh landscaping.
Robery, introduced by her daughter and 2010 Ida S. Baker graduate Julia Robery, was appointed principal of Ida S. Baker High two years ago. She led the graduates in the ceremonial turning of the tassels.
“My mother Melissa Robery is an amazing woman,” she said. “Anytime I need her she was by my side, no questions asked.”
Lee County School Board Member Robert Chilmonik certified that the graduates at the civic center satisfied all of the requirements necessary to receive their diplomas.