Panthers Write Last Chapter of "Legendary Novel"

Almost 260 Students Graduate from PHS
Posted on 06/16/2016

The good news was that it didn’t rain. The bad news was that fact only served to make it hotter and more humid.

But the nearly 260 Palatka High School graduates who sat on the field of Veterans Memorial Stadium that sultry June 3 night didn’t seem to mind. They kept their cool as they waited to receive their diplomas.

Baylee Buchanan, Student Council executive vice president, and Kristen Lyle, Senior Class representative, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Seniors Brandon French and Timothy Lake sang “The Star Spangled Banner.”

After the Invocation by Senior Class representative Madison Wright, Senior Class president Carley Reid and vice-president Hayden Herrington gave opening remarks.

Principal Mary Beth Hedstrom struggled to hold back tears as she spoke to her panthers. Hedstrom, who be principal at E.H. Miller School next school year, recounted the diverse experiences the class of 2016 had underwent, and how those experiences had prepared them for their graduation.

Superintendent Phyllis Criswell told the PHS graduates she was going to do something a little different for her speech to their class. Instead of her own speech, Criswell read the speeches from the top graduates of the district’s other two high schools: Drew Wilburn of Interlachen High School and Zurisadai Rodriguez of Crescent City Jr.-Sr. High School.

Molly Parrish used Ralph Waldo Emerson as a springboard when she spoke to her classmates about “Leaving a Trail.”

Brent Summers said when he and his classmates stepped through the glass doors of PHS as freshmen, they “stepped into a fresh book that would end up being the most legendary novel that this school has ever read.”

Todd Dixon, representing St. Johns River State College, awarded an associate in arts degree to Brittany Stanley.

Senior Class secretary Molly Williams and treasurer Ragan Sheehan provided the closing remarks, before, during and after which the graduates threw their caps into the air.