Walking through the mist in their shining blue and gold gowns, the graduating seniors of Clewiston High School’s (CHS) Class of 2014 took their first steps towards the rest of their lives when they accepted their diplomas and turned their tassels on May 30 at Cane Field Stadium.
As the day’s weather shifted from sunshine to rain, the sobbing clouds merely threatened the location of the ceremony, leaving the celebration outdoors and open to as many spectators as the graduates could hope for.
Dozens of family members and friends shuffled onto the stadium bleachers, seeking refuge under rain coats and umbrellas while the graduates were left to fend for themselves against the elements in the open field.
Avoiding a complete downpour, the graduation ceremony continued smoothly through the drizzle beginning with the processional, invocation and alma mater and ending with the presentation of the Class of 2014.
Salutatorian Maria Martinez and Valedictorian Sade Awe addressed their classmates and sent them off with a heartfelt, “We did it!” before the 156 graduates accepted their diplomas from CHS Principal George Duckstein.
After the last senior accepted her golden ticket, Superintendent Paul Puletti’s Graduation Pronouncement officially declared the group former high school students. And as the Class of 2014 stood and threw their caps in the air in celebration of an immense accomplishment 12 years in the making, fireworks flashed blue and gold over the stadium marking the end of their high school careers and the beginning of the tragically beautiful journey called “life.”
One senior was sent off into the real world in a brand new car, thanks to area car dealer Alan Jay’s Wheels for A’s program. Ariana Rosas was one of more than 40 seniors to submit her outstanding transcript to Alan Jay and found herself the owner of a brand new Dodge Avenger.