Members of Interlachen High School’s Class of 2015 showed they knew how to seize an opportunity even before they officially graduated June 2.
The graduation ceremony was on hold as thunderstorms swept over and around Thompson-Baker Stadium near the 8 p.m. scheduled start time.
A brief break from the rain jumpstarted the ceremony into high gear for more than 130 graduates and their family and friends.
Principal Thomas Bolling acknowledged the weather situation with his first words to those in the stadium. “Welcome to Florida,” he said.
Bolling amended the program to exclude all previously planned adult speeches in favor of student ones.
Haleigh Kwaak led the Pledge of Allegiance and Brett Sellers gave the invocation.
Joneal Porter, president of the Class of 2015, mentioned the word failure in her speech to her classmates.
“Yes, that’s right, I’m using the word failure in my graduation speech,” she said. “If you reach an obstacle that you cannot overcome, I want you to fail forward rather than give up. If you fail a class, take it again. If you get laid off at work, look for a new job.”
Graduate Kasey Nelson thanked the faculty and staff for their help during her and her classmates time at IHS.
“However, my most important thank you is to my classmates that are graduating with me that I credit with all of the positive experiences that I’ve had during the last four years.” She said they were ultimately what made the classes, clubs and sports worthwhile.
As soon as the graduates began the walk to receive their diplomas, a steady rain started coming down again. However, it didn’t seem to dampen their spirits as they walked across the stage, received their diplomas, turned their tassels from left to right and finally tossed their caps at the dark gray clouds raining down from above them.