With more than 630 diplomas to award, speakers at the Cabot High School Class of 2013 graduation ceremony kept their remarks concise and brief. After more than 90 minutes, Garrett Matthew Zimmerman, the last name on the length list, drew cheers and applause as he gathered his certificate from school board president Corey Williams.
The number of graduates drew so many family members and friends to Friday’s ceremony that the lower bowl of Verizon Arena was filled, and the upper tier was more than half filled.
Cabot Board of Education - President Corey Williams, Brian Evans, Ricky Hill, Dean Martin, Wendel Msall, Donna Nash, Mark Russell and superintendent, Dr. W. Tony Thurman led the ceremony.
Speakers were salutatorian Jamie Dawn Freeman, and co-valedictorians Matthew B. Calhoun, Zayne Matthew Derden and Dennison Tyler Schultz.
High school principal Henry Hawkins spoke about the accomplishments of the class. Along with medals and other honors accumulated by the class, the total value of scholarships won by the students topped $50 million, he said.
Each of the valedictorians were presented state Senate Citations by Sen. Eddie Joe Williams.
With the final diploma issued, Chuck Massey, a member of the Class of 1983 and now a teacher at Cabot High School, led the class in the traditional moving of the tassel. He explained that change symbolized the change from candidate for graduation to graduate.
Rebecca Elizabeth Davis and Andrew Collin Shaddox led the class in singing the Alma Mater; benediction was rendered by Emily Jane Snyder.
With the dismissal of the class, the graduates celebrated with the traditional tossing of their mortarboards.
Others aiding in the ceremony were escorts Madison Hart and Grant Westlake.
Ushers and Usherettes were Miranda Antimo, Brooke Beaver, Grayson Broyles, Lakyn Crumbly, Terra Johnson, Hershila Lallu, Karlee Uhiren, Ryan Wilson, Peyton Barger, Grant Bell, Colby Ferguson, Zach Launius, Patrick Neyhart, Michael Dale Smith, Tyler Stone and Hunter York.
Performances of Flourish For Wind Band and Pomp and Circumstance for the ceremony were recorded by the Cabot High School Band, led by Joe Trusty.
Presentation of the Colors for the ceremony was by the Cabot High School Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard cadets Lexi Delp, Christopher Gowen, Danielle Jones-Green, Nathan Leslie, Ethan McCoy, Amanda Oliver and Alexis Sasserled; led by Lt. Col. Doug Haven and SMSgt. Terry Ball;
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Tyler Mackenzie Faust, Celina Bree Miranda and Ryan Douglas Stafford, the National Anthem led by Kyle Jordan Edgar and Hayden Daniel Elliot, with invocation by Emily Nicole Riley.
Opening remarks and introductions by superintendent Tony Thurman.
Paused for a moment of silence, called by Hunter Paul Brock, to remember members of the Class of 2013 who had died.