Class of 2017

Long Beach grads, a resilient bunch, have eyes on their prize

DARRIN WILLIAMS/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD 
 Long Beach High graduates Liam Cogley and Austin Loveless are joining the military after they graduate. Cogley is joining the Army and Loveless the Navy.
DARRIN WILLIAMS/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALD Long Beach High graduates Liam Cogley and Austin Loveless are joining the military after they graduate. Cogley is joining the Army and Loveless the Navy.

BILOXI -- The Coast Coliseum on Friday hosted Long Beach High School's 2016 graduation ceremony.

The ceremony featured remarks by the school's principal, the class orator, the salutatorian and the valedictorian, capped off by 185 of the 196 graduating seniors walking across the stage to accept their diplomas.

Long Beach High Principal Vivian Robinson said this class was a high achieving and resilient bunch, who lived through Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill.

"(This class) has undertaken the meaning of challenge and struggle," she said. "They have demonstrated the perseverance and tenacity to be where they are today."

Class orator Peyton Stubbs urged her classmates not to take their eyes off their prize, whatever that might be.

Salutatorian Anna DeStefano took a stroll down memory lane.

"Freshmen year, we didn't know what to expect," she said. "Sophomore year, we were more comfortable. Junior year, we unexpectedly got more homework, but we made it through. Senior year, we made it through senioritis to make it to graduation day."

Valedictorian Jamie Malley said graduation is bittersweet.

"High school has gone by fast -- and slow," Malley said. "I'm going to miss it, but it's time to start the next chapter."

She closed the ceremony expressing her gratitude for those that made it all possible.

"We've been racing toward graduation," she said. "Now that we've reached the finish line, we need to thank all those who made this possible -- teachers, parents, et al."

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