BAY ST. LOUIS -- A crowd of more than 600 enjoyed a perfect evening to celebrate the 2016 Bay High graduation at J.D. McCullough Stadium's Tank Williams Field on Friday.
Zachary Marlow graduated first and Juliana Cooke second in their class of 113 students, which collectively has earned more than $10 million in scholarships.
Marlow plans are to study mathematics at the University of South Alabama on a U.S. Air Force scholarship.
He quoted Albert Einstein in his presentation: 'Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.'
"Without the ability to be valuable to others in society, one's successes cannot shine in the world," he said.
Salutatorian Cooke plans to attend Mississippi College, where she's thinking about an education major. She drew laughs when she pointed out the irony of the moment: "We've survived countless essays, heartbreaks, tests, sleepless nights, projects and fights with friends. Oh, and let's not forget my personal least favorite: class presentations -- the moment when we are forced to speak in front of an entire classroom of our peers."
Principal Amy Coyne reflected on the 2016 graduates. "Their work ethic and their dedication to the goal that they had set for themselves is why we're at the $10 million mark (for scholarships). They're pretty determined, and a lot of that is self-determination. They put forth a lot of effort. When we ask them to do something, they do it. If we're in public, they represent like they've been taught.
"But, they have the balance. They know how to have fun, when to have fun. They know their boundaries. They've surprised us in some good ways this year."
In attendance was Viola Lee Sterling, a member of Bay High's 1956 graduating class. Also in attendance were four members of the Valena C. Jones 1966 graduating class: Bay-Waveland School Board Member Joan Lemay Thomas was joined by Shirley James Tillman, Linda Keys Bentley and Rogers Price.