IMMOKALEE — The Immokalee Seminole Preschool’s 2012 graduating class set a new record with the most students to complete their curriculum in the history of the school. Commencement ceremonies were held for the eight young scholars at the new Immokalee Seminole Preschool facilities on the morning of May 16.
Allie McInturff, Denise Gonzales, Amani Cummings, Jaylynn Rodriguez, Joshua Dimas, Jayden Garza, Valentin Garcia Jr. and Federico Rodriguez made a grand entry in their red caps and gowns adorned with Seminole patchwork in medicine colors. Ascending the stage, they opened the presentation by leading the Pledge of Allegiance and the Manteele for their family members and friends.
“This is our first graduation ceremony to be held in our new school facilities,” site manager Michelle Ford said. “Most of these youngsters come to us as babies, and over the years, we feel as though they have become our own. It is always an emotional farewell to the graduates.”
A short biography of each graduate was followed by the presentation of a Fire and Safety Award prepared by Lt. Bruce Britton, who held frequent workshops with the youngsters throughout the year.
A farewell speech by teacher Maria Castro gave insight into the personalities of each graduate and highlights from their years of attendance. Ford brought special memories to life as she addressed the graduates, talked about their potential and then gave them a quick preview of what the future holds for them as they continue their education.
During a carefully orchestrated program, the graduates sang for their audience. Then, they dressed in appropriate costumes depicting their career choices. The room was filled with smiles and laughter as they gave their short individual presentations. The theme of the graduation party was a Hawaiian luau, and the youngsters donned grass skirts and floral leis as they danced the hula for their appreciative audience.
Two photographic presentations depicted the youngsters’ progression from toddlers to graduates.
Distribution of diplomas and graduation gifts was followed by a “cap in the air” celebration and a congratulatory luncheon.