Bloomingdale High School graduated 592 students Thursday afternoon at the University of South Florida's Sun Dome, with 85 percent of the students college-bound. About $4.4-million in scholarship money has been awarded to the graduates, according to school principal Charles J. Harris. "More than any other school in Hillsborough County, public or private," he said.
Michael Roberts, the class salutatorian, told peers they were not just a class but a collection of individuals destined to affect the future.
Quoting from several poems, Roberts, who graduated with a 5.44 grade point average, told classmates they should enjoy all facets of life.
"My wish is that many of us can be the artists and leaders of the future," said Roberts, who plans to become a writer and lawyer.
Valedictorian Daniel Grossman, who earned a 5.8 grade point average, said an overwhelming amount of work has brought his classmates to this graduation day.
"The most popular definition of success is making vast amounts of money," he said. "But some of us have an attitude that is rare and precious _ we value learning for learning's sake."
For class president Heidi Hayes, the last official act of her office was to ask the class "to please change your tassel."
With hoots and shouts, her classmates switched the tassels on their caps from the right to the left in almost perfect unison.
_ MICHELLE JONES