With their own concert band providing the music _ Pomp and Circumstance, of course _ Dixie Hollins High School graduated the class of 1991 in a ceremony at the Bayfront Center on Thursday afternoon. The nearly 320 seniors were addressed by valedictorian Phong Luu, salutatorian Thy To and Michael Clevenger, a student in the National Honor Society who was chosen by the top 10 percent of the senior class to give the farewell speech.
Senior class president Kevin Flay presented Dixie Hollins' principal Paul Brown with a check for $1,550, raised by the class during its four years at the school. The money will be used for special programs to recognize honor roll students and to upgrade and repair the school's computerized telephone answering system.
One young woman added a touch of fun to the procession when she turned a full somersault and danced back to her seat after receiving a rose and her diploma cover.
Emotions ran high after the ceremony as the graduates gathered in the hallways to say their goodbyes.
"It was just good to get out of here," Dennis Wisnosky said. His friend and fellow graduate Armando Benitez agrees but describes the feeling differently.
""You know how when you dream you're falling and you wake up just before you hit the ground?" Benitez said. "That's what it feels like."
_ ROGER CLENDENING II