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Salutatorian Grieta Patenaude told the 25th graduating class of Lakewood High School that she learned more than literature and geometry during her four years at the school. As someone who, before entering Lakewood, lived in an all-white neighborhood and attended a school without African-Americans, Miss Patenaude said she came to Lakewood with some stereotypes. The school that is proud of its integration, she said, "taught me to start opening my mind. . . . I learned it's not a black thing or a white thing. It's a people thing."

In her farewell address, class president Hilary M. Powell said the class of 1991 is a class "that is in no way segregated. We intermingled and shared."

She also urged the class to live up to the fame of the school's nickname, "Hollywood High."

Valedictorian Scott A. Riggs said goodbye to his classmates, something he had postponed to the last minute, he said. "Each of us has a future calling, waiting to be answered.

A total of 267 seniors clad in black caps and gowns received diplomas Thursday night in the new Lakewood stadium.

The ceremony, postponed a day by rain last year, continued despite dark clouds, rain sprinkles that sent parents scurrying for cover and heavy winds that blew off mortarboards and boomed in microphones.

As the storm threatened, the solo by graduating senior Jennifer Sweat seemed all the more appropriate.

She sang The Wind Beneath My Wings.