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ECHS seniors graduate

Confetti and mortarboards fly in the air as the Escambia County High School seniors celebrate their graduation Friday night at Herbert Barnes Stadium.

Confetti and mortarboards fly in the air as the Escambia County High School seniors celebrate their graduation Friday night at Herbert Barnes Stadium.

The 125 members of Escambia County High School’s Class of 2015 officially received their high school diplomas Friday night, during the graduation ceremony held at ECHS’s Herbert Barnes Stadium.

When introducing the class, ECHS principal Dennis Fuqua called the seniors “the million dollar class,” because they had collectively received more than $1 million in college scholarships.

Lyricia Johnson was named the salutatorian and Christin Simpkins was the class valedictorian.

In her valedictory speech, Simpkins told her classmates to be proud of what they had achieved, and to strive to do more in the future.

“You do not have to boast or brag about yourselves, but do not be ashamed of your accomplishments,” she said.

The guest speaker was LaShan Nicole Bonaparte, an engineer from Bell Helicopter whose mother and grandmother both attended high school in Escambia County.

Bonaparte said that all citizens can be “social engineers,” who can help to solve the problems of their communities, including crime, poverty and drug abuse.

“Will you be a social engineer that serves your community well, or will you be someone who destroys the infrastructure of hope and freedom?” Bonaparte said. “This is a question we should ask ourselves every day.”

For more on this story, see the Wednesday, June 3, edition of The Atmore Advance.