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Escambia County High School Graduate Charles Aymond (left) celebrates before receiving his diploma last week. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Escambia County High School Graduate Charles Aymond (left) celebrates before receiving his diploma last week. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

ECHS holds graduation ceremony

Family, friends and loved ones packed Escambia County High School’s football stadium for commencement last Tuesday night.

One-hundred-and-five graduates of the class of 2016 walked across the stage and received their diplomas.

Commencement Speaker John Fountain, circuit clerk for Escambia County, based his speech on the example of his brother in law, the late Hugh White, who passed away a year ago.

“This is a special occasion,” Fountain said. “You will receive a diploma no one can’t take away from you. I hope to give you words of encouragement like Hugh did.”

Fountain encouraged the graduates to find their passion in life, and recalled working as a juvenile parole officer.

“There were a few success stories that kept me going each day,” he said. “What drove me is my passion to help others.”

Fountain said White never worked a day in his life because he was passionate about his job.

Fountain said in order to be successful, set a goal and make a plan.

Salutatorian Xavier Leslie thanked the teachers, parents and all that helped get the seniors to this point in their lives.

“This is the least we can do,” Leslie said. “You set the bar high for us. You demanded so much from us.”

Valedictorian Gerald Norris spoke about the years and events the class went through together, noting the trip to Turtle Point and pep rallies during middle school.

Norris encouraged his classmates to reach for the stars, using a quote by Paul Brandt.

“’Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are foot prints on the moon,’” he said.

ECHS Principal Dennis Fuqua, and Assistant Principals Eric Andrews and Sarah Watkins, and Fountain presented the diplomas to the graduates.