Formal DCHS commencement ceremonies began Friday at the Turner Center with “Pomp and Circumstance” punctually at 7 p.m.

The DeSoto County High School graduating Class of 2019 entered the arena two by two, 262 strong. Once in place, the Senior Ensemble performed the national anthem, while the DCHS JROTC Color Guard presented the colors, followed by the invocation by Irene Espino, class vice president.

Class president Jaime Lopez welcomed over 3,300 parents, grandparents, other family members, faculty and guests. A stirring class history presentation was offered by Erika Prestipino, which also included a presentation honoring a former classmate, Tyler Morr. Tyler passed in 2012 while doing what he loved, racing cars. The family was represented by maternal grandparents Dave and Kim Morr. Also honored was former classmate Jessica “Jessi” Lynne Rowan who left us far too soon on May 23, 2019.

The salutatory address was presented by Stephanie Whitmore, and Kimberly Balbino made the valedictory address. Principal Dave Bremer began commencement ceremonies with the certification of 274 students and presentation of the senior class to Supt. Adrian Cline. Mr. Bremer told the audience that 2019 was the largest DCHS class to graduate.

Walking across the stage, each member of the graduating class first shook Principal Bremer’s hand, gave him a small white volleyball, then proceeded to Supt. Cline for a professional photograph while receiving a diploma. Next stop was School Board chair Ronny Allen for the ceremonious turning of the tassel from the right side of the cap to the left. Occasionally, School Board member Karen Chancey stepped forward to perform the task.

Two graduates, Antonio Rojas and Darien West, received standing ovations from their classmates. The ceremonies concluded with traditional turning of the graduates’ high school ring and tossing of the cap into the air, a symbolic gesture indicating the end of a chapter in these graduates’ lives.

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