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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Mailee Xiong walks down the exit ramp after receiving her diploma at the end of the Decatur High School Class of 2018 graduation ceremony at Peterson Gym May 13.

DECATUR -- For 38 seniors of Decatur High School's Class of 2018, the epic journey into adulthood began May 13 with a walk across the stage at Peterson Gym to receive their high school diplomas.

The ceremony began with the traditional commencement exercise march, "Pomp and Circumstance No. 1," by Edward Elgar and performed by the Decatur High School band under the direction of Jessie Owens.

The band also performed several other pieces throughout the ceremony, including the Star Spangled Banner and Richard Saucedo's "Poem Romantic No. 1," which was performed during the presentation of roses. The high school choir led the seniors and alumni in the Decatur High School Alma Mater.

Delivering the salutatorian address for the Class of 2018 was Mailee Xiong, followed by the valedictorian address by Johnna Herron.

One of the most popular portions of the Decatur graduation ceremony was the slideshow. Family and friends had the opportunity to contribute some of their favorite photos of each graduate. The seniors did not know the content of the show, so it was a complete surprise. Some photos invoked tears, others laughter. The show concluded with a montage of candid shots.

At this point, the seniors were supposed to leave their seats and pick up roses for the next part of the ceremony. The photos so captivated them that none left until the presentation ended.

Then came the moment everybody came to witness, the dispensing of diplomas. Toby Conrad, high school principal, had the honor of presenting each candidate to the assembly.

As the last graduate, Mailee Xiong, took her place among her classmates, Conrad concluded the proceedings with the words the senior class waited 12 long years to hear.

"Having fulfilled all requirements of the State of Arkansas, I present to you the graduates of Decatur High School class of 2018." Conrad declared.

One journey is complete, another begins.

Others participating in the 2018 Commencement Ceremony included:

Rigo Rubi, Andy Thao, Dania Uribe, Jacqueline Hernandez -- Ushers;

Jessica Mendoza -- invocation;

Leticia Fuentes -- Pledge of Allegiance;

Jeff Gravette -- welcome;

James Garner -- Class of 2018 slideshow;

Kevin Smith, Amy Brooks, Darleen Holley -- presentation of diplomas; and

Tanner Duncan -- benediction.

General News on 05/16/2018

Print Headline: Thirty-eight graduate at Decatur High School

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