370 graduate during William Fleming High School commencement ceremony

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 8:01 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As the graduating seniors took the final steps in their William Fleming High School careers, the family members and friends who gathered in the Berglund Center Friday showed the joy in this personal milestone.

One day after Patrick Henry High School held its commencement ceremony in the same space, it was William Fleming High School’s turn in the spotlight.

The ceremony included a bilingual duet of the song, ‘The Climb,’ and a tribute to the spirit that makes William Fleming unique.

“To me being a Colonel will always mean having the courage to be different and embrace your individuality,” said Valedictorian Lacey Ngo.

More than one speaker praised the graduates for rising above the challenges the pandemic presented.

Archie Freeman is the school division’s Chief Academic Officer.

“All of the students have learned a lot. And I think it’s because of the pandemic,” Freeman told WDBJ7 after the ceremony. “And the only thing you can learn is you can be stronger and can overcome the biggest obstacle that’s before you. So there’s been a positive message sent this year.”

370 graduating seniors would walk across the stage. And the celebration continued after the ceremony.

“I just want to thank God and my family. It’s just a blessing,” said William Fleming graduate Jakiya Bumbry.

“It doesn’t yet feel real, but I’m happy,” added her classmate Teyshaun Hickman.

And there were many more happy graduates, from two days, two commencement ceremonies and two joyous celebrations.

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