COLUMBIA – Douglass High School celebrated its 15th commencement on Friday night with 39 graduating seniors at Launer Auditorium at Columbia College.
Principal Brian Gaub opened the ceremony by welcoming the graduates' family and friends and presenting the Douglass class of 2009. The auditorium erupted into joyful screams as the graduates entered.
Commencement speaker and graduating senior Haley Williams’ message was that the school had brought together a group of students with various backgrounds and life challenges.
“Douglass has repaired our minds so we can achieve our goals," she said. "Thank You.”
Williams thanked the teachers and administration for encouraging positive thinking and for keeping the students focused on their goals.
.Gaub thanked all the parents, grandparents, spouses and guardians for helping the graduates achieve what they had and for getting them to graduation day.
During the presentation of the diplomas, audience members applauded as the 39 students walked across the stage. “That’s my boo!” was shouted from the front row of the family and friends section when the first student crossed the stage. The merriment continued right until the final graduate shook Gaub's hand and left the stage.
Through partnerships with the Columbia Daily Tribune, Truman Veterans Hospital and other organizations, the graduates of Douglass have had training in a wide variety of fields. Graduate Sarah Kingsley's next step is heading to the Cosmetology Concepts Institute in Columbia.
“Graduating tonight means beginning a new life and ending an old life,” Kingsley said.