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NFMHS graduates thank parents for their support

May 30, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

They took their kids to school on rainy days and drove them to and from soccer practice.

They helped with homework and made sure they studied for that history test the next day.

They are parents, the ones who are the most engaged in the lives of their children.

Article Photos

North Fort Myers High School graduates Abby Ferry, left, Natalie Swift pose with their families following graduation ceremonies on May 20 at Alico Arena.


And last week, at the North Fort Myers High School graduation, they were thanked for their efforts as those children walked the aisle to receive their diplomas and start the next chapter of their lives.

When student Austin Wilson took the stage he told his fellow graduates to find their parents and loved ones in the crowd, wave to them, and tell them thank you and I love you.

"We thank you for the sacrifices you made, whether it be working two jobs or a job you don't like, to support us," Wilson said. "As we embark on this journey, we will do our best to make you proud. You have been molding us and shaping us into the individual we are today."

Kimberly Lehman, who was helping her daughter get ready for her big day outside Alico Arena, said it was a big day for her as well.

"Being a resident of Lee County since 1972, it's nice to see her follow in the same footsteps as myself and I look forward to her future," Lehman said. "As a parent, it always seems to come too fast."

Manuel Ruiz said he was proud to watch his daughter start a new stage in her life.

"I am so happy for her and very proud. The time has gone by so quickly, but it's so exciting to see this new chapter. Congratulations to everyone," Ruiz said.

Of course, it wasn't just the parents. Brothers and sisters came for the trip as well. David Luciemable, a 2016 North grad, was watching his brother, Jonathan, take his turn to graduate.

"I am incredibly proud of my brother. Honestly he's worked so hard and left his mark at North like I did," Luciemable said. "It makes me feel incredibly old, but also very proud."

Carmita Pierre-Poussaint, Jonathan's mother, said she is proud to have her second son graduate from North.

"I thank God for that. He's worked so hard and has been so dedicated," Pierre-Poussaint said. "I see what both my boys have become and I'm so proud and joyful. I'm ready to cry."

As the event drew near, Kim Whitty was very emotional, with all kinds of feelings flowing through her as her daughter, Laura, a freshman, stood nearby.

"I'm very excited to see it and see what he's going to do in the future," Whitty said. "It's all happened too quick. He's matured a lot and grown a lot and I look forward to more growing and more learning experiences that are coming his way."

Louise Bain was proud, with a touch of sadness.

"She's the youngest child to graduate. She's the baby and we're so proud of what she's accomplished," Bain said. "It was 13 years ago she started school, but it seems like yesterday."

Less than two hours after it started, it was over.

Daneial Greenwell, accompanied by her 6-year-old daughter Delainey, watched her son, Miles, graduate cum laude before tossing his cap and walking back as a new grad.

"I'm very proud of him," she said, adding he joined the National Guard following his junior year and was now heading out for training this summer. "It was a long time coming, he's worked really hard. I was thinking about his pre-school graduation, and fifth-grade, and all the pictures in his caps and gowns."

Greenwell then smiled and pointed to her daughter, clad in a Red Knights red T-shirt bearing the hand-printed words "Miles' sister."

"She's coming in the class of 2030," she said.



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