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Students at 4 area schools celebrate commencement

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It was a weekend of breaking the rules.

“Please hold your applause until the names of all graduates have been read” meant families hooted and hollered for their loved ones Friday and Saturday.

“No noisemakers allowed” meant air horns and cow bells sounded out from all corners of local gymnasiums.

And “pictures should be taken during the processional and recessional only” meant the bleachers turned into a sea of iPhones and iPads, capturing the milestone event for scrapbooks and Facebook.

But the celebration was appropriate, as 934 seniors turned their tassels on their high school careers.

Friday night festivities

Columbus Signature Academy New Tech High School and Hauser High School kicked off graduation weekend with ceremonies Friday evening.

New Tech Principal Mike Reed congratulated the 62 graduating seniors for being pioneers and forging a new direction for the project-based learning school.

Hauser High School graduates, many whom have been in school together since kindergarten, turned nostalgic during speeches.

East, North celebrations

Columbus North and Columbus East commencements followed on Saturday, bringing out families and friends in such droves that parking overflowed into fields and nearby neighborhoods.

A North graduate, Samuel Petro, celebrated reaching a goal he had set for himself in fourth grade.

Doug Moore, who is retiring this year after 23 years as Director of Guidance at East, participated in his final commencement ceremony. He stood on stage with a record-breaking class.

All four ceremonies were a chance to reflect on the memories and successes of the past four years, but East’s salutatorian urged the Class of 2014 not to stop there.

“These last four years were great, but if this is and forever will be the peak of our existence, we would have nowhere to go but down,” she told her fellow graduates.

Without a doubt, that isn’t in the cards for these graduates, she said.

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