Laurel Hill School Class of 2013 graduates 34 members (GALLERY)

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 09:03 PM.

Like many of his classmates, Dakota has attended Laurel Hill School since kindergarten, "but I haven't been here every day like Chelsea."

Chelsea Smith received a special award from Okaloosa County School District superintendent Mary Beth Jackson, a Laurel Hill School alumna, for having had perfect attendance throughout her 13-year academic careers.

During his address, Dakota told his classmates their graduation is "a time of celebration and happiness."

"Although it seems as though we have finally crossed the finish line, this is only the beginning of our lives," Dakota said. "Among the crowd of students anxiously waiting to receive their diplomas, are the future faces of our armed forces, our workforce, and our community."

"Graduation means not only that we are becoming adults, but we are now also full-fledged members of society," Robert said during his speech.

After Garrett and Samantha Holboke delivered the ceremony's closing remarks, the Class of 2013 departed the gymnasium, many realizing their graduation was the last time they would all be together.

But they took with them Dakota's words of encouragement.

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