BAKER — Cars lined every street within a mile radius of Baker School, filled with people who came to celebrate the graduating class of 2017. 

Jennifer Stewart, an assistant principal, welcomed guests; Baker ROTC presented the colors; and Christopher Roller said the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Honors students Tressie Adams, Taylor Brunson and Logan Rickman gave a welcoming address to fellow graduates and guests. 

Jodie Welch, the top student in the class, addressed the graduates, challenging them to make an impact on someone’s life just as parents, teachers and mentors have made on theirs. 

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Honors students Alexandra Hayden, Bianca Peters and Mikaela Sites gave closing remarks. 

Diplomas were presented by Michael Martello, principal; Mary Beth Jackson, superintendent; Stacie Smith, assistant superintendent of human resources; Jennifer Stewart, assistant principal; Victoria Hurley, assistant principal; and Beth Geoghagen, senior guidance counselor. 

Baker School has 115 seniors in the graduating class of 2017, with the most honor students and scholarships they have ever seen — 31 honors students and more than $690,000 in scholarships. 

The class colors are maroon and gold, the class flower is a sunflower, the class song is “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the class motto is: “In our hands we hold today, in our dreams we hold tomorrow, in our hearts we hold forever.” 

Most students are planning on attending college, but at least 10 are joining the military following graduation. 

“The class of 2017 represents what it means to be a Baker Gator,” Martello said. “They have excelled in academics, as well as the athletics. They have set the bar high and have led by their example for those who follow. 

“It makes me proud to call the class of 2017, Baker Gators.” 

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