CRESTVIEW— Richbourg School held their seventh annual graduation on May 19 in the gymnasium of neighboring Northwood Elementary, where five exceptional students received their high school diplomas.


Among those who attended the ceremony were Superintendent of Okaloosa County Schools Mary Beth Jackson, Director of Exceptional Student Education Melody Sommer and school board member Tim Bryant; Bryant was the guest speaker at the event.


The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance, said by Katie Scott, and the "Star Spangled Banner" interpreted by Shyanne Stuckey in sign language. Jo Grice, a transitional specialist for the school board welcomed the guests to the ceremony.


"This is something we do because we love your kids," Grice said. "I would also like to thank the parents for trusting us with your kids and supporting Richbourg School through the years. Today is a great day for our graduating seniors who are ready to start the next chapter of their lives."


Bryant spoke to the audience, representing the Okaloosa County School Board the community of Crestview as a whole.


"It is truly awe-inspiring to see these students here today," Bryant said. "There are two words that...describe these students, and that is courage and innocence. What makes these students inspiring is their courage and their innocence; they don't let anything get in their way, they don't let anyone tell them they can't do something."


After the conclusion of his speech, Bryant presented each student their diploma, shook their hand and posed for a photo. 


With tassels turned, the 2017 graduating class smiled, cheered and prepared for the next step in their lives. Guests were invited for cake and refreshments following the ceremony.