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Gulf’s Class of 2000 received their diplomas from Principal Cheryl Renneckar last night in the school’s Activity Center.

The graduating students were also congratulated on stage by school board member Pam Coulter and Jennifer Smith, an official at the district office.

The graduating students — who number 319 this year — heard their names read by Assistant Principal Patricia Haynes after they watched a video featuring side-by-side baby pictures and recent photos of most of their classmates.

Valedictorian Eric Breitenstein and salutatorian Jamie Hogan delivered an unusual joint speech. Their topic was “Secrets of the Universe.” The speech included some props, one of which was a mounted fish singing Don’t Worry Be Happy, which got the most sustained cheer of the night.

Ms. Renneckar mentioned four students who had overcome adversity to be at the graduation ceremony — Cassie Williams, Danny Andrews, Nick Evans and Arianna Stewart. She also said that graduates had received $420,000 in scholarships this year.