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Valedictorian Stephanie Elmore with her father and Salutatorian Najia Harris

Graduation 2018 Roosevelt College and Career Academy

Contributed By:The 411 News

Mixed feelings as graduates end a major chapter in their lives

For Stephanie Elmore, valedictorian of the 2018 class at Roosevelt College & Career Academy, the school is a place she didn’t want to leave. For class salutatorian Najia Harris, this is the place that prepared her and her classmates for the world.

Those mixed feelings are common among high school graduates, now ending a major chapter in their book of life.

It was the Commencement speaker, Gary’s Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who responded to those mixed emotions. “Commencement means a beginning. You have an entire life’s journey ahead of you. This education has equipped you to take on that journey with pride and purpose.”

Mayor Freeman-Wilson noted her class of 1978 will be celebrating its 40th year anniversary at its reunion this year. Forty years ago, the mayor gave the valedictory address. She told the graduates, “I look at you and see future leaders of this community. I welcome you to the Roosevelt alumni network.”

A touchstone for Roosevelt: Fifty years ago, the class of 1968 at Roosevelt High School numbered 700-plus, the school’s highest number of grads. Friday night, that number was 56.

Class members from the alumni network hosted a reception for the grads and all attending Commencement. Roosevelt alumni have provided major financial support for student activities at the school since the state takeover in 2011 which assigned management to EdisonLearning. That is when the school name was changed from Roosevelt High School to Roosevelt College & Career Academy.


Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson was a member of the processional line


Roosevelt grads: Xavier Brown, (l-r), Erica Brown, Njya Barnes, Trenton Allen, and Jara Allen


Roosevelt alumni hosted a reception for the Commencement: L-r, Carmelita Perry (’86), Lashawn Ballard (’89), Kimberly Taylor (’89), Arica Buchanan (’89), Shanell Manuel (’89), and Stephanie Young-Johnson (’86)

Story Posted:06/10/2018

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