It seems like only yesterday that River View High School's graduating seniors were "skinny little freshmen" trying to navigate the hallways, recalled valedictorian Michelle Klejeski.
Now they're at the top of the food chain, getting ready to go out into the world, she said at Friday's graduation in Finley.
Hundreds of parents, siblings, relatives and friends sent the Class of 2014 into its next chapter with applause and cheers.
"The graduates of 2014 are a very unique group. From Day 1, they have been passionate, eager and willing to take on new challenges," said Principal Bryan Long, adding that he's extremely proud and "will forever remember our days in these halls ... I will never forget you or your efforts."
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Finley School District Superintendent Lance Hahn, who was principal during their freshman year, said the graduates also have a special place in his heart.
"Its been a joy to watch them mature and become the people they are — very successful. We're excited and proud to have you as graduates," he said.
Graduating senior Mathew Morton also spoke. "May the odds be ever in your favor," he told them, invoking a phrase from The Hunger Games. His fellow graduates stood and offered a salute from the popular movies.