The familiar sound of Pomp and Circumstance can mean only one thing.
It's graduation day.
Friday was graduation day for seven Columbia County high school seniors who completed their degree requirements in summer school.
About 50 audience members cheered and applauded as students from all four high schools walked across the Greenbrier High School auditorium stage to accept their diplomas.
"You're a talented and diverse group, and I personally have high hopes for what you will achieve in the coming years," Superintendent Charles Nagle told the graduates. "My advice to you today is to remember this is the first day of your future. The decisions you make today will determine how you live the rest of your life."
Gregg Bunn, the principal of the summer school program, complimented the graduates on their determination.
"You didn't give up. Take the characteristic of perseverance and use it throughout your life. You will need it," Bunn said. "Your education is something that can never be taken away from you. Cherish it, and constantly seek to improve it."
Austin Bragg, who received his Greenbrier diploma at the ceremony, said he always will remember walking across the stage and receiving his high-school diploma.
"Everybody's got to have a graduation ceremony, and it's just a memory of life," he said.
Bragg, who completed his senior literature course this summer, said he is headed to Georgia Southern University this fall.
Nykole Rodriguez, a new Harlem High School graduate, also finished a course in senior literature this summer. She plans to attend Augusta State University in the fall.
She said she will remember hearing her name called at the ceremony and her first day of high school.
Deena Youngblood held up a poster featuring black boas and a photograph of her niece, Kacie Bragg, who graduated from Evans High School.
Youngblood said the summer graduation ceremony was important for the students.
"She hung in there," she said of her niece. "She went to summer school and did what she needed to do to finish."
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