Northport K-8 School graduated their twenty-eighth group of eighth grade students in the gymnasium recently. Over two hundred students completed the school requirements and were able to march to Pomp and Circumstance to receive their diplomas. The gym was decorated in the school colors with banners flying! As the families arrived in the courtyard, Bagpiper Michael Hyde, a Merchant Marine, welcomed the community to gather together. A full Honor Guard of veterans from across St. Lucie County, including Jack Ivy Detachment 666, United Veterans, Sons of the American Revolution, Vietnam Chapters and many other Northport Veteran Partners were on hand to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and to wish our students well. All veterans in the packed gymnasium were given a standing ovation. Another aspect of the graduation program to instill patriotism, pride in America and educate students was the “Building American Pride One Flag At A Time” program held throughout the school year. The school, through community funding, was able to purchase an American flag home kit to give to each graduating student and family in honor of retired NYC Detective, Albert Hickey. Detective Hickey, 9/11 First Responder, spoke to the students at the beginning of the school year about the need for American flags to fly on homes throughout the county. The school honored Detective Hickey by dedicating the flags at graduation. Detective Hickey shook each graduates hand as they received their graduating diploma, a Patriot’s Diploma from the Son’s of the American Revolution and their American flag kit. Florida Representative Gayle Harrell was the keynote speaker and personalized her words by calling students by name with accolades and commenting on specific awards and memorable moments from the school year. Paulina Palma, Student Council President also gave a heartfelt commentary to her fellow students. Northport band and choral students gave exceptional music contributions with powerful musical performances to accentuate the program. Special thanks must go to Susan Matteson, eighth grade team leader and program coordinator and her assistant, parent, Suzi Scott for an outstanding job organizing the program. Congratulations to eighth grade students, families and teachers! Job Well Done on a very special commemorative graduation! Pictured is Northport Student Kylee Lanni accepting her Patriot’s Diploma and her American flag from Sons of the American Revolution and Detective Hickey. Kylee’s parents also attended Northport.