PONCE de LEON — Ponce de Leon High School’s gymnasium was standing room only as friends, family, loved ones, fellow students and staff crowded in to celebrate Ponce de Leon High School’s graduating Class of 2013 on Monday.


PONCE de LEON — Ponce de Leon High School’s gymnasium was standing room only as friends, family, loved ones, fellow students and staff crowded in to celebrate Ponce de Leon High School’s graduating Class of 2013 on Monday.



“True grit, that’s what this class has,” said Principal Buddy Brown. “Some times you faltered, some times you tripped but when it counted you made it.”



Brown said a lot of the students’ successes came from concerned parents, grandparents and guardians.



“To the class of 2013 I would like to take the time personally to congratulate each one of you on your personal accomplishments,” said Salutatorian Matthew David Hicks.



“I’ve seen us all grow into the young men and women who will change the world in our own personal ways. I want to challenge you to set yourself high goals and apply yourself to achieving those goals because if you apply yourself you can obtain any goal you set.”



He encouraged his fellow classmates to live a life of “honesty and integrity, because living by these two principles will a reward that will benefit your life greatly.”



“Finally, ground your life in Jesus Christ,” said Hicks. “If you seek his will and guidance in your life, you will experience a life full of joy, love, hope and peace even in times of trouble and turmoil.



“Even though it has come time for us to part, leading some of us a long way from home,” Hicks said. “Let us not leave sad, instead let us leave knowing we shared some awesome memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. Now, Class of 2013, let us go forth and impact the world.”