Central High School graduates class of 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012
Central High School's Class of 2012 enjoys the finale at commencement Sunday at the Show Me Center. (Fred Lynch)

Grins were wide on the faces of Central High School's graduating seniors Sunday, as they received their diplomas. The almost 280 members of the 2012 class represented the 100th to pass through the hallowed halls.

"The next 100 years promises to be brighter than the past 100 years," said principal Dr. Mike Cowan as the Show Me Center filled with students, families and friends. "It really is a historic moment for our school. The city has committed to education for a century."

U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. presents the commencement address for Central High School's Class of 2012 Sunday. (Fred Lynch)

Graduates received diploma covers that included pictures of all five high school buildings as part of the ceremony. Graduates also were presented with orange stoles, narrow strips of silk worn over the shoulders and designed to hang down the front of their gowns. The stoles, which the grads were allowed to keep, bore the centennial graduation insignia.

Cowan said instructors and family were responsible for helping the school be recognized for having two National Merit Scholars, Veronica Ely and Elizabeth Nussbaum. Nussbaum and Geoffrey Pettet were recognized as two of the top 100 students in Missouri, Cowan said.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr., a 1970 graduate of the school, said he joined family and friends in rejoicing in all the students' successes.

"It's time to take stock in your blessings," said Limbaugh, as he gave the commencement address.

Central High School valedictorian Sarah Elizabeth Nussbaum presents her address during commencement Sunday. (Fred Lynch)

He added that it was appropriate to hold the graduation on Mother's Day because mothers gave their unflagging support to all graduating students.

After Limbaugh's address, Cowan introduced Sushil Sobti as the class' salutatorian and Nussbaum as valedictorian. Both students gave speeches to their classmates.

Jeremy Willett, whose daughter Chelsea was graduating Sunday, stood outside the center to get a breath of air with his own father before the ceremony. As he began speaking about Chelsea's success, his face beamed.

"She's done really well on her grades," Willett said. "She's received several scholarships."

Willett said Chelsea plans on attending college, but was not revealing where she intended to go until after the graduation ceremony.

"Now it's fixing to start again," Willett said.

Connie Thomas made the trip up from Hayti, Mo., for the graduation of her best friend's daughter. She said she was proud to share the day with her friend.

Pertinent address:

1000 S. Silver Springs Road, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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