HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The year 1964 marked Lee High School’s first graduating class. In 1986, Huntsville City Schools created the Lee arts and pre-engineering magnet programs, drawing talented and driven students from all over the city.
Friday the school celebrated another major milestone - their 50th graduating class.
Students showed up promptly at 8:45 a.m. Friday for a practice run through of the graduation ceremony. It may be new territory for these seniors but there has certainly been plenty of precedence for all the pomp and circumstance leading up to this special moment.
"This is just another page in Lee's history and I think it's a great page and I think it's a turning point in Lee's history and I'm definitely honored to be leading that."
2014 valedictorian Josh Pholy says he doesn't take for granted the distinct honor of being the 50th young leader to address his Lee High classmates.
"We've really taken the helm and led the way for the classes behind us at Lee High School to kind of change the way things are going at that school with the new building that we got," Pholy says. "We really helped change the culture of Lee and I'm so proud to be a part of that."
Students may have had plenty of opportunity to get acclimated to their new building but brick and mortar aside, Pholy says he has noticed big changes during his classes' transition from old to new.
"At the old building we had 4 or 5 fights a week, we had tons of police officers - we come into the news building and everyone's behaving; there are new teachers, new programs, new labs we didn't have - we actually have the resources we need to learn and it really helped change the way people think about Lee High School," Pholy boasts.
In considering his graduation address, Pholy says he first wanted to be memorable and funny, but then settled on a more impactful message:
"Telling them that the discipline we put into the little things will go a long way to our success and it will push us into success - the little things that we put discipline into."
After graduation, Josh Pholy plans to join the Marine Corps.
The Lee High Class of 2014 made it official Friday afternoon when 204 proud seniors marched across the commencement stage.
“The Generals’ banner waves above us, We love the blue and gray we see.
It tells of friends, love, and trust And brings us ever close to Lee.
Ever onward through life’s journey now, Though parted we may always be—
Still lingering in our fondest memory, Our hearts will ere be true to Lee.