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A royal send off: Woodbury High School’s class of 2017 sees 420 graduates

Roughly 420 Woodbury Senior High School students graduated Sunday, June 4, 2017, at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 5
Comedic duo Lemuel Amen and Henry Kueppers were convinced they had both been named valedictorian and demanded Woodbury High School principal, Sarah Sorenson-Wagner, double check the numbers. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 5
Woodbury High School graduates responded with raucous laughter during a commencement speech by classmates Lemuel Amen and Henry Kueppers. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 5
The Woodbury High School orchestra performs during the school's graduation ceremony. For several string players, Sunday's event would be the last time they performed before graduating. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 5
Sofia Nwanokwale helps Henry Kueppers attach his tassel as Lemuel Amen watches moments before Woodbury High School graduates entered into Aldrich Arena. Youssef Rddad / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 5

As hundreds of Woodbury High School graduates tossed their caps in the air, it all but wrapped up the ceremony for the class of 2017.

For the roughly 420 students who dressed in royal blue caps and gowns, it signified the end of their high school career. But before graduates received their diplomas Sunday evening, June 4, at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, they gave a final ear to their principal and classmates.

In a commencement speech, Sofia Nwanokwale, 18, touched on what she saw as her classmates' futures.

"Maybe it's the future teacher in me, but when I look out across the sea of blue, I don't just see faces of my peers," Nwanokwale said. "I see potential. I see doctors; I see artists; I see engineers; I see lawyers; I see politicians. But most importantly, I see world-changers."

Sarah Sorenson-Wagner, the school's principal, also recognized students who participated in the school's Spanish immersion program, athletics, honors classes, the arts and other extracurricular activities.

As students received their diplomas, Sorenson-Wagner extended a handshake. In several instances, her extended arm was returned with a hug.

Sunday's ceremony was one of three graduations in South Washington County Schools this past weekend. About 1,300 received their diplomas.

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