FLORIDA KEYS -- Local high school graduating classes are getting ready to move on to a new life.
Of Coral Shores High School's expected 155 graduates, 140 have indicated that they will attend a college or university. One student is enlisting with the U.S. Marine Corps and two others will join the U.S. Navy. The rest will join the work force, according to guidance counselor Chris Harris.
A total of 96 graduates will attend four-year colleges, including such big-name schools as Georgia Tech, Duke University and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. John Preihs will study at Georgia Tech, Aldon Todd is heading to Durham, N.C. and John "Bud" Humelsine has an appointment to West Point.
Soccer standout Jasmine Paterson has a full scholarship to the University of Miami. Nine will attend the University of Florida and seven will head to Florida State University. Four will attend Stetson University in DeLand, including two on scholarships.
Two graduates will attend the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Attending two-year schools are 44 graduates, or 32 percent of the class, many staying home to enroll at Florida Keys Community College.
The class finds more than one graduate vying for valedictorian, but the recipient of that honor will not be determined until all grades are tabulated this week.
About $5.7 million in scholarships were presented at Class Night on Tuesday, June 5. Graduation will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, in the school gymnasium.
Marathon High School will graduate 63 seniors at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at the school's athletic field.
According to guidance counselor Kathy Simpson, 87 percent of the graduating class plans to pursue higher education, with 32 percent going to a four-year college or university.
Heading for community colleges, the majority being in-state schools, are 49 percent of the class.
"Many of those are considering attending Florida Keys Community College," Simpson said. "One male student will join the Marines and 6 percent of the graduates will attend a technical or vocational school. Eleven percent will join the workforce."
Two students are vying for valedictorian. Three students will graduate magna cum laude with a weighted grade point average of 4.5; three more will graduate summa cum laude with a GPA of 4.25; and eight students will graduate with honors, boasting a weighted GPA of 4.0.
Class Night, where scholarships were presented, was Tuesday, June 5. A total of 55 businesses, clubs and agencies offered scholarships.
"If it rains, we will hold graduation in the auditorium," Simpson noted.
The private Island Christian School in Islamorada graduated eight seniors on Thursday, May 31, with Pastor Tony Hammon, Principal James Roper and Chaplain John Beeler officiating the ceremony.
All eight graduates will pursue higher education.
Phillip Resillez graduated magna cum laude and will enroll at Emery Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. Abigail Lindholm graduated summa cum laude and will attend Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Lauren Montagne, who also graduated summa cum laude, will enroll at FSU. Brittni Dudley graduated with honors and will attend Florida Gulf Coast University.
Kadian Carter will enroll at the University of North Florida, Thomas DeBrule will head to St. Leo University north of Tampa, Trinity Pratt will enroll at Miami Dade College and Jennifer Zemmel will attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.
"The ICS Class of 2012 had over 28 college acceptances from which to choose their final colleges," according to Mary Allman, academic dean at ICS. "Just prior to graduation, ICS was aware of over $470,000 in college and local scholarships which had been offered to the graduates."