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The clouds in the blue sky broke and the sun shined down Tuesday as the Crown Point High School Class of 2018 made their way onto the football field.

The weather remained brisk and many of those who came to see their favorite graduate donned warm coats or jackets and some brought along blankets.

Cheers, waves and congratulations were shouted out from the crowd as the 626 red-robed graduates walked onto the field.

Hydea Smith, of Chicago, brought red and white roses she planned to give to her little sister, Qinnashija Knox, after the outdoor graduation.

"We're excited for her," Smith said.

Sam Taylor, a 2015 Crown Point High School graduate, came to cheer on her younger brother, Tristan Jack (T.J.) Taylor, who has enlisted in the U.S. Army.

"He leaves for the Army in August. We're really proud of him," Sam Taylor said.

Principal Chip Pettit honored and had those who were entering the military stand as well as those with academic and honor society recognition.

Pettit also asked the graduates to turn around and "give a shout out" to those who had helped them along the way.

"That's awesome," dad Greg Angerman said of the recognition, a smile breaking out on his face.

Angerman came to see his son, Evan Angerman, graduate with magna cum laude honors.

"He's our only one," Greg Angerman said.

Seniors Kira Schuelka and Noor Ul Huda Malik, both of whom graduated summa cum laude, were the student speakers.

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Schuelka advised graduates to be themselves.

"I hope you all like the person you are," Schuelka said.

She told them to go ahead and change that fact if that wasn't the case.

"Next, talk and listen," Schuelka said.

She told fellow graduates to get off their cell phones and stop texting, which is something their generation is known for.

"Keep in contact with people who make you happy. It's the one constant we deserve, happiness," Schuelka said.

Malik received laughs from the crowd when she said she never understood the adage about the speaker picturing everyone naked.

"I've never understood how that was supposed to work," Malik said.

Malik told graduates to treasure their high school memories.

"High school is over but the value will last a lifetime," Malik said.

Malik said fellow graduates will become millionaires, some will help humanity and some will join family businesses.

"The important thing is to love what you do and be good at it," Malik said.

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