Ribault High School seniors walk across stage after receiving the correct graduation gowns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With just hours to spare, Ribault High School seniors received the correct graduation gowns before walking across the stage. As News4JAX has been reporting, students originally received gowns embroidered with Class of 2022 instead of 2023. It was uncertain if it would be fixed before Wednesday afternoon’s graduation.

The ceremony at UNF was a happy ending for all the graduates, their families and Ribault High School. The principal said he and the faculty fought tooth and nail to fix this mistake.

“I’m feeling real good. I mean I’m happy to see the class of 2023 on it,” graduating senior Ande King said.

“I feel excited, I feel like I’m going to have my time,” graduating senior De’asya Randall said. “I’m going to shine like I want across the stage.”

The new shipment of gowns arrived at 8:00 Wednesday morning, just hours before graduation. Parents began reaching out to News4JAX this past weekend, after receiving the original gowns that had “Class of 2022″ embroidered on it.

Students quickly slipped out of the old gowns and into the correct ones, a moment Principal Gregory Bostic said he prayed for. “I serve a God and I asked God and I prayed to God and God is able. I serve a God that answered their prayers, so I left it in his hands.”

Principal Bostic didn’t just pray, he put a plan into action and got a hold of Jostens, the vendor in charge of personalizing the gowns.

“Once receiving the news on Saturday, I started putting things into play,” Bostic said. “What can I do to make sure the kids get the correct gowns? A couple of teachers were calling around to see if we can get embroidered to make sure that 2 turns into a 3. They came through and I’m so appreciative of that.”

In the end, Ribault’s seniors proudly walked across the stage with their heads held high in the correct gowns that read, “Class of 2023.”

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.