GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — It was a big day for high school seniors in Pitt County as graduation ceremonies begin on Friday. Those moments come with a lot to celebrate, in addition to getting that diploma.

Pitt County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker said the class of 2023 has earned almost $17 million in scholarships to different colleges and universities. He said he’s happy to celebrate the accomplishments of graduates and he’s getting a head start on next semester.

“We always say in education, the first day of school and the last day of school are the best two days of the year, and what’s really exciting about now, is it’s the ending of the year but planning for next year.”

Pitt County Schools to hold graduation ceremonies this weekend

Students have announced the continuation of their education at schools like LSU, Virginia Tech, and East Carolina University.

Of course, Minges Coliseum was filled with proud parents as graduation ceremonies took place. For Margo Tulloss, it wasn’t her first rodeo.

“This is our fourth child to graduate from (J.H.) Rose, and so we’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s kinda hard to believe we’re going to be empty nesters though,” Tulloss said.

“I’m a little nervous, she’s my baby so I’m a little nervous but I’m hopeful and praying that she’ll do well, said proud grandpa Emory Bell. “One day, I hope she’ll be able to take care of me in my senior years.”

Graduates said they’re ready to hit the workforce, but not without a little bit of fun first.

“I’m just ready to enjoy the summer with my friends before I [move away to college,” said Amelia Taft.