By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Dozens of high schools from the public school district and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as well as private and charter schools all trotted out their best for the annual "Top of the Class" celebration, on Friday.
It was quite the 18-block procession from outside CAPA High School at Broad and Carpenter Streets, up Broad, and finished at City Hall's Dilworth Park in Center City.
Mayor Nutter, Superintendent Hite, dance teams and drum lines from schools, cheerleaders and more than 1,500 graduating high school seniors took part in the event.
Receiving the Mayor's Scholarship for Academic Excellence was 18-year old Huriye Duha Uyar of West Philadelphia, Uyar will graduate this month from Girls High.
"I'm planning to attend UCLA and study biochemistry," said Uyar.
Lori Shorr, the Chief Education Officer for the Mayor said these students were singled out for having at least a B+ average. Shorr also explained how elected leaders and educators are pushing to raise high school graduation goals.
"We've increased the graduation rate by 12 percent; we're at 65 percent," said Shorr. "If you give kids who need it an extra two years, for those who get off track and back on, we're at 70 percent."
High school graduations in the Philadelphia area will continue throughout the month of June.
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