Nearly 50 people became new United States citizens Friday morning at the Panama City City Hall. U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak presided over the naturalization ceremony reading the citizenship oath for the applicants to swear and repeat.
One by one new American citizens got their certificates and applauded for one another.
Sharon Michalik is now the Executive Director of Human Resources at Bay District Schools and was the ceremonies key note speaker.
Michalik, originally from England, was sitting in these very seats one year ago Friday when she said the Pledge of Allegiance for the first time as a U.S. Citizen.
She says she has been forever changed by the experience.
"In more ways than I thought I'd been here for 33 years," said Michalik. "I just didn't think I would feel any different before versus after and it really did it make a difference."
The Naturalization Ceremonies are held regularly at the commission room at the Panama City City Hall.