The chairwoman of a central Florida school board has apologized for saying during a graduation ceremony that some grads "underperformed."

Volusia County School Board chairwoman Linda Costello told The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/1G12cNy) on Monday she regrets offending many of the graduates and their families during Seabreeze High School's Sunday graduation.

Costello noted that one-third of the 400 students were graduating with distinguished honors. The rest, she said, "underperformed." The audience fell silent after that remark.

Parent Sheri Malo says she felt Costello belittled the graduates who worked hard but didn't earn honors. Daughter Olivia Malo didn't graduate with honors, but the event marked an important milestone. She says her jaw dropped at the comment.

Costello says she wasn't thinking about "those who had done the very best they could."

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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com