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Parkland high school honors ‘those not with us’ at first graduation

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PARKLAND, FL (ABC NEWS)- Nearly four months after a mass shooting killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the class of 2018 graduated and posthumous diplomas were presented to families of the four seniors who lost their lives.

Hundreds of seniors from the high school in Parkland, Florida, were clad in sashes that read “MSD Strong” as they walked across the stage to accept their diplomas during a private graduation ceremony Sunday afternoon at the BB&T Center in nearby Sunrise.

The ordinarily joyous occasion was bittersweet. Among the those killed in the Feb. 14 massacre were several 12th-graders who would have been graduating alongside their classmates: Nicholas Dworet, Joaquin Oliver, Meadow Pollack and Carmen Schentrup.

Each were honored with posthumous diplomas during Sunday’s ceremonies.

 

Principal Ty Thompson welcomed the crowd at the school’s 27th commencement ceremony, saying the commencement would “honor those not with us,” reminisce on the past four years, and celebrate their accomplishments.

The event’s program included the aspirational message: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Senior Eagles, Stoneman High School’s mascot, wore a special sash emblazoned with the rallying cry “MSD Strong” along with their caps and gowns.

 

Some family members of the victims did not attend, telling ABC News station WPLG that it was too painful.

“For me, it is too painful to celebrate without Carmen,” her sister, April Schentrup, told the station. “But I am proud of Carmen’s friends and classmates on their accomplishments. They’ve overcome so much. I know they will continue to make positive changes.”

 

Others attended in place of some of the victims.

 

 



Daniella Hankey

Daniella Hankey joined Newswatch as a Reporter. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to southern West Virginia from Florida to further pursue her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. Daniella was born and raised in Orlando and is a proud Floridian. Her current interests include enjoying everything West Virginia has to offer, from outdoor adventures to the beautiful mountains and scenery. As a multi-trained journalist, Daniella is always prepared to cover the stories that matter to our viewers and help to keep her newly adopted community informed. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at dhankey@woaynewswatch.com


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