LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin ISD graduated some of their proudest Panthers today. The special education class of 2016 walked across the stage as a crowd of dedicated loved-ones and teachers cheered them on.
There were caps, gowns, and tassels, but feelings of pride and joy of loved-ones attending this graduation was what filled the Lufkin High School auditorium.
"I'm inspired at the ceremonies. I feel lucky to do what I do every single day," said Michael Hillis, Assistant Principle of Special Education at Lufkin High School.
Patience and dedication are characteristics that got the teachers and special education students where they are today.
It takes fortitude, passion, and love of the children," Hillis said.
"It's so important for me to be here this day," said Emily Schultz, a graduate.
Emily was one fearless graduate as she took to the stage to deliver her speech.
"I did that that speech by myself with no help at all," Emily said.
"There's not a day goes by that I'm not proud of what I do and the work that goes on with the kids here," Hillis said.
Reminiscing on times, singing songs, and a slew of smiles were all a part of the celebration.
"I feel that I'm getting older and graduating, and I received my diploma that's inside," Emily beamed.
The graduates who spent so much time together are moving on to different ventures.
"I am going to miss Jared a lot, Mrs. Sonya, my friends, teachers, and ,my boyfriend," Emily said.
The diplomas received today are something the special education class of 2016, their dedicated family members and teachers, will forever cherish.
"This is my day, and this is me," Emily said. "I am proud of myself."