Rosedale School Principal Elizabeth Dickey explained her job to families and supporters on Tuesday:
"My job here is to cry openly. That way, you can join in."
Amid song, speeches and more than a few tears, seven students received their diplomas, capping another extraordinary year for the school charged with fostering the futures of students with special needs.
Dickey spoke about the school's two guiding mottos for the year.
"We can do hard things, and we belong to each other," Dickey said. "Thank you for showing us what these words mean every day."
This is the third year for Rosedale's Transition to Life program, a curriculum that helps students learn job skills through partnerships with local businesses. Numerous graduates will continue in their professional roles after graduation.
"What we want is for the world after school to be better for all our students," Dickey said.
The emotional ceremony concluded with the Rosedale graduates, friends and families singing the school's new alma mater, "Rosedale Proud," written by Rosedale teacher Kate Robberson.