Ten students completed their time at Rosedale School this afternoon in what Principal Elizabeth Dickey called “AISD’s first and best graduation.”
Dickey welcomed family, friends and teachers to the packed cafeteria for the ceremony at Rosedale, and shared details about each student’s achievements and favorite activities.
About graduate Leonardo Perez Suarez, Dickey said, “The one word that best describes Leo is, ‘feisty.’ Leo has a tendency to demand attention from those he loves. Everyone on this campus has a story about how he has made them laugh.”
Suarez’s older brother spoke on Leo’s behalf, and thanked the teachers and staff.
“Now that I see him graduating right now, I am so proud. He has changed our lives and he is one of the most important persons for us,” he said. “He is a treasure to me and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him.”
Stephanie Aniekwena was in her first year at Rosedale, but Dickey said the graduate had definitely made her mark.
Stephanie’s mother, Rita Aniekwena, spoke on her daughter’s behalf about the incredible progress Stephanie had made.
“I am so proud of her, of all that she has achieved, all the she has accomplished,” she said through tears. “Listening to the doctors tell you that the child that you gave birth to will not survive past 5 years old and then watching her grow to the person she is now…”
Brian Donovan, father of graduate Darien Donovan, said Rosedale has been a second family to his daughter.
“Bridget and I truly believe that the entire staff of Rosedale are angels,” he said. “Darien has thrived and blossomed at Rosedale. She is ready for the next step, whatever that may be.”
Rosedale Class of 2019
- Matthew Jefferson Davis
- Darien Donovan
- Meredith Barnes Hemphill
- Manda Kazadi
- Edward Joe Ochiltree IV
- Leo Perez Suarez
- Danny Ramos Robles Jr.
- Stephanie Rocha
- Vanessa Tavera
About The Rosedale School
Rosedale is Austin ISD’s school for the district's most medically fragile students. Students who are 18 to 21 years old can apply to participate in the GO Project, a community-based transition program to help students move from the high school setting to a college or work environment. Rosedale also houses the Transition to Life in the Community program, often referred to as TLC, which focuses on preparing students for life after graduation. Learn more at rosedaleproud.org.