It’s one of the biggest moments of your life: high school graduation. Imagine if you were all set to walk with your class — and you wound up in the hospital, sick, on graduation day.
That’s what happened to high school senior Grace Bradley in May. While her classmates at Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colorado celebrated their accomplishment, Bradley was hospitalized with an infection. Three of her friends felt her absence, though.
“We were sitting at graduation, and Elizabeth [Smith] looks at me and goes, ‘It just hit me that Grace isn’t here,'” Taylor Littlefield told Denver’s CBS4 TV station.
Littlefield, Smith, and Haley Grover — all new graduates in 2019 — hatched a plan. With help from DCHS principal Tony Kappas and assistant principal Diane Shuck, the three pals brought their commencement to Bradley’s hospital room.
A video taken of the mini-graduation, shown below and posted to the Douglas County School District Facebook page, recently went viral. In the video, Bradley’s wearing her cap and tassel with a purple graduation gown draped on her lap. She’s already in tears as “Pomp and Circumstance” plays and her principals enter the room in their commencement robes.
She gets a purple-and-white rose, just like her friends did, and Kappas solemnly reads Bradley’s full name as he presents her with her diploma.
It’s a special moment, and I was especially drawn to it because I graduated from DCHS, too! My class had our 20-year reunion (yikes!) last summer and it was unexpectedly lovely. A few favorite teachers from DC even stopped by, and I was reminded of how lucky I was to be their student.
I was a little amazed to learn about some of the great things my classmates are doing. One, a top student, became a successful TV weathercaster. Another works with migrant families who’ve come to Colorado’s mountains for jobs. A fellow school-newspaper editor has adopted two foster children and was pregnant with a frozen embryo she’d “adopted.”
It was a pretty different world back in 1998, but I’m glad to see that some of the great things about DCHS are still intact. Huskie Pride!