St. Louis School Graduates Three Students - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


St. Louis School Graduates Three Students

It's the day three East Texas families and their proud loved ones have been waiting for.  After several years of hard work, three St. Louis School students can now call themselves graduates. The school, which works with special needs students, held a graduation ceremony Friday morning, and the day was just as rewarding for the families and teachers as the students.  

It was a room full of smiles and cameras, as families of those graduating Friday wanted to capture every moment.  Sarah Smyrl, 22, who has autism, has been going to St. Louis School for more than 10 years.  Her family, who sat nearby with tears in their eyes, say they could not be prouder.

"It's the proudest moment that I've ever had because children that are developmentally disabled are sometimes brushed off, that they can't be taught," said Sarah's mother Donna Ward.  "When she (Sarah) was young that was what they told me." 

With a diploma in her hand, Sarah's mother says she knew those doctors were wrong, thanks to the help from the school and Sarah's teachers.

"I'm not sad today because I know she's (Sarah) been prepared for success," said Sarah's teacher Sherry Jordan. 

Miguel Comacho has been going to St. Louis School since he was a year old.  John Paul Russell only came to Tyler two years ago, but his teachers say he has grown tremendously and has taught them more then they imagined.

"Our kids teach us to slow down and enjoy life, and take the pleasure that life offers you and that God has given you," said John Paul's teacher Trina Stidham. 

For the last time Friday morning, all three graduates stood proud singing the St. Louis School Song, at the school that has given them so much.

"It's wonderful," said Stidham.  "It's wonderful." 

The school says there are day programs and sheltered workshops available in the community for these students after graduation.

Molly Reuter, reporting.


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