St. Louis School Sends Four New Graduates Into The World - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/23/08--Tyler

St. Louis School Sends Four New Graduates Into The World

Congratulations are in order for the St. Louis School graduating class of 2008. 

Cathie Rolf's son Melvin graduated.  "We've been teary-eyed all day," she said.

Teachers, staff and family members honored graduates David Bush, Chris Ray, Melvin Rolf, and Layton Wolf--truly special young men. 

The occasion was bittersweet.

"It's always sad because they're leaving us and going to another chapter," said Karyn Hacker, the principal of St. Louis School.

"When he came here, it seemed like everything opened up for him," said Onetta Bush. 

Her son David also graduated today after 14 years at the school. 

"He was just a brand new kid when he started here."

Today's ceremony was not only about celebration, but also about appreciation.

"Very few of us can do what these people do on a daily basis," said Melvin Rolf, Sr. 

His wife Cathie said the school has been a big blessing for her son. 

"The future's so very uncertain for children like this."

For Cathy, the ceremony was also about inspiration. 

"Right at the first of the year, it became a reality that he was going to graduate," she said.  "He was basically going to be a prisoner at home."

Rolf is now working hard to open a group home for her son and other young men like him with severe disabilities.

"I'm trying to look outside the box and find some funding to help bring about this dream, or this wish that we have for him," she said.

As the celebration continues, the hope is for the young men to live as normal a life as possible.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com

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