School honors fallen student at Reynolds High graduation

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by Sara Roth, KGW.com Staff

KREM.com

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 7:35 AM

TROUTDALE, Ore. – After a school shooting Tuesday, seniors at Reynolds High School wore special ribbons and had a moment of silence to honor their fallen peer during graduation Thursday. 

Reynolds High School freshman Jared Padgett came to school Tuesday with an AR-15-style rifle and a semi-automatic handgun and allegedly shot and killed fellow freshman Emilio Hoffman. 

The scheduled last day of classes on Wednesday and final exams Thursday were canceled, Reynolds administrators said.

On Thursday, 467 students gathered for their graduation ceremony at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland's Rose Quarter at 7 p.m. 

The celebration for seniors finishing their high-school educations was dampened by the tragic shooting, and a moment of silence was held for Hoffman during the ceremony.

Student Body Association President Cole Bronson told KGW he wanted fellow graduates to feel a sense of accomplishment.

"Tonight is our night. Class of 2014," he said. "I'm going to feel excitement. This is a celebration and that is what's on our mind tonight."

 

 

Among the teachers in academic regalia was Todd Rispler, who was shot but went to the head office to initiate a lockdown. He head stayed bowed as the moment of silence ended.

Principal Wade Bakley told students of a way to honor their accomplishments and to honor Emilio.

"Please, celebrate loud," he said. "Celebrate proud. So all can hear. Including Emilio."

A touching scene for all was graduate Joshua Mitchell, Emilio's brother, wearing his No. 29 jersey. Classmates cheered as he received his diploma. 

 

 KGW Reporter Pat Dooris, who spoke with some graduating seniors, talked Thursday afternoon about his process for reporting the event.  

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