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Seniors In West Graduate, Move On From Tragedy

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jason Allen
Jason came to North Texas after working as a reporter for four y...
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WEST (CBSDFW.COM) - They lost their school. Some lost their homes. Senior students in West, however, didn’t lose their way. Friday, more than 110 teenagers graduated from West High School, almost two months after a deadly plant explosion destroyed their campus.

In the same Baylor University arena where they sat for a memorial service in April, the town of West gathered again for the graduation.

Sharon Kolar sat in a section surrounded by family members. There were four Kolars in the class. They are all cousins.

“This is like seeing all your little ones graduate,” she said. “It’s like your families graduating. It’s…they’re all just great group of kids, really tight.”

Seniors all over North Texas are leaving their schools this spring. The students in West though left their school for good though way back on April 17. They had to go back to class, to try to finish out the year at nearby Connally ISD. No one knew what to expect. School principal Wayne Leek though, said it was group that would not be remembered for what they went through, but for how they handled it.

“Things happen,” said salutatorian Kara Kolar. “Plans change and life keeps moving forward.”

Valedictorian Zoe Rankin, pointed out to classmates that they had learned something that would stay with them, long after high school.

“The last few weeks have been tough. And the hard times aren’t over. But fertilizer makes flowers. Something good comes out of every bad situation, and this is no different.”

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