Julie Gorham / Citrus Chronicle
Parents and friends erupted with emotion on Friday as they watched CREST School Class of 2017 members accept their diplomas.
“Pomp and Circumstance” softly played as eight graduating students marched forward with poise and pride to the culmination of their years at Citrus Resource for Exception Students in Transition School.
The school’s gym was decorated with blue and white balloons, with a string of lights softly glowing “2017” hanging above the stage.
After the presentation of colors by Lecanto High School ROTC, class member Kasie Marshall led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Principal Lee Mulder recognized school officials, to the gratitude of parents and family members.
Director of Exceptional Student Education Lynne Kirby proudly shared information about each of the young women and men embarking on their next step in life.
n Eric Perry: He earned his standard diploma and went to Lecanto High School for classes. His favorite pastime includes watching documentaries, and anything “Star Wars” or vampire related. “He has been a joy to have at CREST, and I wish him continued happiness and success in the next chapter of his life,” Kirby said.
n Christina Peake: Everyone she meets can see she is a sweet young lady with a bright giving smile. She loves school and enjoys dancing to music. She will be starting the Transition Program at CREST next year.
n Anna Wegner: She is a 19-year-old who loves to smile. She participated in the CREST Adult Transitioning Successfully (CATS) Transition Program for two years while working on pre-vocational skills on campus. “She takes weekly trips to Walmart, Anna loves to push the cart,” Kirby said. “She plans on traveling when she graduates and living with family.”
n Brittany Stephens: She is a happy young woman who enjoys life — and she has a contagious laugh.
“She was quiet when she first came to our class, but she has really opened up,” Kirby said. “A nice, sunny afternoon, you might find Brittany swinging on the playground calling ‘I love you.’”
n Bryan Jordan: He is an 18-year-old who loves watching sports with his family.
“Bryan is an enthusiastic learner. His best qualities are his patience and helpfulness,” Kirby said.
“He will be missed.”
n Jasmine Cupp: She loves to learn new things and relishes researching important people and places.
“Jasmine likes reading and completing math problems. Sounds like she’s a problem-solver,” Kirby said. “In her free time, she plays thinking games and savors reading a good book. ... We will miss you.”
n Kasie Marshall: Kasie is an outgoing young lady who learned job skills at the College of Central Florida and took community trips to Walmart through the CATS Transition program.
“Kasie loves shopping, her puppies, and her family,” Kirby said. “She plans to stay involved in the community and would like to get a job upon leaving CREST.”
n Jermia June: He is an enthusiastic young man who loves talking to everyone he meets — and they love to meet him, too.
“Jermia looks forward to the day he can participate in the Special Olympics,” Kirby said.
“He will do great. Good luck, Jermia.”