A walk she will remember

Published 12:18 am Sunday, May 25, 2014

PEDRO — When Allison Schwab’s name was announced on Saturday at Rock Hill High School’s 64th annual commencement, the capacity crowd rose to its feet. Schwab was one step ahead of them.

A car wreck in April 2011 that killed her father and injured her brother left Schwab without the use of her legs, but on Saturday she joined 107 of her classmates and walked across the stage to receive her diploma, and the still-standing crowd roared.

Her reason for using the waist-high leg braces for graduation is not as complex as one might think.

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“I’ve gone to school here just like everyone else has,” she said. “So I thought I’m going to walk across the stage just like everyone else, too.”

Schwab began practicing walking with the braces in February of 2013.

She plans to attend Shawnee State and study special education.

Senior class president and summa cum laude graduate Sabrina Henderson welcomed those in attendance and a Class of 2014 video presentation was shown. Honor speakers included Henderson and fellow summa cum laude graduates John Haskins and Courtney Joseph, who took a selfie from the stage with entire graduating class.

Superintendent Wes Hairston and principal David Hopper made remarks before the Rock Hill Board of Education presented seniors with their diplomas.

Magna cum laude graduate Zach Brown gave the closing benediction.