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Open Door graduates 9 students

Dressed in purple robes and caps, nine students from Open Door School marched down the aisle on Tuesday night to receive their diplomas.

Around 120 people turned out for the event.

The ceremony was filled with pomp and circumstance with students being applauded as they walked past their families and friends to take their seats.

Graduate Ellis Litteral led the Pledge of Allegiance and graduate J.T. Jones gave the invocation. Graduates Tucker Fisher and Brooke Hackworth gave speeches from the 2019 graduating class.

Open Door principal Kendra Heim said she always finds it a little sad to see students she has known for years leave the school and that this would be the last class to graduate in that building.

“I always love graduation, it’s a great time of the year but it is bittersweet to see them move on,” she said. “Hopefully, they go on to bigger and better things.”

She added it was bittersweet because this would be the final graduation ceremony at the school on Lorain Street in Ironton, which was once the Lombard Elementary School.  The building is 90 years old and its three stories create challenges for students with disabilities. So, Open Door will be relocating to the former Tri-State Industries facility in Coal Grove, which is being renovated to accommodate student needs.

“I’ve been at this school for 13 years, so that will be sad to leave,” Heim said. “But we are looking forward, we have a bright future ahead of us.”