Tomorrow the last group of students will walk out of Edgewood Elementary and Marshall Middle Schools for the last time, but they're leaving in good spirits.
Throughout the school closing process parents and teachers have expressed anger and concern for the children's well-being, but now they're giving the students a send-off to remember.
With 98% of Marshall's 8th graders moving on to high schools next year, their graduation ceremony was filled with excitement. 11 of the graduates have been accepted into magnet programs. Parents say it goes to show how important the school has been for their kids.
Donnie Sellers, father of Marshall's valedictorian Natoria Chambers, says, "I think this school deserves to be open. I think this is a well-worth-it school. This school is tremendous."
Principal Dr. Michael Forte became emotional as he spoke to the students, telling them to go on to do great things. They received inspiration from a former graduate as well.
Despite the school's closing, the students say they will continue the Marshall legacy throughout their lives.
Honors graduate Tasia Collier says, "I want to take what I learned here, take it to high school, and I plan on going to college and graduating and remember everything he's taught us. Dr. Forte is a great principal, he's taught us a lot."
Salutatorian Tjireh Turner adds, "I plan on doing my best and never forget where I came from because I plan on traveling all around the world and graduating when I'm 16, just stuff like that. I plan to never forget where I come from."
At Edgewood the students celebrated in a different way. The faculty used money from their annual "Splash-A-Teacher" fundraiser to throw the students a "Wet and Wild" party. In years past the money has gone to athletic equipment for P.E. but Coach Chad Slater says now those funds can be used to cheer up the kids.
"It's amazing to give back to them because we give everyday, and we always see results in performance, and we see results in our lesson plans, and this is something they're going to remember the rest of their lives," says Slater. "It lets them go out with a bang on Edgewood."
Laverne Melton, a teacher at Edgewood, says, "As we represent this by an upbeat liftoff, that this will go with them and that'll be what they remember, and they get excited about their new schools."
At Edgewood Friday faculty, students and alumni will gather for a lowering of the flag and they will release balloons to represent the future possibilities. The teachers will know what's next for them by June 30.
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