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Graduation tugs at mom’s heart

As she held a dozen pink roses waiting for her daughter on the side of the Dallas County High School football field, her eyes began to well up.

Wanda Champion, the mother of Ashley Champion, was overjoyed to watch her youngest child graduate, but still felt this moment was bittersweet.

“It’s the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one,” Champion said. “She’s had some struggles, but she made it through. I’m very proud of her. She’s worked hard.”

Dallas County graduated 123 students this year.

“It takes hard work and determination to reach your goals, but in the end you will get there if you push hard enough,” said valedictorian Margaret Ingram.

Salutatorian Katie Davis (brown) encouraged classmates to continue to push to their goals in the coming years.

“We’re heading out into the real world now. It is finally up to us for what we do in life. We have our entire lives ahead of us, and we can make of it what we choose.”

Guest speaker Rep. Yusuf Salaam told students to not take the celebration of a high school diploma for granted.

“For 12 plus years, you came to school,” Salaam said. “You stuck with it. You turned in all the class assignments. You went to most of the classes, if not all.

“You sacrificed. You were disciplined. You did a wonderful job. But, this is only the first step.”