It was an emotional night for parents, teachers and 19 graduates as they walked the stage and received their high school diplomas during Huston Academy's graduation Friday.

Superintendent Mike Scott opened the graduation with a speech.

“Graduates, tonight is all about you. This is your special night and this program is dedicated to you. Everyone in this room is here because they are very proud of you and what you have accomplished so enjoy tonight. Be appreciative of the love and support that fills this room and take these memories with you for a lifetime,” Scott said.

Principal Carol Taylor recognized the faculty and staff for their dedication and commitment to the students. Taylor also gave an emotional speech while thanking parents and guardians.

“Only you can understand the sacrifices that have been made to help your child get to this night. Please take the time to enjoy this experience with a great sense of confidence and satisfaction. We at Huston Academy applaud your accomplishment. We also appreciate the faith you had in Huston Academy and we cherish the relationships that we have forged with you on this journey. Congratulations parents,” she said, holding back tears.

Salutatorian Jada Arnal thanked her classmates, friends, teachers and family for standing by her side and believing in her.

“Huston Academy is a family. This school has been a saving grace to some of us...and if Huston Academy wasn’t here, many of us wouldn’t be walking the stage right now,” she said. “Class of 2019, I’m wishing you the success as you pursue your dreams and goals. Here’s to making dreams come true and guess what? Life just got a lot harder now, but I believe we can do it as long as we put our minds to it.”

Valedictorian Charity Whitworth touched on her struggle to finish eight classes from January to May. She told her classmates that if she was able to finish her classes and become valedictorian, then they could do anything they set their mind to.

“Someone here may become a doctor or a lawyer, while another person may spend their days making people laugh as a comedian or doing really good welding. Whatever it is that you choose, there is a place for you and you are important. That is the lesson that Huston taught me and it’s a moment I want to share with all of you as we go off into the future, so take that leap, do something fun, enjoy all of the little things that life has to offer. Whatever it is, do it without hesitation and make this world a better place because you are in it,” Whitworth said.