DUGGER, Ind. (WTHI) It’s a story we’ve been following for more than a year.
Now one Wabash Valley community is saying their final farewells.
The last graduation ceremony held at Union-Dugger High School marked the end of an era.
Due to budget constraints the school will be closing its doors for good.
“It’s a very bittersweet day,” said Jaron Goodman, Valedictorian of the Class of 2014.
Bittersweet, a normal feeling for any graduate, but today the sentiment rang true for the entire Dugger community.
“This school has been here almost 100 years and when the Senior Class of 2014 goes down the stage there’s going to be a lot of tears and a lot of cheers,” said Ronald Frye, a Member of the School Board.
Frye, who served on the school board for 19 years, was on the verge of tears as he handed out the last diploma.
“It’s saddening when my four kids graduated and eight of the grandkids, and I gave all of them their diplomas, and if they would have kept it I could have given two more grandkids their diplomas,” said Frye.
From parents to alumni, the hardships of letting go was mutual.
“It’s going to break my heart. I’m just sentimental about it,” said Sherry Bedwell, a Member of the Class of 1963.
As the 93rd graduating class, the tight knit group of thirty became a part of history.
“It’s an honor because this was a great class, a great group of people. I would not have wished to have been with any one else but it’s still sad,” said Goodman.
As the graduates turned their tassels and celebrated their success, it was the closing of one chapter and the beginning of another.
“I’m extremely proud to have been a bulldog, but I’m sad to see it possibly go down from here,” said Goodman.
“It’s like it’s taking a piece of home away,” said Bedwell.
The Indiana Charter School Board declined the Dugger Union Community School Corporation’s requested charter.
The charter school supporters can reapply later this year.