Midland High awards diploma to Schexnayder at mini-graduation

The Schexnayder family wasn’t sure they’d ever see the day Cheri graduated.

Luckily, they did.

At Midland High’s graduation rehearsal Cheri met her classmates for the first time and receieved her “Certificate of Achievement” at a graduation ceremony, just for her.

“It was nice and special,” said Kayla Schexnayder, Cheri’s mother.

Cheri has been home-bound since she was 6 years old because she has of a condition called alpha mannosidosis. Because of her condition, Cheri has been unable to attend regular school but has maintained her studies through Acadia Parish’s homebound program.

Doctor’s weren’t sure that Cheri would live as long as she has, so for her parents, this graduation was extra special.

“We weren’t sure we’d ever see this day, so it was an absolute honor,” said Kayla.

Kayla really wanted Cheri to have a graduation and to meet her class, but there were limitations to how much Kayla could imagine.

“Graduation night would have been too much,” said Kayla, “but the rehearsal was perfect.”

So, with the permission of Clyde Briley, MHS principal, Cheri’s graduation happend a day early.

“I didn’t stop to count, but there were at least 20 or so people there, just for Cheri,” Kayla said. “Mr. Briley said to bring everyone who wants to come, so we did.”

Cheri’s grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and so on were all there to root on Cheri as she became a high school graduation.

“The whole thing was just an honor and so sweet,” said Kayla.

Cheri also had the opportunity to take a photo with her class, all 48 of them.

“It’s so sweet when she looks at her class photo she calls it her church because they look they are in a choir,” she said.

Kayla said that Cheri was excited and well-behaved during the ceremony. Due to her disease, Cheri’s behavior is sometimes affected.

Cheri’s sister, Kristen, will graduate under the same program next year. Kayla says they will also have to have a smaller ceremony for Kristen.

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