School Organizes Early Graduation So Student's Terminal Father Could Attend
Bethany Chambers of Rockford, Michigan, graduated high school three months early, marching to "Pomp and Circumstance" before any of her classmates.
The Rockford Public Schools organized the early graduation so her terminally ill father, Bob Chambers, could witness the event.
Bethany's mom, Melissa Chambers, had asked the school that morning if Bethany's diploma could be sent early so her dad would be able to see it.
Within a few hours, the superintendent called Melissa back and said, "We're going to do more than a certificate. We're going to do a full graduation, Pomp and Circumstance. How does 7 (p.m.) sound?"
According to Melissa, the school principal said, "[Bethany] is an exemplary student. There is no question she will graduate, [so] we want to make this as special for her as possible."
"When my mom called and said it was all happening, I was shocked," Bethany told InsideEdition.com, "I said, 'This is awesome. One less thing that he didn't have to miss.'"
"They dressed me up in a cap and gown, and they had a full table set up with my diploma, my academic award plaque, and they set [everything] up in front of my dad so he could see it," Bethany Chambers said.
Bethany and Melissa Chambers said that within hours, they were able to have a whole party join them at their home, including the superintendent, the principal, members of the school board, the tennis coach, the head counselor, and even Bob's 95-year-old grandmother.
Melissa said that even though Bob's grandmother lived in Minneapolis, they brought the iPad to his bedside, and showed him that she was watching the ceremony, too, on Skype.
"My husband has always been involved with Bethany and her school," Melissa told IE.com. "It's one of the first things that Bethany thought about -- 'Dad's not going to see me graduate high school, or college, or even get married.'"
"There's certain things we can't do anything about, but he got to see her graduate."