The seniors at Woodburn High School received their diplomas at a graduation ceremony Friday evening, less than a month after a fire destroyed part of their school.
Proud parents cheered on their kids as they accepted their diplomas on the same football field where, less than a month ago, they stood and watched their school burn.
A massive fire ripped through a section of the building on May 11. The fire closed school for more than a week. The fire also destroyed dozens of senior projects and countless school supplies. With graduation less than a month away at the time, it was a period of uncertainty and fear for many students.
"In the very beginning everybody was scared that we wouldn't be able to graduate or that graduation would be pushed back," said student Jacob DiLorenzo.
Even underclassmen who attended Friday's graduation ceremony are impressed at what the seniors were able to overcome.
"I'm really proud of them because it's a good thing that they got to overcome the fire," said Helem Lopez, a junior at the school.
The seniors did it with the help of the Woodburn community.
Donations poured in after the fire and dozens of people volunteered their time to get the seniors back in the classroom as quickly as possible.
"This is a great community! It really is," said parent Karen Noyes. "We all pulled together. People donated money trying to get all the damage fixed so they can have a great school for next year."
Police arrested three 15-year-old students who are accused of starting the blaze while lighting hand sanitizer on fire.
The boys are charged with arson and reckless endangering.
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