After taking a photo of her daughter Kate, Susannah Morgan gave her a big hug before the Sherwood High School senior made her way into the school's gymnasium for final graduation instructions on where to line up for the march into Aaron J. Contreras Memorial Stadium.
For Kate, the year went really fast, her favorite moment being the fun she had at senior prom.
"I'm very proud of her," her mother said about her daughter who will soon move to Los Angeles in hopes of pursuing her dream of becoming a dancer. And her hope for her daughter's future?
"Just that she's happy and successful in everything she does."
Inside the school's hallway, SHS faculty, school board members and administrators mingled before their march onto the stadium field as well.
Among them were Sue Hekker, a member of the Sherwood School Board for the last decade, and Terrel Smith, a long-time computer science teacher, track coach and teacher union president.
For Hekker, it was her eighth SHS graduation ceremony.
"What I like best (about graduation) is seeing the future in front of me, (seeing) the kids, see where they're going," she said.
Likewise, Smith said after 38 years working in the district (with no plans of retiring anytime soon), he still enjoys watching the annual event with "the really cool thing is seeing the celebration of hard work."
Marching outside to the stadium gate, students talked about their senior year and future plans.
"It was a great year," said Miranda McSmith, noting she loved attending sporting events throughout the year.
For Kevin Skurdahl, his favorite part of his senior year was helping construct the Bowmen House, the ambitious home-building project undertaken by high school students and woodshop teacher Jon Dickover.
"It's just an awesome precursor to my future," he said. Not surprisingly, that future is majoring in construction management at Oregon State University.
With everyone inside the stadium, the 81st graduation of Sherwood High School got underway.
"We worked hard to get to this point and look forward to all our future pursuits," said Nghi Nguyen, senior class president.
A short time later, art teacher Raychell Rohrwasser, the night's inspirational speaker, spoke to students about the importance of tolerance.
"No matter what your personal beliefs are, intolerance, prejudice and discrimination (are) never the right path," she said.
A short time later, dipolmas were distributed to all 417 graduates, believed to be a record number for the school.
Don't forget to see Pamplin Media Group photographerslideshow of graduation. Jaime Valdez's slideshow of graduation.