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story.lead_photo.caption Adam Taden smiles Thursday as he talks to Jefferson City High School Principal Bob James at the end of the special services graduation ceremony at Jefferson City High School. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

Eight graduates were honored Thursday evening at Jefferson City High School's special services graduation.

Brandon Del Grosso, John Wesley Hill, Madison Joseph, Michael Painter, Matthew Sommerer, Mason Stone, Adam Taden and Alex Taden were honored at the ceremony in the Jefferson City High School gymnasium as Principal Bob James gave them fist bumps and handed them their diplomas.

Students were also presented awards for completing internships at the Samaritan Center, St. Mary's Health Center and Project SEARCH. Four students received the Samaritan Center award, six students received the St. Mary's Health Center award, and three students received the Project SEARCH award.

Lisa Steppelman, who presented the St. Mary's Health Center awards, said she's proud of the graduates and has enjoyed watching them learn and grow.

"Whatever you do next, think back to your first day at the hospital," she said. "You weren't comfortable with the unknown initially, but it didn't take long for you to make friends, to learn your jobs and feel comfortable. Your next big adventure will be exactly the same."

In her speech, Special Services teacher Christina Dubois said she was excited to finally have the opportunity to honor the graduating seniors after the uncertainties and challenges that 2020 has brought.

"Once again, we rise above the challenges. We are professionals at overcoming obstacles. We have accommodated, modified and, most importantly, we have persevered," she said.

Dubois thanked the board office, administration, teachers, parents, services and support staff, family, friends, outside entities, and local businesses for their support, and she thanked and congratulated the graduates.

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"Thank you graduates and interns for being you," she said. "You are smart, funny, compassionate, strong, courageous, curious and lifelong learners. We are all very proud of each and every one of you."

Jefferson City High School's graduation is 7 p.m. Friday at Adkins Stadium. If there is inclement weather, the district will postpone it to noon Saturday and inform families by 2 p.m. Friday, according to a post on the Jefferson City School District Facebook page.

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