John Marshall High School holds ceremony for student injured on graduation day
Kristin Wilson suffered from an auto accident on the morning of graduation and recovered well enough to take part in a special ceremony Tuesday.
Kristin Wilson celebrated a different kind of high school graduation on Tuesday.
She wore the traditional bright blue gown of a John Marshall graduate, and she had a black and white polka dot ribbon in her hair. But she was on stage in a wheelchair and hidden below her gown was a still-mending body.
After four years of hard work in academics and sports, Kristin, it seems God chose to leave your greatest obstacle for graduation day. ... But for your family and friends, your inner faith and persistence has shown through.”
On the morning of May 17, which should have been her graduation day, Wilson was following her friends to IHOP for breakfast when she was broadsided by a driver who ran a red light. She would have graduated with the rest of her class.
The wreck left her with several broken ribs and a fractured pelvis. Her hip was dislocated and her lungs were punctured.
Wilson said she doesn't remember a lot of what happened, and she doesn't want to.
“I remember certain parts like him hitting me,” she said. “But as far as what else happened, I lost conscious, so I don't really remember.”
Principal Aspasia Carlson presented Wilson with her diploma, and she was accompanied on stage by Superintendent Karl Springer and three other school officials. Friends and family gathered in the auditorium around 9:30 a.m. to see the ceremony for one.
Carlson began by reciting a quote from Colin Powell, a former secretary of state under President George W. Bush.
“There are no secrets to success,” she said. “It is the result of preparation, hard work and from failure.”
This was part of her original speech from a few weeks ago. Speaking to almost 50 people in the auditorium, Carlson continued.
“After four years of hard work in academics and sports, Kristin, it seems God chose to leave your greatest obstacle for graduation day. Your strength, determination and stamina have been challenged. But for your family and friends, your inner faith and persistence has shown through.”
Plans for OSU
Wilson, 18, received a standing ovation from family and friends in the school's auditorium when the ceremony ended. She was planning to walk across the stage after receiving her diploma; her dad came up behind her and offered her crutches. But she said she was too nervous to use them.
Like every new grad, though, she stole a peak at the inside of her diploma and flashed a big smile as she was wheeled off the stage.