Penny McKnight gathered the 29 members of the Class of 2016 around her for one final prayer as Harford Christian School students, before they lined up to walk into the school gym for their commencement ceremony Friday evening.
McKnight, a senior class adviser and an English teacher at the private school in Dublin, helped the seniors in the school library as they got ready.
"Let's pray together one last time," she said.
McKnight thanked God "for the delightful hours we have spent, not just learning together, but having fun together."
"I'm really happy, but it's sad that I will not see these special kids [every day]," said Sangho "Sam" Park, the senior class president, said.
Park, 20, is an international student from South Korea. He plans to study business management at Stony Brook University in New York.
Park also oversaw his class' efforts to raise $10,000, half for a charter bus to take the seniors to The Wilds Christian Camp in North Carolina, an annual destination for Harford Christian senior classes.
The other $5,000 went toward the Class of 2016's gift, a brick lighting pier, which has been installed at the south entrance to the campus, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Harford Christian in 1966.
"We really, really worked hard for that," Park said of the fundraising.
Senior Ramsey Sexton, 17, of Street, plans to study mechanical engineering and join the ROTC unit at Liberty University in Virginia.