YEAR IN REVIEW: Number 5 – Martins Ferry Holds Early Commencement So Dying Father Can See Daughter Graduate


As we head into this final week of 2015 we’re taking a look back at some of our most talked about stories on throughout the year. 

Our 5th most talked about story takes us to an emotional graduation ceremony in Belmont County.

Graduation is supposed to be a joyous time when teens transition into adulthood and many go off to college to find themselves and make their mark on the world, but graduation for one girl at Martins Ferry High School was a more somber occasion this past Spring. 

Brooklyn Kropka Monroe was given a special gift from the administration at the school.

That gift was a special graduation for one, with a photographer and videographer to capture the entire thing to take it home to show her father who was dying of cancer, “We thought we were just going to have a little ceremony and record it and show him the tape,” said Brooklyn’s best friend Kayla Hungerman.

Imagine their surprise when they saw Rod Monroe muster up the strength to come rolling in to watch his daughter get her diploma. It was an event he said he wouldn’t have missed for anything in this world.

Monroe was in his final stages of cancer and had been sent home from the hospital on hospice care. The reason for the early ceremony was because Brooklyn’s family feared her dad wouldn’t survive to see the actual ceremony.
The administration was happy to be able to do this for Brooklyn and her family, “To be able to do something like this for one of our own–and Brooklyn is such a special person–we just couldn’t wait to do this for her,” said Jim Fogle, Principal at Martins Ferry High School.

Even Martins Ferry School’s Superintendent, Dirk Fitch was chocked up by the special ceremony, “Myself, I had one little thing to say, and I couldn’t get through it!” said Superintendent Fitch with a smile.”

As for Rod, he survived the next twenty days, before passing away at home surrounded by his family.

He was just 41 when he died on June 11th.

WTRF Top Web Stories of the Year

Number 5 –  Martins Ferry Holds Early Commencement So Dying Father Can See Daughter Graduate

Number 4 – World War II Ship Makes Pass Through the Ohio Valley

Number 3 – Cop Buys Lemonade At Girl’s Stand; Returns Next Day, But Not To Buy More

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