One of the special moments of Saturday morning’s graduation at Livingston High School was the diploma for Cole Overstreet.
Accepting on his behalf was his sister, Anna. Cole was killed in a hit-and-run vehicle collision that occurred Sept. 24, 2021, on FM 350 South near Kate Lowe Road. Cole was giving a fellow band member a ride home after the homecoming football contest.
“I thought it was just wonderful,” Cole’s mother, April Overstreet, said. “It was very heartwarming to all of us and our whole family that was there. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
On the stage, Anna accepted Cole’s diploma and a standing ovation from the graduates near the end of the ceremony.
“I was so proud of her,” April said. “She did a good job going up there and I know it took a lot of courage and was hard for her. She did it, of course, with tears, and that is understandable. I know that Cole wanted her to do it and he is proud of her. They called it the posthumous diploma. Everybody clapped and they took her picture. We have the diploma and it is right next to (Cole’s) picture.”
April said the family was able to go out for dinner at a local restaurant following the ceremony.
Livingston ISD issued the diploma through Texas House Bill 1563. It states diplomas may be given for a student who died while enrolled in the district at grade level 12 on request of the student’s parents, provided the student was academically on track at the time of death.
“The district felt it was appropriate to honor the memory of a fine young man and his family,” Livingston Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins said. “While it does not go to fulfill the loss of Cole, the one thing that was abundantly clear to me was that Cole was with us on graduation day in the faces, the smiles, and hearts of his family, friends, and classmates that he made such an impact on. Where Cole was a relatively young man, there is no doubt in my mind that the love he had for his family and classmates will endure the test of time.”