In December of 2022, Jennifer Zeppieri lost her daughter, McDowell junior Alyssa Hall, to a car collision while waiting for the morning school bus along Zuck Road.

Now, a year and a half later, she's hoping to have her daughter's name said in remembrance at what would have been her graduation - something Millcreek Township School District says hasn't been done before, and it would be unfair to previously deceased students to start now.

"I'm just trying to get her memory spoken - this would have been [her] class year to graduate with," said Zeppieri."

"I understand that she can't get a diploma because she didn't get all the credits and stuff, that's not what I'm looking for. I just want to keep her memory alive so we can move on and let her graduate with her class, cause she would have wanted this and she deserves this memory."

Millcreek Township School District responded with the following statement: 

The Millcreek Township School District strives to be supportive and compassionate for family, friends, students, and staff when a student who had been part of one of our programs has passed away. 

The school district as an organization does not formally acknowledge events, such as graduation; anniversary of a death; a student birthday; etc., for individual students. The reason that this is a practice is to be consistent in acknowledging all student losses over the past, present, and future. In other words, it would be expected that every student would receive the same treatment, for example: a posthumous diploma; plaque; etc. 
The issuing of a high school diploma is recognition of the successful completion of a planned course of study. The event is intended to be celebratory in nature and diplomas are not awarded to all students who have participated in the academic program for a wide variety of reasons. 
Unfortunately, MTSD, has experienced its share of tragic student loss due to varied causation. It would be unfair for some students to be recognized while others have not been recognized. It would be very hard to explain to one family, who did not get recognized, why it would be any different. 
There is nothing that prohibits well intentioned groups or individuals who wish to privately plan an act of kindness, demonstration of gratitude, or memorial for a student who has passed away.
But Zeppieri criticizes MTSD, and says this could be the start of something new. 
"They say they care about their students so much," continued Zeppieri. "Well you should care about them even when they're gone too. Any student, anybody. I think that all children should be recognized no matter what and start something new, a new tradition."
While MTSD has changed their bus routes to make it safer for students to get on and off the buses, no longer having to cross busy streets, Zeppieri says it's disappointing it took her child's life to do so. 
Zeppieri is also working to get the speed limit on Zuck Rd. reduced to prevent any further fatalities.