Enloe High School remembers deceased student Rachel Rosoff at graduation

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Rachel Rosoff

Had things gone differently on September third, Rachel Rosoff would have walked across the stage to graduate with her classmates Wednesday night.

Instead, a vase with flowers stood on stage in her memory.

Rachel died last fall after she was electrocuted and drowned in a North Raleigh pool where she worked as a lifeguard.

RELATED: Family of Raleigh teen who drowned in electrified pool files lawsuit

"We would like to specifically remember the class of 2017 scholar, Rachel Rosoff," said Will Chavis, principal of Enloe Magnet High School.

The crowd applauded after Chavis made that brief statement to open the graduation ceremony. Rosoff's family was in the crowd, but hours earlier they gathered on Enloe's campus.

"They planted this tree for Rachel," said Michelle Rosoff, pointing to a young tree in a garden on campus.

The tree is growing next to a plaque with one of the many quotes Rosoff said her daughter loved: "When you play life safe, you won't lose anything. But you will also never win."

This graduation season has been hard for Rachel's family.

"Going out to dinner, seeing everybody with caps and gowns and she's not going to walk in there," said Rosoff. "It's just very hard."

While it was a brief mention at graduation, the Rosoff family had to fight to have Rachel included at all. Initially they were told that having Rachel's name mentioned might be too upsetting for students.

Then Rachel's younger sister started a petition that told a different story.

RELATED: 12,000-plus sign petition to recognize late teen at Enloe graduation

"I think it was just another fight that I shouldn't have had to go through with everything else," said Rosoff.

So the family chose to also visit to the garden and Rachel's tree on campus. Together with friends they buried a time capsule with things for Rachel.

"I put in some pictures of our family, cards from people, some of her hair that I had," said Rosoff, "some tickets from shows that she has done and played in. My brother has concert tickets that they were supposed to go to that they never made it to."

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