The seniors faculty at Tri-city high school in Buffalo Ill, presented 6 year old Jordan Planitz with an honorary diploma on Sunday, May 31st.

Jordan Planitz has MPPH syndrome, a brain disorder that causes neurological problems and ultimately a shortened lifespan.

Class President Mackenzie Lyons, her twin brother Mason, and Valedictorian Beth Daniels approached principal Dustin Day to ask if Jordan could be included in their graduation ceremony.

“I’ve been in education 20 years, and it clearly was one of my proudest and best moments,” Day told “When you have kids like that who want to share their special day, you don’t see that a lot.”

The students got to know Jordan through an event with the Children’s Miracle Network, in which Jordan got to be the ‘principal of the day’ at Tri-City.

Jordan is not very verbal due to his condition, but when he walked onstage, holding the hands of the Lyon twins, he was smiling ear to ear.

“He likes attention,” said Jordan’s mother Deanna, “so when he goes out on the stage, he expects people to clap, and they were doing so that day, so he was thinking, ‘This is the way it’s supposed to be.'”

Jordan wore a special graduation gown covered in colorful letters of the alphabet that his mother bought for him online.

“I look at that gymnasium full of people and all of the hearts that he touched, and if God had made him a normal, healthy boy, he wouldn’t have touched all those people.” Deanna said “If there’s one person that he made a difference in their life, then he’s done more on this earth than most of us will do in our lifetime.”


Emily Abbey is a Salem based student and writer. She loves cooking, coffee, and anything to do with the Pacific Northwest. She hopes to become a teacher, influencing students to write and make a difference in their corner of the world.