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Diamonds and a diploma: Senior graduates, gets engaged on the same night

The stars shining over the Brickyard Saturday night must have been aligned right for Shandi Withrow. Not only did the new Thomson High School graduate receive a diploma that night, she also received a diamond.

"I'm ecstatic," Shandi said as she held out her hand to show off her new engagement ring.

When the whole family gathered around to congratulate Shandi after the ceremony, Justin Chalker handed her a bouquet of roses.

"Then I got down on one knee in front of everybody and pulled out the ring and opened the box and held it in front of her," he said. "She was so shocked, she put her diploma up in front of her face."

Although they have been friends for seven years, Justin said they "took it to the next level" seven months ago.

"I knew it was coming. I just didn't know when," said Yvonne Smith, Shandi's mother. "From the way they've been acting, I was wondering what was taking so long. I'm happy for them. If they're happy, I'm happy."

Web posted on Thursday, May 29, 2008

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