ROCKVILLE, Md. - A Maryland community came together to remember a beloved high school principal who passed away this week after being found unresponsive in his apartment on Wedneday.
Now, students and faculty at Wootton High School are dealing with the loss.
Students, graduates, parents and colleagues filled the stands at the school's football stadium Friday evening to honor and remember Dr. Michael Doran.
Many shared memories and tears, but laughter as well.
"My father had thousands of articles of Wootton clothing," said his son, Sam Doran. "I don't know if he bought them or he stole them. That was one of the questions I thought was best left unanswered."
He was described as a funny and charming man who somehow made a connection with every student or person he encountered.
"I remember one day we had a track meet and it was in the pouring rain and he was just there, didn't even have an umbrella and in his full suit, and he loved wearing sweater vests and his ties, and he would be just be like, 'What's going on guys?'" said senior student Heather Nelson. "[He] is just soaking wet and everything with a smile on his face."
There was no shortage of compliments for Doran. Students describe him as their rock -- always there in tough times - like earlier this year when Wootton graduates died in a car wreck.
"Dr. Doran stitched us together and made Wootton a safety net to protect us when we felt like we were falling," said student Carly Hayes. "And I'm thankful he helped us with that because we didn't know how much we would need it."
By all accounts, he was a light that brightened the halls of the Montgomery County high school he served for 12 years. He was a voice always heard from the sidelines at school sporting events and one that will be sorely missed.
"Because truth be told, Wootton's success is not by accident and he has been and will remain to be a big part of that success," said another speaker.
The school year will begin on August 31, which makes this loss even more difficult for everyone.