Spring ISD Board of Trustees President Dr. Deborah Jensen, from left, congratulates Westfield High School graduate Falyn Taylor.
HOUSTON – Aug. 14, 2017 – Falyn Taylor wanted to graduate in June with the rest of her Westfield High School class but she suffered a few setbacks in trying to meet all the requirements.
“It’s been challenging,” she said, “but I made it.”
On Saturday, after an intensive summer of studying and State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) boot camps, Taylor got to walk the stage in the Spring ISD Summer 2017 Commencement Ceremony with more than 200 other Spring ISD students, whose persistence paid off with a diploma and an opportunity to celebrate with friends and family.
“These are the students who have hung in there,” said Board of Trustees Vice President Chris Bell, who donned his own robe and mortar board to shake the hands of all the students as they crossed the stage at Dekaney High School.
He applauded their determination to overcome personal and academic obstacles. “They are going to need that kind of grit throughout their lives,” he said.
For Lorena Guajardo, it was an Algebra End of Course exam that kept her from graduating in June with the rest of her Dekaney class. But she said she kept studying and was able to pass the test. Her next goal is even tougher: “I want to meet all the physical requirements so I can join the Army and become a nurse,” she said.
Cheering on the hopes and dreams of graduates was a packed auditorium at Dekaney, where family and friends applauded at the calling of each name.
“I’m just very happy and proud of her,” said Maria Requena, who was joined by more than a dozen other relatives in support of her 17-year-old daughter Giselle DeJesus. “I want her to go to college and continue to go to school,” she said.
Board President Dr. Deborah Jensen urged all the graduates to pursue a lifetime of learning and to set high standards for whatever comes next. “Don’t waste your precious time and your unique talents on ineffective education,” she said. “Seek and demand an education that truly prepares you for your desired course in life.”
For Falyn Taylor’s mother, Saturday marked a major accomplishment and another step forward. “She came into the world struggling,” Sebrina Taylor said of her eldest daughter. “She was born two months premature, and school has always been a struggle. I just feel both relieved and proud of her.”
But Falyn Taylor isn’t planning to take much time off. In two weeks, she is set to start at Lone Star College, where she wants to start studying to become a registered nurse. “I just like helping people and make them feel welcome,” she said.