More than 70 students gathered at Dekaney High School on Saturday morning to celebrate a major milestone: high school graduation. The students, representing all five high schools of Spring ISD, were excited to celebrate Summer Graduation and their personal achievements, all accomplished despite the hardships and obstacles.
It was a sentiment echoed by Superintendent Lupita Hinojosa, as she spoke to the crowd before officially certifying the graduates.
“The last four years have been anything but ordinary. The journey to get here today has been full of obstacles, both personal and global,” Dr. Hinojosa said. “I have full confidence that our teachers, administrators, and other campus staff – both those in attendance today and those who couldn’t make it – have instilled them with the values and the knowledge that will prepare them for a successful life.”
In the audience, family members, friends, teachers, and mentors sat row-by-row to celebrate those graduating. It was a fact not lost on Desiree Salazar, a graduate from Spring High School.
“The road here wasn’t easy, of course. But our family, friends, and teachers helped us along the way,” Salazar said. “We’ve already taken the first step by making it to this ceremony today — now, it’s time to take the next steps in our journey.”
As they walked across the stage in their caps and gowns, the students were also recognized by members of the Spring ISD Board of Trustees, members of the Senior Leadership Team, and administrators from the district’s high schools.
Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees, President Justine Durant acknowledged the challenges many of the students had faced, especially during the pandemic and praised them for their resilience and saying that it would help them get far in life.
“I have no doubt that you will be able to create a future, not only for yourself but for the rest of the world, that is full of possibilities and hope,” Durant said in her speech to the graduates. “Your path to high school graduation has already been so unusual, and I know that the resilience and patience you’ve learned from attending high school during a global pandemic will help you change the world for the better.”
The ceremony ended with remarks from Zamuryia Davis, of Westfield High School. She continued the theme of acknowledging the obstacles unique to the Class of 2022, while also emphasizing the future.
“An exciting part of this day is this: we now get to choose our future, how we define ourselves as high school graduates and adults in this world,” Davis said. “That can be scary, of course, but it can also be incredible.”
Also speaking to the students, Dr. Alfred James, principal of Wunsche High School, encouraged the graduates to look forward to a bright future, and to remember their impact.
“Since elementary school, you have been waiting for this special day,” Dr. James said. “Some of you are heading to college and others are going to the military or workforce. Wherever you are headed, strive to make a difference because someone is waiting on your unique gifts and talents. Remember that.”