After uncertainty, PIHS Class of 2020 graduates at Tarpon Stadium

PIHS graduates wave U.S. flags, signifying they are joining a branch of the U.S. Military after graduation. Photo by Gaige Davila.

By Gaige Davila

The Port Isabel High School’s Class of 2020 commencement ceremony ended with a bang, several actually, in a fireworks ceremony that concluded an event that, for few months, was uncertain to ever happen.

Senior-turned-graduates of PIHS, all wearing face masks, were able to move their tassels from right to left, the Top 10 students in the class gave out their Blue Apple awards to their favorite teachers, and the valedictorian, Ryley Galvan, and salutatorian, Katie Stiers, were able to give their addresses before their 138 classmates.

PIHS Class of 2020 Top Ten graduates line before crossing the stage. Photo by Gaige Davila.

Before the fireworks, stadium lights were dimmed and attendees were encouraged to shine their phones a la lighters a concert, while “Be the Light” played on loudspeakers, in an effort to promote a more kind, empathetic existence, amid protests across the world against police brutality.

For the last two weeks, Point Isabel Independent School District staff have prepared Tarpon Stadium for PIHS’ Class of 2020 commencement ceremony, PI-ISD Superintendent Theresa Capistran told the PRESS. 

Every graduating student was allowed to bring four guests, who sat on either side of Tarpon Field in the bleachers, six feet apart, while the former students did the same on the field. 

On May 5, Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath announced in-person graduation ceremonies were allowed, so long as they were outdoors and attendees were six feet apart, starting June 1. 

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