The 61st graduating class of Burges High School kicked off Day 5 of EPISD Graduation Season Friday morning, this time with a venue change for the socially-distant outdoor ceremonies needed because of the pandemic.
The class of 331 Mustangs gathered on Bowie’s Baty-Simmang Memorial Stadium, the home of the remaining EPISD graduations.
Class valedictorian is Aiden Cross Elmquist and salutatorian is Amira Tynise Williams. Together, the entire Class of 2020 amassed more than $10 million in scholarships.
The pandemic and school closures were on the minds of those who spoke, but all remained positive focusing on the challenges they overcame despite current events.
“We are stronger than we realize because we not only survived but we thrived and flourished despite everything,” Elmquist said. “So, I encourage all of you to use this situation not to sulk, mourn or regret what we did not receive but rather use it as testimony to the true strength that lies within all of us.”
All Burges Girl Silvia Alexa Quiroz added: “The Class of 2020 has made history. Strangely by being apart the last three months, we’ve all grown together in ways no other class has done before. But as we walk across the stage today and say our farewell to high school, we are now connected forever by being the class that held on, that rose above and despite being in unfamiliar territory, we became One Burges.”
All Burges Boy Tony Javier Rodriguez and Williams also spoke during the ceremony along with first-year principal Christopher Smith.
“Where ever your future leads you, we will be cheering you on,” he told the graduates. “Follow your passions, continue to be leaders and God bless you.”
And although not on their home turf, the class will remember hold close their motto: “Chase your dreams, but always know the road that leads you back home,” a nod to the school’s IOB (In Our Blood) mantra.