Coronado’s class of 726 graduates made its official walk across the stage tonight at Franklin High’s stadium – marking EPISD biggest graduation of 2020.
The class – led by valedictorian Emily Jo Smith and salutatorian Anthony Christopher Salazar – amassed more than $18 million in scholarships including a Merchant Marine Academy appointment.
“I know this isn’t the graduation ceremony we imagined we would be having, but because of the circumstances we are in, our community has had to make an adjustment to this pandemic,” said All Coronado Boy Nick Gonzalez, who kicked of the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance. “Our senior class has not only been flexible and adaptable, but most importantly resilient.”
Much like Gonzalez remarks, speeches touched on the events of late that have led to opportunity for growth and valuable lessons.
“We read about this in history textbooks, but today, Class of 2020, we are the ones making history,” she said. “And we aren’t just making history because of the global circumstances that we find ourselves a part of, but because of the valuable lessons we are taking from them. I believe we have been granted the opportunity to take this experience and use it to make us more aware of the blessings we have in life. Use it to treat people with kindness. Use it to help others whenever given the opportunity. Use it to make the world a better place.”
The T-Birds made the best of their social-distancing graduation, enjoying the pomp and circumstance of the evening with some more light-hearted messages.
“I recently heard a friend decided her senior year was a failure because it ended in corona virus quarantine, which was nothing like ‘High School Musical 3,’” Salazar said. “I see some of ya’ll smiling at that because you know you’ve thought the same thing.”
On a more serious note, Salazar said: “Class of 2020, I challenge you to ignore anyone who attempts to tell you what’s successful and decide for yourself what you want to accomplish. Because I promise, if you are happy with why you accomplish your goal, then nothing will ever be able to undermine your success.
All Coronado Girl Hannah Tuttle and Senior Class President Liam Crowley also spoke before their class during the ceremony. The evening ended with the official tassel turn, the fight song and Abba’s “Dancing Queen” – their class song.