The pandemic prevented Hornedo’s Community Readiness Classroom from having a promotion ceremony for its eighth-grade students, so staff at the West Side school decided to bring the celebration to the students’ home.
Teacher Laura Stipe organized a surprise drive-by promotion ceremony for the three students who starting next year will be attending high school.
“Hornedo CRC students were not going to end the year without a special celebration,” said teacher Laura Stipe. “This meant everything to the students. Excitement, laughter and tears were felt and seen by all.”
The celebration crew had decorated vehicles with window paint, balloons, posters and streamers to celebrate the rising freshmen, all of whom are special-education students in the District. Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More sponsored the gifts and yard signs to commemorate their big day.
“We’d looked forward to this for such a long time,” Stipe said. “I still can’t quite put into words exactly how heavyhearted this whole experience has made me feel.”
The parade started at the home of Daniela Cardona-Zubiate, soon-to-be a Coronado High freshman, then continued to the homes of her fellow graduates Kevin and Diego.
“It was important they recognized the three students for their accomplishments,” said Mario Cardona, Daniela’s dad. “They are challenged every day since the day they were born. Daniela was thrilled – smiling and waving at people driving by.”
Stipe called the event one of the best things “we have ever done in my teaching career.”
“The students were elated,” she said. “You can’t put a price tag on those emotions. Happiness filled the air.
Story by Reneé De Santos – EPISD