Frisco ISD was honored to celebrate members of the Class of 2020 during outdoor graduation ceremonies at Toyota Stadium. The ceremonies featured a number of health and safety precautions in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Students and staff were given masks to wear, and guests sat socially-distanced as seniors’ names were called and graduates made their way across the field, stage and big screen. It was a joyous moment and cherished opportunity after 13 years of school and an especially difficult spring for seniors.
“This may not be the ending we have all pictured, but I think this ending is much sweeter and will be something we will remember forever,” said Haley Sharpe, Student Council president at Wakeland High School. “We will never take another moment with friends or family for granted again. Despite all odds, we have come together again as one, one more time before we all part ways and begin our futures.”
The Class of 2020 included more than 4,400 graduates from 10 Frisco ISD high schools. Lebanon Trail and Memorial high schools graduated their first-ever classes after opening in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
“When I first entered the hallways of Memorial two short years ago, I was absolutely terrified, afraid of being in a new surrounding with unfamiliar faces,” admitted Memorial Student Council President Morgan Kirby. “I never expected to find a physics teacher with the biggest heart and best homemade cookies or a caring SRO officer who never failed to ask me how my day was. Most surprising of all were my classmates who demonstrated that friendship is not measured by the time you’ve known each other but by the experiences you’ve endured together. Thank you for making Memorial a home I have come to know, love and will profoundly miss.”
Students at both Memorial and Lebanon Trail had the opportunity to establish legacies that will carry the schools forward. “We’ve been responsible for building traditions, creating a culture and establishing opportunities at LT where there were none before,” Lebanon Trail High School valedictorian Austin Ma told his fellow graduates. “What I encourage everyone to take with them is our shared identity as Trailblazers. It may no longer be our mascot, but we can still become trailblazers in other facets of our lives. So even after we walk across the stage shortly, let’s continue to innovate, to explore and blaze a new trail in whatever path we choose to pursue.”
All of the graduates charted new territory this spring as they faced circumstances that would have seemed unimaginable just a few weeks or months prior. “More than anything I have witnessed the strength and resilience of our class and generation,” said Independence High School salutatorian Shivani Gollapudi. “We thrive with the unknown and the challenges that face us and I can’t wait to see what these traits will help us accomplish in the future.”
Lessons from the health crisis – from flexibility to gratitude and kindness – are destined to shape the Class of 2020 for years to come. “We now are given an opportunity to take on the world, to find and pursue our passions and leave a legacy,” Sharpe said. “The opportunity to achieve greatness is always within our grasp despite whatever challenges we may face. Greatness is not measured by the amount of money you have or make or by recognition, but rather by leaving those with whom you cross paths with a little more happiness and hope. We will not remember each other by popularity or grades, but rather by the relationships we had with one another and the impact we made on each other.”
Did You Miss Graduation?
You can catch the ceremonies – or relive the excitement – by following the links at https://www.friscoisd.org/about/resources-and-information/graduation-ceremonies.