‘Once an Eagle, always an Eagle:’ Mission High School graduates class of 2019

This article originally appeared in the Friday June 7, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.

Over 500 Mission High School Eagles graduated this week, making the class of 2019 one of the largest in a while.

The MHS class of 2019 celebrated their accomplishments and the end of this part of their educational journey at the State Farm Arena on Monday, June 3. Their families and friends lined the walls of the venue, holding up posters congratulating them for their achievements.

20190603 MHSGraduationThe top ten students sat on the stage with the Mission Consolidated Independent School District superintendent and board of trustees, and participated throughout the ceremony by leading the pledge of allegiance, invocation, benediction, Alma Mater and more.

“The Mission High School class of 2019 is proud to stand before you to accept their diploma, which recognizes the completion of 14 years of education,” Enrique Elizondo IV (Top 10 Student) said during the welcome speech. “Today, we get to celebrate an important milestone in our lives together as one.”

Mission High School Principal Edilberto Flores congratulated the class of 2019, saying he was proud of the students for their hard work and dedication.

“We have always strived to give our students the best curriculum and foundation to succeed in life,” Flores said. “The diplomas these graduates receive represent years of determination, commitment and achievement.”

Flores said that graduation marks a turning point in their lives as they prepare for the challenges of a changing world.

“Surely the class of 2019 will be greatly missed, and most of us here this afternoon can testify to their incredible academic achievements, passionate performances in the arts and athletic memories in their respective fields of competition,” Flores said. “The class of 2019 exemplifies ingenuity and persistence.”

Flores noted that the class of 2019 was the first class from MHS to eat at the Mission Café, walk the halls of the newly renovated buildings and classrooms and utilize the athletic facilities in the Tom Landry Hall of Fame Stadium.

“Their endurance, perseverance, positive attitude and ability to adjust will be the catalyst for their upcoming success,” Flores said. “I wish you the greatest of all pleasant things that life has to offer.”

“Now a new chapter in your lives is about to commence – this chapter is called ‘the real world,’” Flores added. “I must warn you that it will not be easy as you think. The real world will force you to immediately become productive citizens in the ever-changing world. However, do not fear, because Mission High School will always be with you, because once an Eagle, always an Eagle.”

Superintendent Carol G. Perez also spoke during the commencement ceremony, saying that their graduation day is all about them.

“Congratulations, you did it,” Perez said. “You have reached this very meaningful milestone, and you are about to embark on the next journey of your life.”

Perez asked the students to remember their “A, B, C’s” – to acknowledge the people in their lives that have been there with them, and for them in support all of their efforts, to be bold risk-takers that are confident and courageous in their chosen paths and to care for one another, themselves, their families and the environment.

“Be true to yourself and make the right choices, even if you go against the grain,” Perez said. “Graduates, go out and make your mark in this world.”

Salutatorian Vanessa Zavala thanked everyone there in support of the graduates, and said that the journey to graduation was not easy.

“Just as we faced troubles in high school, we are now going to face many obstacles as we join the real world and start our journey into adulthood,” Zavala said. “Despite the many obstacles that we face, class of 2019, do not give up. It may seem hard at first, but do know that everyone is capable of overcoming any obstacle that comes their way.”

Valedictorian Alejandro Hernandez spoke on how the road to graduation tested everyone as human beings.

“From the countless sleepless nights spent trying to study for an exam to the weekends spent on working on projects, high school was a great test in life that every student here today has passed,” Hernandez said. “We should all be proud.”

The graduates were officially certified and awarded their diplomas. The ceremony finished with the MHS choir singing the senior song and Alma Mater and the traditional tassel ceremony and Eagle pinning ceremony.

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