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‘Carrying tradition’ Sharyland High School graduates class of 2019

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

Four years of high school came to an end Sunday for nearly 400 Sharyland High School students.

Hundreds of families filled the seats at the State Farm Arena Sunday, June 2, as they watched their loved one take the stage to receive their diploma, their final act as high school students.

20190602 SHSGraduationSharyland High School Principal Lori Ann Garza served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event and spoke of how proud she was of her students.

“Today, I present to you, our 2019 graduating class of Sharyland High School.,” Garza said. “Allow that to sink in for a moment. These words carry weight. They carry tradition. And they represent all that is good about our community. It’s not every day we can say we were part of shaping lives and futures.”

Garza credited Sharyland teachers, staff members and parents for their part in shaping the young students into the graduates they became.

“Students, it is without a doubt that this class, the class of 2019, exemplifies the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior, character and values expected by those before us who have long instilled Sharyland tradition,” Garza said. “I have no doubt your positive impact on the world will be evident, and always remembered.”

The sentiment of thanking those who guided students throughout high school was echoed by Salutatorian Fernanda Guerra Ramírez de Alba.

“It goes without question that without this guidance and leadership from counselors and administrators and staff, we would lack the tools necessary to succeed not only in high school, but in our first professions,” Alba said. “You are our heroes, saving us time and time again from failures, and even sometimes from our own choices. But with all due respect, it is now time for us to save ourselves. After 18 years of watching us grow up, from our first steps to final day of high school, it might hurt to see us go. But it is time for us, the class of 2019, to become our own heroes.”

Alba also spoke of how the commencement ceremony marked a turning point for her and her fellow classmates as they prepare for college, and everything that comes with it.

The graduation ceremony, she said, marked not just the final chapter of their life in high school, but also the beginning of a brand new one.

“Today, we come together, from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs and celebrate the diversity and achievements of this year’s graduating class,” she said. “We are the Sharyland High School class of 2019 and the world isn’t ready for us; we are the next generation of doctors, teachers, engineers, activists and influencers. whatever you choose to do, make sure you become the hero you needed when you were younger.”

Valedictorian Jihu Bae echoed previous statements to thank Sharyland teachers, counselors, staff members and parents for their work to usher in the students to the start of their post high school journey.

“Before we take our first real steps out into the world, we must never forget the people who have allowed us to come this far,” Bae said. “Teachers, parents, my brother, counselors, board members, I appreciate your dedication in fostering the best environment to provide the best education for the students. You have formed us into the best versions of ourselves sitting here in caps and gowns. We made it.”

Bae also imparted a message to her fellow graduates she said she learned throughout her 18 years of life.

“There is no set definition of what success is, or a tested formula for achieving your dreams,” Bae said. “Having the highest GPA point definitely does not make me any wiser or more knowledgeable about how to live life. At the end of the day, you have the power, the passion, perseverance to push for your own purpose in life.”

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