Early High School principal reflects on graduation ceremony

Special to the Bulletin
Graduating senior Brooklyn Richmond leads the Early High School song.

The Bulletin asked Early High School principal Judith Ozuna to share her thoughts about last Friday’s graduation of high school seniors, held at Longhorn Stadium. Ozuna responded with this email.

Finding the words to convey the experiences that came as a result of new and unusual circumstances is a great challenge.  With all my years of experience in education, I find it's often most beneficial to share the thoughts of the students themselves.

We have been in uncharted waters, but I have been inspired by many students who took hold of the oars and refused to allow our ship to sink.

Senior Megan Bynum, in her salutatory speech, moved her class, teachers, and parents alike when she so eloquently stated, "While the world seemed to have stopped spinning and caught fire, we were not asphyxiated by the smoke because, despite that everything was different, the one thing that truly mattered was still here."

She reminded us all that our ability to motivate, inspire, and depend on each other was still very much intact. She went on to explain how we didn't start the fire, and we cannot control it, but we won't allow it to control us.

I was moved, as were many, by her words that so vividly painted a picture of the resiliency the students and staff have shown throughout this COVID-19 pandemic.

Following Megan's words, came those of valedictorian Rae Bynum. She reminded her audience that senior year is meant to be full of lasts, and although they were robbed of many of those "lasts,"  there were many firsts to celebrate.

This was the first year an EHS class graduated from Longhorn Stadium. It was the first year parents participated in the graduation ceremony.

The night was full of excitement and anticipation since there had been so much uncertainty about whether an in-person graduation would be allowed. It felt as if a fog had been lifted, and it was a beautiful night to celebrate our seniors.

It was truly surreal, and it was a night full of smiles and appreciation.

The Early High School class of 2020 has forever left its mark on our school and community, and I have no doubt this experience will help them leave their mark on the world in the future.

Graduates toss their caps into the air in celebration.