The Bandera High School Class of 2019 didn’t let a powerful rain and wind storm impact its graduation celebration on Thursday, June 6, at the St. Mary’s University Convocation Center.
The brief storm knocked over several trees on the campus outside, but inside the convocation center, the atmosphere was festive for the end-of-school-year, coming-of-age tradition.
Dressed in Bulldog Blue gowns and mortar boards, the class’ 139 seniors marched into the large center to rousing applause from family, friends, teachers, Bandera Independent School District school board member and other community supporters.
Valedictorian Logan Persyn and Salutatorian Carma Cloudt led the procession of soon-to-be graduates.
First year Superintendent Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth told the newly minted graduates to “set yourself apart” as they prepared to go out and make their mark in the world.
Hollingsworth said it was fitting that the graduation was on the same day as the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1944, when thousands of young Americans, many still teenagers, bravely waded ashore in Normandy to help liberate Europe from Nazi Germany.
Hollingsworth also talked about how his grandfather kept hope and faith alive during the Dust Bowl years before World War II.
He challenged members of the Class of 2019 to learn from the courage of past generations so they can help chart the course for their generation and beyond.
Valedictorian Persyn said his speech’s theme was ‘belonging’ and told his fellow graduates that they will always be together in spirit.
He said the Class of 2019 will go in many directions, including college, the workforce and the military.
“But no matter what, we will always be Bulldogs. And as Bandera native Charlie Robison sang about, this is our hometown,” Persyn said.
Among the class of graduates was Wade Brosz, who is one of those pursuing an option in the military after graduation.
“I didn’t know what I wanted do in college, so the military is a great option. I am joining the Air Force in part because they offer college credits,” he said.
”I am sad and happy at the same time,” said Wade’s mom, Carol Delfone. “We are very proud of Wade for his decision. The last person in my family to be in the military was my dad in World War II.”