- Early College High School
Senior Walk, Numerous Events Mark Graduation Season
Sandwiched between a college graduation ceremony Friday and next week’s high school graduation, Early College High School seniors put on their caps and gowns and paraded through Killeen ISD elementary schools Monday during a senior walk.
The senior class divided into three groups and took separate buses to three schools each to motivate the young students and to receive a sweet congratulations from the up-and-coming generation.
“We’re celebrating early to show kindergarten through fifth graders what they can achieve,” said senior Angel Funez.
“They don’t know it yet, but the hard work will pay off in the end,” he said. “This is the goal.”
The bus Funez was on began at Alice Douse Elementary School, where the cap-and-gown-clad seniors walked inside the school past a banner congratulating them.
They walked through the school hallways, where children cheered and held signs of congratulations. The familiar sound of “Pomp and Circumstance” followed the group as they walked.
The scene was similar at the second stop, Trimmier Elementary School, where a pair of fifth-graders led the special guests through the school, including a pass through the cafeteria, where lunch was beginning.
“It’s surreal,” said Funez of reaching the week before high school graduation.
“For so long, it seemed so far away,” he said. “Now, we’re less than a week away.”
“It makes me happy. I can see both points of view – the senior about to graduate and the young kid with all of this in front of him.”
The Early College High School senior walk was just one of a flurry of events scheduled to honor graduates leading to the graduation ceremonies.
Central Texas College graduation on Friday included about 180 KISD seniors, who earned associate’s degrees through the district’s STEM Academy or the Early College High School.
On Saturday, the Temple College graduation included a handful of students who finished the two-year Texas Bioscience Institute.
This week, on Thursday, the top 10 ranked Class of 2023 seniors from six high schools will make up half the guests of honor at the KISD Education Foundation Starmakers Banquet, along with their chosen most influential teacher.
Killeen ISD’s six graduation ceremonies are slated next Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Bell County Expo Center.
Here is the schedule.
Wednesday, May 24
Early College High School 3 p.m.
Chaparral High School 7 p.m.
Friday, May 26
Harker Heights High School 9 a.m.
Shoemaker High School 2 p.m.
Saturday, May 27
Killeen High School 2 p.m.
Ellison High School 7 p.m.
The top graduates for each school include the following:
Early College High School
Valedictorian Nina Stinehour
Salutatorian Vincent Xiao
Chaparral High School
Valedictorian Izma Dar
Salutatorian Emily Hernandez
Harker Heights High School
Valedictorian Rebecca Mack
Salutatorian Richard Sporluck
Shoemaker High School
Valedictorian Yazmin Ortiz Colon
Salutatorian Melanie Wilkinson
Killeen High School
Valedictorian Audrey Frisch
Salutatorian Kaycee Caravana Gomez
Ellison High School
Valedictorian Olivia Farmer
Salutatorian Kaylee Parker
“It’s amazing,” said Mack, the valedictorian at Harker Heights High School, who is set to attend Harvard University. “It’s a privilege to be honored after so many years. It’s a nice culmination.”
“It’s a big relief,” said Farmer, valedictorian of Ellison High School. “It was a lot of stress and work, a lot of long days. I’m ready for the next stage.”
“It feels really good,” said Chaparral High School valedictorian Izma Dar. “It was stressful, but worth it. Sometimes I wanted to give up. I’m glad I pushed myself.”
Check this space next week to see profile feature stories on all of KISD’s six valedictorians and salutatorians.
For information about graduation ceremony tickets and how to view the ceremonies, go to the following:
Commencement ceremonies may be viewed via live stream, on www.killeenisd.org/livetv, or on Spectrum Cable Channel 17.