Crossroads High School holds commencement ceremony
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Every semester, Copperas Cove’s Crossroads High School holds a graduation ceremony for its students, who have often had to overcome adversity to get to that milestone.
For the Spring 2020 graduating class, seniors had to overcome even more with a global pandemic raging on and disrupting their final semester of high school and threatening graduation and the chance to walk across the stage.
On Friday evening, dozens of seniors, staggered out over a period of more than twohours, had the opportunity to walk across the stage of Lea Ledger Auditorium in their cap and gown to the cheers from six of their friends and family members.
Principal’s assistant Sharon Whitis was on hand to give each student a celebratory rose, as per tradition, and Principal Pat Crawley, along with CCISD superintendent Joe Burns, board of trustees president Joan Manning, and trustees Inez Faison and Jeff Gorres were present to distribute diplomas and offer congratulations with an elbow bump. The ceremony was live-streamed on Facebook and will be available on the CCISD YouTube channel for all to view.
Principal Crawley also shared a message with the seniors, through the Facebook Live streaming of the ceremony.
“This is a special day for you, and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for a job well done,” Crawley said. “Due to the situation in this world, graduating seniors around the world are making history. You will always be known as the group of students to endeavor very unusual circumstances in order to triumph in spite of obstacles. Y’all are the first to experience a situation of this magnitude. This is something that you will be telling younger generations for the rest of your life. I offer this one tiny piece of advice as you leave: capture this moment in your memory so you can look back and remember how it feels to accomplish something big and use that to motivate you in whatever endeavor you choose for your future.”
For senior Makayla Goudy, graduation marks the beginning of her next journey in life. Goudy decided to enlist in the United States Army and ships out in August.
Goudy was happy to be able to walk across the stage, even if the number of people allowed inside the auditorium was limited.
“Honestly, it feels amazing just to know that we can actually walk the stage because other schools can’t,” Goudy said. “That’s a blessing to me.”
Prior to the ceremony, Goudy said she was probably going to cry as she walked the stage and saw her family in the audience.
“It’s already hard as it is for family to come together as this pandemic is happening, so it’s amazing to see your family and not only that, your peers’ family,” Goudy said. “You know, you get to graduate with your peers.”
Earlier that afternoon, Civilian Appointee to the Secretary of the Army Jean Shine presented Goudy with a certificate and a commemorative coin to recognize her for enlisting in the Army.
“Only 29 percent of American graduates qualify to get into the military, so you are one of the few, and only one percent of Americans actually serve their country, so you are very qualified physically, mentally and ready for whatever life brings you, and it’s amazing that you’ve accomplished this,” Shine said.
Goudy explained that she made the decision to join the military after realizing that college was not her plan after graduation. She said she would be open to the idea of college later on in her adult life, and hopefully would be able to go to college with the Army’s help.
Several of Goudy’s family members have served in the Army as well as the Navy and Air Force.
Goudy said she had originally thought about joining the Air Force and credited her Army recruiter, who she said was always by her side, for her decision to join the Army.
She said she was looking forward to a better opportunity at life through the Army.
“I want to be out; I want to travel the world. I want to meet new people, have something challenging for my life, so I think that will be a great opportunity,” Goudy said.
Goudy’s mother, Katria Goudy, could not contain how proud she was of Goudy. Goudy had faced some challenges even before COVID-19, but ended up back with her mother, she said.
“When she came back, she was a little behind, but I thank God that Crossroads was allowing her to get where she needed in order to graduate today,” Katria said.
Katria was also thankful for the opportunity to see her daughter graduate in person and not through a computer or television screen.
“It’s a blessing because everyone isn’t getting a chance to do this, so we don’t take it for granted,” Katria said. “I’m grateful that she made it and that she kept going and that the opportunity was here to graduate across a stage.”
Other Crossroads High School Class of 2020 graduates include: Sa’id Alvarado-Madrid, Chazz Anderson, Kiara Bankston, Noah Barbarena, Justin Best, Jacqueline Bracamontes, Bradley Buckhouse, Khiera Clayton, Jaydan DeLeon, Damien Desomber, Jessica Fairchild, Julia Gonzales, Rejena Griffin, Sabrina Henry, Nicholas Hooten, Johnathan Lee, Albert Lilly, Jose Luevano, Hayley McNeal, Gary McClelland, Patrick Miller, Iseya Moore, Ethan Morrow, Devonne Palmer, Michael Pearson , Raymond Pessa, Alexis Pinkerton, Elyjah Purcell, Mica Sallfors, Micah Sedillo, Reagan Thomas, Aurtaejah Williams, Kat Williams Anastasia Wilson, Jamie Woodard and James Zamora.
Livestream Screenshot - platform with grads
The class of 2020 for Copperas Cove’s Crossroads High School graduated on Friday evening, with ceremonies held at Lea Ledger Auditorium. Each student graduated one at a time, and was permitted to have six guests present for the ceremony.