Crossroads High School holds winter graduation
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Crossroads High School in Copperas Cove held its winter graduation Thursday evening, with the school’s class of 2019-2020 graduates crossing the stage at Lea Ledger Auditorium to receive their high school diplomas.
A total of 15 students completed their credits in time for the ceremony, with 12 marching to the sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance”.
For Giselle Turnage, 17, and Drake Harkins, 18, Thursday’s ceremony meant their hard work had been worth it.
Turnage said she felt very accomplished. She went to Copperas Cove High School for her freshman year and went back her sophomore year for the first six weeks. During this time, Turnage had moved onto Fort Hood and was told she wouldn’t be able to continue at CCHS. Instead of attending a Killeen school, Turnage enrolled into a homeschool program but eventually dropped out and focused on working.
When she came to Crossroads High School in August 2019, for what should have been her junior year, she only had nine credits. Several months later, she had finished all her coursework and was ready to collect her diploma.
“They told me that I’d be there for two years, and I was like, ‘Nah, I’m going to be here for a year. Just kidding, I’ll be here for a semester,” Turnage said.
Turnage said she appreciated Crossroads High School for giving her this last high school experience. She said she is the first one in her family to graduate high school. Turnage said she doesn’t have plans to attend college, but instead wants to focus on her job at H-E-B and go from there.
Harkins’ journey to his diploma took a bit longer. After dropping in and out of school, he ended up at Crossroads half-way through his sophomore year and then continued to drop in and out. He said he stuck with it and finished because he wanted a diploma, not a GED. His plans after high school include going into construction or finding a trade to work at.
Copperas Cove Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burns delivered a speech for the graduates to take with them as they moved on to their next step in life.
“One of the highlights of my year is being able to come and participate in Crossroads Graduation,” Burns said. “For many of these young people, they have overcome some obstacles to get where they are tonight, and I want you to know, graduates, how proud I am of you.”
A high school diploma brings with it the possibility to earn more than a million dollars in one’s life, Burns said.
He shared three points of advice for the 12 graduates, beginning with Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11, which states “For I know the plans I have for you to please the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”
“So young people, I want you to know that there is a plan for you, and it’s a plan for your good and not for your harm, and it is a plan for your success,” Burns said. “Now, the dilemma is, you’ve got to figure out what that plan is. You got to work through the effort, the energy. You’ve got to spend the time and the resources and figure out what the plan is for your life.”
Burns encouraged the new graduates to look for ways to build upon their skillset.
“You need to find that opportunity where you can express your talents and folks, I hate to tell you this, but it’s commonly found in an area called work or a job,” Burns said.
The Central Texas Workforce Commission recently commissioned a study that revealed the most sought-after jobs in Central Texas, with 24 jobs that reached the top of the list. Out of those 24 jobs, only two required a bachelor’s degree, Burns said.
“What I’m trying to tell you young folks is that there is dignity in all work,” Burns said. “Seek out that opportunity and find a job that fulfills you and pleases you.”
Burns also advised the graduates to remember that “every scholar needs a skill,” but also to make sure that their passions can pay their bills.
“I look forward to seeing you succeed far beyond your biggest dreams,” Burns said. “Folks, I don’t want to see you on the police blotter or your face on a picture in the post office. I want to see you in the newspaper, where people are applauding you for your efforts and the accomplishments that you’ve made in life to benefit not only you, but those around you.”
Thursday night’s graduates included Desiree Clark, Destiny Fermaint, Kierstan Grass, Drake Harkins, Alec Hipps, Sierra Maspero, Emma Meshell, Christyn Nauert, Isaac Olsen, Frederick Oncel, Jonathan Pea, Danielle Rulison, Thomas Saucedo, Marlaina Thomas and Giselle Turnage.