May 23, 2018
Cypress Falls High School senior Tristan Garcia (left) signs a certificate of intent while his parents, Jessica (center) and Daniel Garcia, look on during the school’s senior signing ceremony May 18.
May 23, 2018—What started as a small idea has blossomed into celebrations growing across CFISD as high school campuses and administrators put a spotlight on the hundreds of graduating seniors heading toward institutes of higher learning and the five armed services branches.
Senior Signing Celebrations or Decision Days were held throughout May at Cypress Creek, Cypress Falls, Cypress Lakes and Cypress Springs high schools. Cypress Creek held its first-ever signing ceremony, while both Cypress Falls and Cypress Springs both conducted ceremonies for the sixth consecutive year.
Cypress Lakes High School seniors Crystalynn Miranda (left) and Courtney Nealy show off their Sam Houston State University hats during the Cypress Lakes Academic Signing Day on May 1.
“This is just really amazing and for those underclassmen who see this, they see the possibilities,” said Pamela Branch, Cypress Falls counselor who helped coordinate the Eagles’ signing event. “That’s what we want students to see. Not only the possibilities of going to universities but whatever you’re doing after this chapter of your life. For the seniors, this chapter will close and they’ll open up a new chapter. But we’re celebrating them.”
The ceremonies were started as a way to honor seniors whose post-graduation plans aren’t made as public as student-athletes, who have participated in signing and announcement ceremonies for decades. Parents were invited, giving families a more intimate setting to celebrate that they may not get during a graduation ceremony. They were encouraged to stand near their student as seniors signed their letters of intent.
Cypress Creek High School seniors wrote words of encouragement on large signs during a signing ceremony. The campus held its first signing day and the signs will be displayed at the school.
“It’s a way to celebrate, acknowledge and even validate a student’s commitment to their education,” said Kimberly Childress, Cypress Lakes lead counselor who helped spearhead the ceremony for the Spartans.
And the ceremonies were more than just putting pen to paper.
Air Force JROTC color guard presented the colors, while choirs led the singing of the National Anthem.
Cypress Falls senior Annabel Sotomi was surprised during the school’s ceremony, as it was announced that she was a Texas Mattress Makers Senior Scholarship winner. KPRC anchor Owen Conflenti was on campus to deliver the news.
At Cypress Lakes, Jesus Ramirez, a 2016 graduate and current student at Prairie View A&M University, was the keynote speaker, while those in attendance also heard encouraging words from senior Brittany Juarez.
Seniors won door prizes and received supplies during school signing ceremonies. Cypress Springs High School was one of the CFISD campuses to hold ceremonies for its seniors who have made their college commitments or intentions to join an armed service branch. (Photo by Mitzi Santillan, Cypress Springs HS)
Cypress Creek seniors were encouraged to sign their names, future destinations and words of inspiration on large signs that will be displayed on campus.
“I could not be prouder of this senior class and I know we are going to see great things from them in the future,” Cypress Creek Principal Vicki Snokhous said.
Said Dr. Cheryl Henry, Cypress Springs principal: “I am so excited that 90 percent of our senior class has committed to a two- or four-year college, or service in the military. We plan this Decision Day event each year to celebrate the current and future success of our scholars.”
A number of local college representatives attended the ceremonies, with some adding personalized touches. Examples included hats, foam fingers, signs and pens.
Cypress Creek High School senior Christian Ngo holds his sign proclaiming his acceptance to Texas A&M University. The campus held its first academic signing ceremony for its senior class, joining other high schools across the district.
The events were also supported by school volunteers and local business partners. Door prizes were given away, with college supplies among the giveaways.
Signs represented the numerous colleges, universities and armed services branches were used as both identifiers and props for photo opportunities. Cypress Falls even lined signs in front of the school.
Whataburger was among the business partners and volunteers to help support senior signing day ceremonies across CFISD. The restaurant served breakfast at the Cypress Lakes High School ceremony May 1.
Cypress Falls High School seniors that were accepted to and plan to attend the University of Houston pose for a group photo in front of a school sign. The campus held its sixth annual Senior Signing Day, with the signs lining the front driveway for photo opportunities.
“This is a celebration. Graduation is a celebration too, but here you get a little more bonding,” said Randy Del Rosario, whose daughter, Cassandra Segura, is a Cypress Lakes senior heading to the University of Texas at San Antonio. “You’re seeing them grow up.”