June 3, 2019
June 3, 2019—A small idea has continued growing in celebrations across CFISD as high school campuses, counseling teams and administrators put a spotlight on hundreds of graduating seniors heading toward colleges and universities, the five armed service branches and other post-high school destinations.
Senior Signing Ceremonies and Decision Days were held throughout April and May at a number of CFISD high schools. They included both Cypress Falls and Cypress Springs high schools, which conducted ceremonies for the seventh consecutive year and became the models others, like Cy-Fair High School, used to host their own.
Cy-Fair held its first Senior Signing Day on May 1, which is the deadline for high school seniors to choose which college they will attend. The day has become known across the country as National College Decision Day, and event organizers at Cy-Fair hope it becomes another mainstay at CFISD’s oldest high school.
“A lot of the students that ended up signing up were great kids that might never be recognized,” said Erin Stockton, Cy-Fair College and Career Specialist. “They would on senior awards night, but I think having this for them was special and a way to celebrate everyone.”
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 and up-close interaction they may not get during a graduation ceremony. They were encouraged to stand near their student as seniors signed their letters of intent.
And the ceremonies were more than just putting pen to paper.
Air Force JROTC color guard presented the colors at ceremonies, while choirs led the singing of the National Anthem. At Cypress Falls, the orchestra provided music and even played Pomp and Circumstance as seniors entered the commons.
Organizers at Cypress Lakes High School invited principals from feeder middle schools to speak to seniors, with both Dr. Jose Martinez, Watkins Middle School principal, and Reginal Mitchell, Thornton Middle School principal, offering motivational challenges to all in attendance. In addition, Kevin Olivas, a 2019 graduate, was the keynote speaker while HOLA, the R.E.D. Storm step team and Red Poet Society performed.
Cypress Falls Principal Becky Denton offered the motivational challenge to the seniors during their ceremony on May 21. The drumline performed the processional, leading the soon-to-be graduates and their invited guests outside for photo opportunities with every post-high school destination displayed on signs lining the driveway.
“This day is important because it signifies a culmination of an end where these kids have worked so hard for the last 13 years to reach this spot,” Denton said. “So it’s the bridge to what’s next and it’s about celebrating kids, what they’ve done and what’s in their future.”
A number of local college representatives attended the ceremonies, with some adding personalized touches. Examples included hats, shirts, foam fingers, signs, pennants and sunglasses.
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 service branches were used as both identifiers and props for photo opportunities. Cy-Fair provided a photo booth.
“This makes me feel really proud of their accomplishments,” said Cypress Falls counselor Kristi Macat. “I want them to feel proud. For some, this was their last day of school – that’s the way it fell in the calendar. So it may be the last time they see each other before the final events leading to graduations and I love that it’s a time where they can celebrate.”