Devine HS celebrates graduation, Class of 2020

The Devine High School Class of 2020 stays socially distant on the field.

Valedictorian Halle Hagdorn gave this speech at the Devine ISD graduation on Friday night at Warhorse Stadium.
“Once upon a time, a new band of kindergarteners set out on an epic journey. Their adventure began with the excitement of starting something new and the fear of the unknown. Each with a backpack full of new school supplies, they confidently set out to conquer the world. The tale of this band of young friends is one of excitement. We, the class of 2020, are the writers of this adventure!
Every one of us has helped to create this story. Your role in this epic chronicle has made this story one of comedy, drama, romance, tragedy, inspiration, heartache, true crime, but above all historic. Who were your favorite characters? What was your favorite chapter? Each chapter has brought change and new challenges.
As you all know, what is a good story without an unexpected plot twist? We went through 13 years of schooling without getting the experience the best three months of it all. We were forced to experience the sadness of graduating, growing up, and leaving our childhood behind without the satisfaction and enjoyment of the many senior memories that make this hard time a little more bearable. The coronavirus unexpectedly stripped us of important high school moments including prom, spring sports, senior events, playoffs, powderpuff, banquets, and so many more.
Like any good story, an important life lesson must be taught. We have chosen to have a positive outlook on these uncontrollable events. We have faced many challenges, hardships, and obstacles especially in the last few months of our high school careers. We have learned to adjust, adapt, and make the best of a bad situation which is what life is all about.
Life is about attitude and effort. In uncontrollable times like these, attitude and effort are all that we can control. We can choose to look at this as an opportunity to improve ourselves. We have more time than ever before. We can look at this as an opportunity to learn a new skill, engage in new technology, to reach out and connect with old friends and family, or to find a new hobby. You have the choice of how you view your next chapter in your story. Are you going to let the situation define you? Or will you see the opportunity in the situation?
I am sad to let go of such an important time in my life; however, I am even more excited to see what the future holds for each one of us. It is a great honor and privilege to represent the class of 2020 as the valedictorian. I cannot thank you all enough for being there for me, not only through the great times but the struggles as well. I would like to thank the DHS teachers, staff, coaches, and administration, for believing in us over the years especially Mrs. Beadle, Mrs. Dudley, Mrs. Fitch, Mrs. Fowler, Mrs. Kendrick, Mrs. Lopez, Mrs. Long, Mrs. Meek, Ms. Rodriguez, Mrs. Taylor, and Mrs. Suhr. I would like to exclusively thank Mrs. Martin for being the spirit of DHS and the glue that holds this school together. I would like to thank the Devine community for also supporting us which was evident in things like the around the world parade and adopt a senior program. I would also like to thank my friends and family for always supporting me in everything I did. Without a doubt, I know we would not be where we are today without their guidance and will carry it with us for the rest of our lives.
While high school may seem like the end of the story, it is just a small chapter in our lives. We are now the writers of our own stories, and we have the power to make it great. We are the generation of choice. We have more available at our fingertips than ever before, and we have diverse opportunities to choose from. Making a choice, whether right or wrong, holds so much power and will drive us through life. However, with so many choices available comes the fear of making the wrong one. It is hard not to get caught up in the unknown and thought of failure. Don’t let the fear of making the wrong decision put your life on hold. Don’t be afraid to make a choice. Because sometimes the best decisions come from the “wrong” choices. No matter what, always know that if you don’t like the direction your story is going, you have the power to change it. Step up, take charge, choose to make a difference, and write your own story.”