On Saturday, May 23, Ballinger High School graduated their Class of 2020 at Bearcat Stadium. The graduation was held at the stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduates were each given 5 tickets to give to friends and family. Attendees were screened by having their temperature taken before entering the stadium and each person also had to sign a waiver.

Class president Nate Gallant gave the opening remarks.

Manual Galvan, president of the BISD Board of Trustees welcomed everyone to the ceremony.

The Commencement Address was given by First United Methodist Church pastor, Rev. Jerry Boles.

The valedictorian was Elyssa Marie Korn-Flores and the salutatorian was Laura Lee Brown. Both girls addressed the graduates as well as family and friends gathered in the stadium.

Principal Ryan Knickerbocker did the Presentation and Certification of Graduates.

Galvan presented the diploma to each graduate, along with BISD superintendent Jeff Butts and Knickerbocker. The closing remarks were given by class vice-president Julie Michelle Martinez.

The school districts in Runnels County, along with every school district across the state, faced significant challenges this year due to the COVID-19 virus. The district had to adapt to the closing of the schools by the governor when the pandemic struck in March. The school went to a learning-from-home curriculum once the doors were closed. The graduates, teachers, staff and administration all worked together to ensure the students completed their required course work and graduated on time.

The Ballinger High School Class of 2020: Asterisk indicates Nationol Honor Society member and bold indicates honor graduate; Elyssa Marie Korn-Flores* (Valedictorian); Laura Lee Brown* (Salutatorian); Nate Dell Gallant* (Class President); Julie Michelle Martinez* (Class Vice-President); Cameron Cash Poteet*; Jenna Rayne Rossignol*; Christopher Jacob Martinez*; Rosemary Delgado; Katy Ann Duke*; Christopher Wayne Irby*; Karalyne Grace Boggess*; Austin Michael Albarado; Pedro John Alfaro; Adrian Mordi Anene; Tyler James Armstrong; Roy Nasario Aviles; Sierra Lee Barrow; Cooper Jace Bean*; Caitlin Renee Bishop; Luke William Boggess*; Sarah Elizabeth Booher; Josalyn Marie Cesarez; Irvin Iverson Castillo; Daniel Ray Cavazos, JR; Payton Nicole Dankworth; Hunter Braxton Dennis; Tanner Dwayne Dunn; Bailee Rae Egan; Fernando Falcon, JR; Kameron Lane Ferguson; Jorian Noah Fuentes; Zachary Eloyed Fuentes; Jaleigh Kay Garcia; Andres Garza; Stephanie Amber Garza; Isreal Ethan Gonzales; Camilla Renee Gonzalez; Kaitlyn Nicole Guillen; Jonathan Ray Gutierrez*; Charles Darin Hall; Jerren Holmstrom; Kaycee Lynn Horton; Jared Scott Jones; Jasmine Lagunas; Ricardo Antonio Lopez; Shaianne Constance Luna; Mia Annalicia Martinez; Bonnie Paige McKillip; Nia Faith Nieto; Caesar Nicolas Nunez; Edgar Ivan Nunez; Michael Aaron Parks; Kaydence Analy Quiroga; Aylssa Marie Rangel; Jaton James Reed; Megan Nicole Reyes; Brenson Scott Riggs; Gerriann Danika Rose; Ethan Ray Sanchez; Zachary Logan Sargent; Adrian Tapia, JR; Irving Velasquez Valdes; James Livon Washington; Christian Jacob Watkins; Kaitlyn Michelle Worthington; Garrett Ryan Zertuche.

We’d also like to recognize the BISD high school teachers and staff who overcame the challenges and obstacles presented by the virus outbreak: Superintendent: Jeff Butts; Principal: Ryan Knickerbocker; Assistant Principal Mike Gil Nunez: Athletic Director: Chuck Lipsey; Counselor Tessa Knickerbocker; Registrar: Kelly Lipsey; Secretary; Elizabeth Lange: Librarian: Marilu Nunez; English; Alyssa Lewis; Beth Manley; Isaiah Region; Career and Technology; Stephanie Bowsher; Jonathan Burgess; Tyler Frey; Lisa Gibbs; Tylan Long: Science: Jamal Anene; Becky Dixon; Nancy Mizenmayer: Special Programs: Natasha Keesee; Christine Thomas; Marvin Wilson: Math: Roxan Bowman; Jayne Blakemore; Russell Dixon: Social Studies; Bryan Gayoso; Terri Harral; Alan Wilson: Foreign Languages; Wendy Barrera-Martinez; Fine Arts: Jennifer Brown; Jacob Scott; Janet Wilson: Instructional Aides: Aaron Bowles; Rochelle Coleman; Amie Kirk; Kenneth Manley: Technology: Billy Mobley (Director); Leann Cook; Tyler Rose; Ryan Young.

We will be writing a special issue on the educators and staff at the schools in Runnels County. If you have a teacher or staff member from any of the schools in the county that you’d like to recognize, email me at: bhancock@gatehousemedia.com.