Full circle

It’s finally here. For seniors, four years of high school will come to a conclusion only two weeks from now, when they walk across the stage at the Alamodome and claim their high school diploma. 

The Class of 2023 will be leaving behind a lot when they leave campus for the last time, but they’ll be taking their memories with them, of great teachers and friends, of Friday night football games and early morning club meetings. 

“My favorite memory from high school was being in English class junior year and being with a whole bunch of my friends,” Kevin Leal Morales explained, “And half of us goofed off and the other half did our work. I had a lot of fun spending time with all these people I have grown to know and had the privilege to spend time with.”

Michael Leeber will take his memories of marching band, and Caden Petty will remember AJROTC competitions.

“We went to a competition to shoot guns,” he described. “It was great, and I slapped it. I was so good at it.”

Miranda Cross loved the camaraderie and silliness of band competitions. 

“We think there were a whole bunch of balloons in the sky,” she recounted about one outing, “And everyone thought it was a UFO. We were all in the parking lot like, ‘they’re coming to get us!’”

Kamahni Dixon played in the band during the blackout football game against Clemens earlier this year and recalled the powerful moment she experienced.

“We were playing ‘Blinding Lights’ and the lights went out and the band was like, ‘You know what, we’re still going to play it, because we’re the best band in the land,’ so we were playing in the dark,” she explained. “It totally set the mood. So people in the audience turned on their phone flashlights and were waving along with us. Then the lights turned on as we finished.”

Bonitta Evans will miss her beloved robotics lab.

“I want to stay in there forever,” she said. “It’s the best place in the entire school.”

The Class of 2023 will also leave a legacy. Kamahni thinks it will be a good one.

“When I think of the Class of 2023, I think of strong leaders who will go out and help better the world and the community around us,” she stated.

Caden thinks people will remember the senior class for their “fantastic band program,” and Michael believes that Covid-19 will play a role in their legacy.

“Our freshman year was Covid-19,” he explained. “We were the ones hit by a big chunk of it.”

And so, the Class of 2023 will go their separate ways. For some, this will be a moment for growth.

“Everything is finally going to be done,” Bonitta explained, “And we get to move on to an entirely new environment, new experiences, new friends, and new places.”

Kamahni will leave with a bittersweet taste in her mouth.

“It’s very emotional because I’ve gotten attached to this place,” she said.  “The principal, the students, the teachers. It’s like a home away from home.”

Caden will be just as conflicted.

“I’m kind of anxious of what’s to come because all our lives have just been rigid with structure and what to do and what’s next. All of our lives from kindergarten to now,” he commented. “This is different because you’re going to college based on your own interests. Some people aren’t even going to college. I’m nervous about what’s to come, because this is brand new.”

The road ahead is different for everyone. Bonitta will pursue robotics in Illinois, Kevin will move out of state too and focus on “hopefully [becoming] big and famous as a composer.” 

Some, like Lillian Jaeger, have flexible plans. 

“I want to go into the Air Force but I want to do neurology,” she said. “I want to be a brain surgeon or maybe do mental health.”

Others have much more planned out. 

“I’m going to the Air Force to be a pilot,” Caden described. “And I’m for sure staying as long as possible. I want to become a colonel, full-bird and everything, and when I retire at like the age of 60, I’ll become a teacher, fly planes for airlines, or just become a traffic cop on FM 1103.”

Michael will become a Navy pilot, with his biggest goal being aircraft carrier captain. 

Kamahni and Miranda hope to make a difference in the world. 

“The overall goal is conserving our planet,” Miranda advocated. “Our actions are going to come back one day and bite us in the butt. I want to bring awareness.”

Kamahni wants to help hospital staff. 

  “I want to be able to help people,” she said. “I feel like that’s the reason we were put on this Earth.”

Wherever they go in life, the senior class is bound to meet again. Everything comes full circle.

“A lot of people you straight up won’t ever see again,” Mikey joked. “Then you’ll find them on Facebook in like, 30 years and you’ll befriend them again.”