Soaring High

El Campo High School’s new graduates of 2022 toss their caps into the air Thursday night in Ricebird Stadium at the conclusion of the ceremony. The former seniors received congratulations from family and friends before having the option of attending an all-night lock-in Project Graduation event at the El Campo Civic Center. Designed to help protect new grads, the event offered games, prizes and more.

After nearly 200 school days this year, 247 El Campo High School students crossed the stage in crimson robes to graduate.

The soon-to-be-graduates proceeded into ECHS football stadium as the Ricebird Band played “Pomp and Circumstance” to mark the occasion.

As the students filed into their proscribed seats, cheers and air horns echoed from the stands in support of the students.

After the procession finished, Lucas Pfeil opened ceremonies with the pledges and a moment of silence dedicated to the victims and families of the shooting in Uvalde.

Pfeil passed the microphone to 2022 class Salutatorian Brianna Shanks, GPA 5.647, to welcome friends, family and classmates to the ceremony. “Today marks the day we have all been striving for; for 12 years. An accomplishment we couldn’t have done without all of you present,” Shanks said.

ECISD Board President James Russell introduced his fellow trustees and spoke to the assembled students. “Your paths may lead you away from El Campo but, once a Ricebird always a Ricebird. If your path brings you back, we welcome you with open arms,” he said.

ECHS Assistant Principal Moises Rodriguez asked the 28 honor graduates and their families to stand and be recognized. Thunderous applause filled the stadium as the last honor graduate and his family rose.

Almost all the honor graduates sat, only class Valedictorian Marin Croix, GPA 5.655, remained standing as she walked to the podium to give her farewell address to her classmates. “Please don’t take life too seriously. (My life) got a lot easier once I learned not to take myself seriously. To my class, thank you for letting me represent you,” Croix said.

As diplomas were certified and presented to now-graduates, the crowd and the band celebrated familiar names as the sky darkened.

After the last student crossed the stage to get his diploma, Senior Class President Cambrie Priesmeyer returned to the stage to lead her class in the tassel ceremony. “You made it here because you worked hard and persevered,” Priesmeyer said.

As the class turned their tassels the Ricebird band began playing El Campo’s Alma Mater, graduates launched caps into the night sky as the assembled crowd cheered over the band playing.

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