Chapin High School kicks off Day 4 of the 2020 EPISD Graduation Season
(CHAPIN HIGH SCHOOL -- June 18, 2020) — The 2020 commencement exercises for the Chapin graduating class on Thursday morning was one filled with tradition and new norms necessary because of the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the world.
The ceremony kicked off with the video introducing Capt. John L. Chapin – the school’s namesake and a World War II hero with ties to El Paso. It is a video the 425 graduates are quite familiar with and how every Chapin commencement begins.
This year’s class, led by valedictorian Gabrielle Franklin and salutatorian Rafael Baez-Ramirez, earned nearly $10 million in scholarships. The ceremony also recognized All Chapin Boy and Girl, Carson Aliyas and Hannah Perez.
While the ceremony wasn’t the usual commencement the graduates expected, they remained positive and grateful for the opportunity to come together one last time with their class.
“This is about celebrating what we all have achieved through hard work, determination, perseverance, and moments of creative inspiration,” said Janelly Hidalgo, senior class president. “I know that this isn’t the typical graduation everyone is accustomed to. However, I think everyone already knows we are not your typical graduating class. We are the Senior Class of 2020 – the one that made a mark in history.”
Franklin is also among the district’s two students receiving the prestigious QuestBridge Scholarship and will attend Rice University on a full-ride scholarship. Her pre-recorded remarks as valedictorian focused on the class’ resilience during this uncertain time – now and during their entire four years.
“We are a class that has come so far. We have overcome the strains of the current pandemic, Schoology, and social distancing,” Franklin said.
She added: “We have worked tirelessly in our lives, school, work, and competitions. We have learned lessons that will stick with us throughout our lives. We have at last reached the conclusion of this preparatory step. After all the stress, sleepless nights, tribulations, and triumphs of the last four years, I have only one last statement to make to you: Congratulations class of 2020. It’s finally over. We did it.”
Photos by Leonel Monroy