For high school seniors Elaine Ta and Yasmeen Shaw, nothing about the past few months has felt normal. No senior events, no prom, and no class.
“We went on spring break, we were all really excited—and then we just never came back after that,” Shaw said.
“Seeing it all be canceled was really devastating because we put a lot of time and effort into our ideas,” added Ta.
And for Shaw, the valedictorian at Irving ISD’s Singley Academy, and Ta, the school’s salutatorian, graduation seemed unlikely, too.
“Or if we did, it’d be over Zoom or something,” Shaw said.
The school district had something else in mind: they’d hold graduation at Globe Life Field.
“We’ve tried in smaller ways to highlight and show how proud we are of them, and for me, this seems like the pinnacle,” said Jill Peeples, spokeswoman for Irving ISD.
Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ new home they haven’t even been able to use because of the pandemic, is being offered for high school graduations. At least 14 districts around D-FW have signed up so far, and others are in talks, said Rangers’ spokesman John Blake.
Peeples said the facility’s size makes social distancing simple, and assigned (ticketed) seats ensures a six-foot separation.
“Everybody will be wearing face coverings, we’re encouraging people to wear gloves,” she said. “The biggest thing for us is making sure our students, families and staff are safe while we do all of this.”
All of Irving ISD’s 2,272 seniors will graduate from Globe Life Field, but Singley Academy will be the very first graduation, on May 29. That school’s senior class will make history.
“I just think that is such an honor,” Ta said. “Even before the baseball players get on the field, we’re going to be on the field, we’re going to be graduating.”
It’ll give them the experience they so deserve.
“We’ve had to get through all of these challenges, but it’s made us stronger and shown us our resilience,” said Shaw.
A perspective beyond their years.
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