Katy’s Class of 2020 Struggles with Loss of Senior Traditions

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 1, 2020

By Jennifer Miko

High school seniors look forward to prom, awards ceremonies, end-of-year banquets, and graduation day. But as the world works to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, many students and families wonder how the school year will conclude.

Katy High School senior, Casper Belaiter

During a press conference yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for the entire state of Texas. In the Order, the governor announced that schools would remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance through May 4, 2020.

Message to Katy ISD Families

In a letter to Katy ISD families, Superintendent Ken Gregorski wrote:


"The District will need to evaluate future initiatives and events such as the Bond 2020, UIL competitions, district events, and high school graduations. With the balance of the school year unclear, we are currently reviewing these items and will release more information about such activities."


"Meanwhile, the beginning of April marks week two of our online teaching and learning model. Though it’s been a challenge for all of us as we navigate new territory, I am very proud and truly amazed to see our teachers, families and students engaging and learning through our virtual environments."


Preparing for Exams and Missing 'Family'

Senior Gino Melendez is ranked #3 in his class at Katy High School. This fall he plans to study Computer Science at the University of Dallas. Like many students, he admits he misses being on campus interacting with his peers.

“There are so many great people I had the pleasure of seeing everyday but in a blink of an eye that was all taken away from me,” said Melendez.

He also described online classes as taking a step back, and without being on campus, he said it’s difficult to hone-in on a course without getting distracted.

Melendez’s course load includes five Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

“I will be taking AP exams online and I do not feel as nearly prepared without reviews in class,” said Melendez. “Our AP teacher at Katy Kigh School sincerely cares about you and your test and it’s hard to think we'll do as well with less of their help.”


In addition to his demanding courses, Melendez is a captain of the KHS ComedySportz team and is involved with Katy Theatre.

Gino Melendez, (fourth from left) celebrates with the Katy High School ComedySportz team (all seniors) that won the State Championship at the Texas Thespian Convention in the fall.


“I definitely miss UIL One-Act Play for Theatre,” Melendez said. “I believe that ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’ was one of our best shows to date and I truly had a blast every single run. I miss rehearsing with my cast and it feels like a family that’s been broken apart.”

Melendez offers this message to the Class of 2020: “This is a time that no one else has even come close to experiencing. It is frustrating, it’s frightening and it’s hard, but we have to deal with it. It may be difficult but we can’t let this circumstance break us.” 


CRHS Senior Hopes for the Best

Although seniors have a lot of events that could potentially be canceled, Amira Bazzi, Cinco Ranch High School, says, “There will be other opportunities to celebrate. We’re not missing out on these last few memories, it’s just a new chapter.”


Amira’s mother, Angela Bazzi admits, “We’ve gone through several stages – ‘denial’ phase, ‘still planning for events’ phase, ‘I’m mad’ phase, ‘why does this have to happen to me?’ phase, and now, ‘a little bit of acceptance’ phase.


Angela Bazzi is the president of CRHS Project Grad, and is still trying find ways to raise money for the event. Bazzi says they still want to have a celebration and have been talking with the venue.

“It’s a lot of wait and see,” said Bazzi, “but the event will probably be later in the summer.”


Amira Bazzi plans to study Nursing at the University of Houston in the fall.

“I think everyone right now needs nurses,” Amira said. “I try and hope for the best and be more realistic about what’s going on in the world right now.”


Celebrating the Class of 2020

In an effort to support high school seniors, Katy residents are encouraged to decorate their from doors. Instead of hanging a seasonal wreath, show some school spirit!


Honor your senior student with a sign, Homecoming mum or a shirt that represents them. If you see a decorated front door, honk to show your support for the Class of 2020!


Post your pictures on Katy Magazine's Facebook page and we will share some of the best.


Pictured here is senior Brianna Cormier, the Katy Tiger mascot from Katy High School.




For questions about the Katy ISD closure, click here or email coronavirus@katyisd.org.

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