10. Scorpion Pride

11:50 AM

Graduation was last Saturday and it was a bittersweet day for me. Seeing so many of my students accomplish one of their goals was incredible. For many they are the first in their families to graduate high school. This graduating class accomplished many, many accolades from winning almost every district championship to FBLA national and state awards, TAFE, art, culinary, and earning over 11.5 million dollars in scholarships. Yes, over 11 million. The graduates are incredibly smart, athletic, talented, and kind. However, it will be the last South Hills High School (SHHS) graduation that I will attend as faculty (as far as I know - but I'm not in control - God is).

I graduated SHHS nine years ago when the school was in a midst of change. I returned as a teacher four years later. I was the first teacher in the school’s history to do this. The past five years as a teacher have been incredible. I met so many amazing people and seen the school transform into a school that I am very proud of. I am so grateful that since I graduated high school, I graduated with Honors in four years with a degree from TCU just like I intended when I graduated high school, I became a teacher just like I wanted to, and I also earned my Masters degree so I was able to wear my hood to the high school graduation. I know I wouldn't have been able to do these things without the lessons I learned at South Hills. As I said in my own Valedictorian speech, it's not about the things we accomplish - it's about the things we experienced in our journey to accomplish great things despite tough times that make us better, humble, kind, and helpful. It's not about how hard you get hit or all of your accomplishments even though you got hit, it's about how you kept moving forward - it's about the people that helped you move forward despite's getting hit. 

SHHS is a very special place for me. I spent some of the best years of my life there. I grew up there. I met some of the best friends you could ever have there. I was blessed with kind and challenging mentors there. I’ve experienced more laughs, smiles, happy tears, and sad tears there than any other place I can think of. I learned to love the pursuit of knowledge. I learned, applied, and developed my teaching skills there as a teacher assistant and during my student teaching. I met my husband there. I met some incredible teachers who I call my friends. I was able to give back to the community that helped me. I was able to help students like my teachers helped me. I got to know so many students throughout the year who inspire me. It has been an honor and a blessing to teach at the school I graduated from and love dearly.

Part of me is sad to leave such a special place but I'm most excited for new opportunities. I know God placed me at SHHS to learn and grow. In high school all I wanted to do was make my parents proud and go to a good college with school paid for and I accomplished that on the shoulders of giants. Now I want to make my mentors, colleagues, and students proud. I don't know what the future holds but I know that God has a perfect, loving, and a better plan than I could ever think of. 

Next year, I will move to another school. Actually, I will teach at SHHS’s rival school. God has a great sense of humor – right? I know His plan is perfect because it was not my choice to move schools but it is my choice to rejoice. I am excited for the new opportunity but I will always be a scorpion at heart.

Once a scorpion, always a scorpion.

Class of 2017 Valedictorian and Class of 2008 Valedictorian
Tony's work ethic is inspiring. He applied to more than 30 universities and earned more than ONE MILLION dollars in scholarships. I won't share his story here but trust me when I say it would have you in tears. Despite everything he has been through, he is RELENTLESS.
 Such sweet, smart, and wise young ladies I've had the pleasure of knowing not only because they are so sweet and hard working but because their stories of resilency inspire me.
 Below is Cici's!
Thank you for taking the time to read!

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