Edna Karr celebrates Class of 2020

Edna Karr celebrates Class of 2020
Posted on 07/02/2020
More than 250 Edna Karr seniors had the chance to walk across the stage as they celebrated an in-person graduation on July 2, 2020 at the Pontchartrain Convention and Civic Center.

“Today is a glorious day for us. It’s been a long time coming. This is one of the first in-person graduations in New Orleans. Celebrate this moment because a lot of us didn’t think we’d have this moment in person to see our kids walk across the stage,” Jamar McKneely. InspireNOLA CEO, said. “We are holding a celebration for our students who worked extremely hard to be here. Today is a day to celebrate you. It’s extremely important that you follow your dreams and aspirations and make sure this is not the end of your journey but just the beginning. Graduates, well done.”

The event, which was postponed several weeks due to COVID-19, was celebrated over the course of four ceremonies, where students and guests were divided according to students’ last name, so that gathering size restrictions could be observed. As safety was top priority, all attendees were required to wear a mask and have their temperature checked before entering the building. Once inside, measures were in place to maintain the recommended seated six feet apart. 

“Welcome to such a pivotal movement in all our scholar’s lives. You, graduates, are paramount in proving what perseverance, reflection, and dignity embody. We are confident that you will continue by breaking barriers and inspiring us all to be the change in which we seek,” said Edward Carter, Senior Class Sponsor. “Be radical in your quest for success and stand fast in your determination to be second to none. Your time is now. You are ready. Find your passion and follow it because your tomorrow begins today.”

Orleans Public School Board member Leslie Ellison told students that this is a special time for them.

“This is an exciting moment, and don’t allow anything happening in society to silence or stagnate you. This is a huge accomplishment. We are extremely proud of you, and we look forward to what your future endeavors will be,” she said. “Be bold. Be courageous, because the best is yet to come.” 

Valedictorian Jaylon Long said choosing Karr was one of the best decisions he made. 

“The past four years have been the best time in my life so far. Class of 2020, this may be my last time seeing most of you, so I wish all the best. Whether you go to college, the military, enter the workforce, or whatever else you so choose, go be great,” he said. “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything you want. You just have to try and put in the effort. Never let someone tell you what you can and cannot do.” 

Salutatorian Trace Mitchell said he couldn’t have asked for a better high school.

“We are gathered here today to say we did it. Through all the trials, tribulations, and staff changes, we persevered. It paid off because we are gathered here today to finally say we did it,” he said. “I am proud and blessed I was able to get this far in life, and I am curious to see where I end up with all the hard work I’m going to put in. I will always wear purple and bleed gold.”  

Principal Dr. Chauncey D. Nash wished the Class of 2020 a life of success and happiness.

“As the last class to come out of 3232 Huntlee, we are proud of you,” he said. “I now certify you graduates.”

Recordings of the event can be viewed on InspireNOLA’s YouTube channel or Facebook page.