Edna Karr sends off Class of 2021

Edna Karr sends off Class of 2021
Posted on 05/05/2021

Edna Karr seniors gathered at the Ponchartrain Center on May 5 for a two-part graduation ceremony, marking the end of a high school experience like no other.

“It would be an understatement to describe this school year as hard because everyone here today has experienced a series of events unprecedented in their lives. Nevertheless, the immense support of family members and our administration over the last four years has kept all of us together on this perilous journey through high school,” said Taylor Wardsworth, Karr’s #3 graduate. “Being a Karr Cougar is an unforgettable experience, and the journey throughout these last four years has prepared my peers and me for a successful future, whatever it may hold.”

OPSB member J.C. Romero called the event a “joyous day” as he shared his excitement to celebrate with the students.

“You all have dealt with a lot in the last year and a half. You’ve dealt with grief and loss, but you have persevered, and today is a testament you can do anything you put your mind to,” he said. 

Salutatorian Darrell Lee reminded his peers to always put their Ks in front of their As and their As in front of their Rs as they look to the future.

“We did it,” he reminded his class. “Through unprecedented circumstances and our own obstacles, we still managed to reach such a great milestone that seems even more gratifying given that we did it in the middle of a global pandemic. Nevertheless, we pushed through. It was these things that earned the class the title of resilient. We took on many challenges and overcame them. Looking into the sea of accomplished faces today, I see many who are going to be great.” 

Superintended Dr. Henderson Lewis echoed Lee’s sentiments, saying their motto wasn’t just for school, but for life.

“You’re heard for four years ‘Second to none.’ I just want to remind you that it’s not just for your high school career, but when you walk out of this auditorium today, always remember that you are second to none, and you can do whatever you desire as long as you put the work in to get it done,” he said. 

Valedictorian Ashanti Aaron said that though the past year was a “complete shocker to us all,” that their class came together and helped each other through it.

“One of the core values taught at Edna Karr is pride and in one way or another we exemplify just that. Though our stories are different there is a common factor that stands out: persistence,” she said. “We have all pushed through every hardship this year has thrown at us. We experienced adversity, but we did not give up. We persevered.

“This year we carried a burden of loss of so many of our EK family. We adjusted to a ‘new normal’ and successfully completed our senior year in the midst of a pandemic. We can rise above. This past year has taught us that,” she said. “To the class of 2021, I wish us all the success that this life has to offer. I pray that we never give up and we continue to flourish in true second to none fashion. Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place that is a unique you.” 

As the official Commencement Speaker, Dwight D. Eisenhower Head of School Desmond Moore told the graduates that the world needs a lot and we need it from them.

“There’s no secret sauce or magic formula for success. You have to take risks. If you want it – whatever your it is – you have to get out there and give everything you’ve got,” he said. “In life, we have you have two reasons that can keep great things from happening to you. One is not starting and two is not finishing. What are you going to do with the time you have and the gifts you have?

“I encourage you to take chances professionally others don’t dare. Go outside the box because your dreams should be so big, they don’t fit in a box,” he added. “Have goals. Understand that to succeed at these goals you must work hard. Every graduate here has the training and talents to succeed. You only get one life; I need you to live it.”