Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bearkat Pride Forever

It's graduation season and my school held their ceremony at 1:00 this afternoon.  I love this picture (left)  from The Shreveport Times gallery: it captures their glee!

I always feel like such a dope when I cry at graduation; it's actually happy time but I always cry a little!

Bossier Parish has got graduation down to a science at the Century Link Center.  They start at 9:30 with Airline and run through the alphabet, running each high school through there on a very tight schedule.  By the end of the day, Bossier Parish is filled with brand new graduates.  It's an assembly line.

We lined them up, checked their robes, helped boys with ties, collected cell phones, spit out gum, got the late arrivals dressed and in place, and at 1:00 on the dot we were rolling.   The faculty in attendance took seats on the side of the floor and the processional began.

I was fine until I saw one of my former students just bawling as she walked in.  All her hard work through the years flashed through my mind;  the struggles she's overcome, her personal story, the bonds she's made, and the love and support she received from this faculty, all hit me.  And she was just one of 109.  Their emotions are all over the place on graduation day, and I guess mine were, too.

It's a grand occasion and I've never been more proud of my school and my co-workers than I was today.  Our kids presented themselves beautifully, our student speakers gave wonderful speeches, our faculty and administration did a fine job in handing out just over 100 diplomas to new graduates.

I loved these two - holding hands as they walked in.

Bearkat pride, forever.

Proud of you, Bossier High graduates!  Congratulations!

Photo credit: Val Horvath, Shreveport Times


Andy said...

Congrats, Pat! You got another group a little further on down the and many others.

Don't know if you remember this post I did 4 years ago, or not.

Your post brought back some great memories for me...

Bearkat Pride Forever!

Pat Austin said...

Thanks for sharing that post, Andy; I had missed it. And I remember Brian. He took on a lot at a young age.

I tell you, I love our school. I love our kids. I would hate to have to think about working anywhere else. We have the most nurturing faculty, the sweetest kids, and the best administration ever. It makes me furious when people make assumptions about BHS because we are in a poor, aging neighborhood.

BHS is the best kept secret in Bossier City.

I'm so proud of our kids!


Andy said...

Love you too, Pat.

Even back when I was in school in the mid-70's, BHS was starting to be looked down upon by the Airliners, and the Parkway crowd.

(I married one of those Airliners...and many years later she confessed that she wished she had not gone to school with the snobs...rather with me, in an environment like BHS)

It was a GREAT place to be. And, it still is. Lordy, Lordy...your post is bringing up so much in my heart. Can't really express it all, Pat.

I have a Freshman there. His finals are Monday & Tuesday. I think you know that he is not like our other boys...has many challenges.

But, Pam and I were talking yesterday, and she said, "I have not had ONE call this year about Paul having a meltdown. BHS is so much better equipped to help kids like Paul."'s a long story, but the short of it is that he's growing up, and y'all are helping him.

I am so grateful that you all are there.

I really mean it.

When I think back on my years at BHS ('73-'77), all I have are good memories. Miss Charlotte Jaynes (my favorite teacher of all time forever), Miss Jean Bamburg, Miss Connie Gaines, Mrs. Johnson, Mr. Tully, Mr. Williams, Coach Gaspard, Coach Coleman...well, all of them really.

Just one bad apple in the whole bunch of 4 years (she shall remain nameless, but my boys have heard the stories, and laughed themselves silly), and ALL OF THEM KNOW WHAT I MEAN WHEN I REFER TO "The Devil!!!"

Dang...that was a really long comment for trying to cut things short.

I'm "wordy."


Pat Austin said...

I'm with ya, Andy.

And I speak from some experience; my first five years teaching was in a Shreveport school which was, well, filled with very privileged kids who didn't know how lucky they were.

As teachers we all have good days and bad days and not all kids are really grateful for that great education you're offering them every day. You know how it goes.

But on any given day, I'd never change schools. I love it right where I am. There's something special at BHS that you just don't find everywhere.

And I mean that!