Eagles leave the nest

A Pettus senior smile at the audience during their graduation ceremony Friday at their stadium.

PETTUS – Much like other small towns, a close-knit community welcomed another senior class to the football field for one last time Friday night. This senior class was indeed one to remember for more reasons than just being the “big man” on campus.

Pettus High School was set to be renovated in 2015, and the project has since been completed. This senior class was the first to be held within its newly constructed walls.

Valedictorian Jennifer Calderone brought attention to how much it meant to her senior class to be the first group of seniors to set foot in the new high school.

“We were the first senior class in the new high school. That was exciting,” Calderone said.

Former coach Russell Kowalik had the honor of being the guest speaker of the night. Due to his heavy involvement with the senior class on and off the fields and courts, his speech rang true with even bystanders who were not familiar with every person he mentioned.

Salutatorian Brianna Wilson was appreciative of the abundance of clubs Pettus High School had to offer to every different type of student who attended.

“With all these organizations, there was a place for all of us, no matter who we are or what your interest,” Wilson said.

Calderone and Wilson were part of a group of students who had been enrolled in Pettus ISD since kindergarten. They called out to that group of students during their speeches that made the crowd full of families reminisce about times when their seniors were once just kids.

“I would like to give a shout-out to those of us who have been attending Pettus ISD since kindergarten… Raise your hand if you were here in kinder,” Wilson said.

Calderone will be attending Texas A&M University at Kingsville, and Wilson will be attending the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The sparkling new halls of Pettus High School curated a senior class full of academic and athletic achievements, including UIL events as well as playoffs in many sports.

The 2019 class members were adamant about the mark they left for senior classes to follow and hold true to the standard they have set.

“Don’t be afraid to be unique, and don’t be afraid to let others be themselves. It is difference that strengthens humanity,” Wilson said.

Ana Casas is contributing stories and photos this summer to the Bee-Picayune.


Ana Casas is a summer 2019 intern with the Beeville Bee-Picayune