HARLINGEN — She couldn’t have done it alone.

Camryn Hale told the audience at the Harlingen High School graduation ceremonies Friday night that she achieved salutatorian through hard work and the support of many people.

“Thank you to my peers for learning, growing, and laughing beside me,” Camryn, 18, said to the graduating class at Boggus Stadium.

“Thank you to my teachers for teaching me to love, to learn and for setting an example,” she said. “A special shout out to the band directors for the most interesting and developmental four years of my life, especially to Mr. Cav who is the best teacher I have had in high school.”

Students and parents both conveyed a sigh of relief and feeling of accomplishment over this very difficult senior year.

“I just think it’s a sad situation that most of the year was done over Zoom,” said Alma Becerra, whose son Alejandro graduated Friday from HHS.

“They missed out on all the social interactions that they usually have at school,” she said. “If they’re good at doing remote learning that’s OK, but not all kids are good at that. Some really want the face to face.

“It was a tough year all together.”

Alejandro graduated with his certification from the Harlingen school district’s “Firefighter Academy.” He did both remote learning and face-to-face for his firefighter training.

“I’m certified in Texas to work at any fire station I apply to,” said Alejandro, 17.

“He got all of that training through the fire academy and he’s been in it for two years,” said his mother. “That’s where it all started. I think it’s pretty neat that students can graduate with these certifications and that the district is offering all of these academies.”

Alejandro looked forward to the next chapter in his life — he plans to next get certification as an emergency medical technician — and he reflected poignantly on his years at HHS.

“I’m kind of sad,” he said. “I’m going to miss all these memories I made here at this school.”

Camryn also expressed gratitude for the strength of a loving God and her family.

“My biggest thanks goes to my parents and family for their constant love and support,” she said, “and for always pushing me to never give anything less than my best.”

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Camryn Hale makes salutatorian at Harlingen High School

HHS valedictorian balanced sports, studies