DeSoto ISD Celebrates the Class of 2021

DeSoto High School Seniors Turn Their Tassels
Posted on 06/09/2021
Two DHS Grads

On May 26 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, DeSoto High School seniors became graduates of the DHS Class of 2021, affectionately known as FOREVER XXI.

In her speech, DHS Class Valedictorian Kayla Spears, who plans to attend the Southern Methodist University, acknowledged the challenges of learning during the pandemic and the perseverance of her peers. Spears commended DeSoto ISD teachers whose passion for educating students made a difference in her academic interest and success.  Additionally, she encouraged her peers to remain confident as they transition into their post-graduation journey.

“We are more than capable of overcoming our self-doubt and more than capable of silencings that negative voice in our head telling us that we are not good enough and asking if we are worthy of our accomplishments,” said Spears. 

DHS Salutatorian Kayla Glover, who plans to attend Texas Woman's University, encouraged her peers to embrace their future and find purpose.

“Everyone has a purpose and finding it is a process of looking inward,” said Glover. “Don’t let the expectation of others deter you from your path because everyone’s path will look definitely. Believe in yourself.” 

DHS senior Kyria Rigsby, who experienced multiple challenges due to being hospitalized after a car accident, received the Eagle Award for her perseverance. DHS Counselor Karen T. Brown also received an award from the Class of 2021 in recognition of her work to ensure students were on track for graduation.

Following the award presentations, DHS Principal Shon Joseph recommended the seniors for graduation to DeSoto ISD Superintendent Dr. D’Andre Weaver who briefly addressed the Class of 2021. 

“As you go into this world, I charge you to be courageous in the face of adversity, compassionate to others and yourself, be conscious of the beauty of the diversity of life and thought, be curious and never stop learning, and never sacrifice your good character for anything,” said Dr. Weaver. “You are loved, admired, and represent the future of our community and our greater society.”

Diploma presentations began with the DeSoto High School Class of 2021 Top Ten students which included the following graduates:

  • Kayla Spears (Southern Methodist University)
  •  Kayla Glover (Texas Woman's University)
  •  Lauryn Piggatt (Rice University)
  •  Laci Nelson (The University of North Texas at Denton)
  •  Devin Thomas (University of Houston)
  •  Michelle Kalu (Stanford University) 
  •  Alexa Hernandez (The University of Texas at Arlington)
  •  Jazzie Jackson (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)
  •  Gabrielle Washington (University of Houston)
  •  Ayodola Ayowole-Obi (The University of Texas at Austin)

Approximately 650 students participated in the graduation ceremony. Ninety-two of the 650 students were DeSoto Early College High School Students who received an associate degree from Dallas College in conjunction with their high school diploma. In this class, more than 175 students graduated with one or more career and technical certifications.

Overall, the DeSoto High School Class of 2021 received more than $15 million in scholarships, grants, and or military benefits.