More than 900 Abilene ISD students crossed the stage during three graduation ceremonies the weekend of May 28-29 as ATEMS, Cooper High School and Abilene High School all celebrated their seniors with commencement exercises at Shotwell Stadium. The district had to put together intricate contingency plans in case the predicted heavy rains washed out the outdoor ceremonies, but, fortunately, those alternate plans were not needed. Instead, those who attended the three graduation ceremonies were treated to fantastic Abilene weather for each commencement celebration.

ATEMS was first on Friday morning (May 28) with 72 students receiving their diplomas in the school’s ninth commencement exercise since it opened in 2009. Cooper High School sent 380 graduates across the state Friday night at Shotwell as the school celebrated those seniors during its 60th annual graduation ceremony. Finally, on Saturday evening (May 29), Abilene High School — one of the oldest public high schools in the state — celebrated its 133rd graduation ceremony with 480 seniors receiving their diploma.

Each graduation ceremony served as a testament to the perseverance exhibited during the 2020-21 school year by students, teachers, staff and administrators, who overcame the numerous challenges thrown at them by the global pandemic. In a school year like none other before it, the Abilene ISD thrived, and the evidence of that was on display the last weekend of May at Shotwell Stadium. Congratulations to everyone who had a hand in the district finishing strong in 2020-21.