Class of 2019 Graduates at Tiger Stadium
The Dripping Springs High School Class of 2019 held their graduation ceremony on Friday May 31 at Tiger Stadium.
This is the third class to be graduated from Tiger Stadium (the first being the Class of 2017), and believed to be the 85thclass to be graduated from Dripping Springs High School. “I think the farthest back graduate record I have is from 1934,” local historian Carl Waits said. “Up until that time, kids reached the eighth grade and then had to go off to another area school.” Waits wrote “The Complete History of Dripping Springs, Texas,” and is also keeps up with the high school as sports writer for The Century News.
This year’s class valedictorian was Catherine Manning, and second ranked student and salutatorian was Benjamin Marsan.
Other students ranked among the top 10 were (in order beginning with third-ranked): Ryan Nowicki, Varun Verma, Kyndall Womack, Katherine Bender, Ethan French, Aubrie Caldwell, Reid Lohman, and Samuel White. Lohman also was National Merit finalist. All 10 students carried an over- all weighted grade point average of 109 or higher.
While graduations are always made of endings and beginnings, another change was in the air for this graduation. DSHS Principal Joe Burns, an education veteran of 32 years, announced that he was retiring at the end of the school year. Burns had been principal of the high school for 6 years.
“It was a big decision. I hit my retirement mark a few years back, but I knew in my heart I would know when it was time to retire,” Burns said. “For me, this is my pinnacle and I’m not really interested in becoming a superintendent. And as difficult as it is for me to say, I also think that a new person can also bring new energy. I think it’s time for another person to pick up the torch.”
Burn’s tenure and stewardship were praised by DSISD Superintendent Dr. Bruce Gearing. “Joe Burns has provided outstanding, student-centered leadership at Dripping Springs High School,” Gearing said. “He has built strong relationships with staff and students, and has empowered those around him to develop their potential. We are grateful to him for his years of service and are committed to finding a new principal who will continue his team’s outstanding work.”
Burns will be succeeded by incoming principal Angela Gamez. Gamez has served as assistant principal at DSHS since 2016.
“Ms. Gamez is a strong instructional leader who understands the culture and expectations of both Dripping Springs High School and the Dripping Springs community,” Dr. Gearing said of the new principal. “Her vision for supporting student success aligns closely with the district’s mission and vision, and she has had the benefit of working closely with Mr. Burns for the past four years.”
Before coming to DSISD, Ms. Gamez taught English at Karnes City High School, Marble Falls High School, and Llano High School.
Ms. Gamez received her bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Psychology from Southern Methodist University in 2006. She then earned a master’s degree of Teaching with certifications in English Language Arts and Reading (Grade 8-12) from St. Edward’s University in 2008. Ms. Gamez completed her principal certification with the University of Texas Permian Basin.
The first day of school for the 2019-2020 Dripping Springs ISD school year is Monday Aug. 20th.