ARLINGTON, Texas - The first event at the new Globe Life Field wasn’t a baseball game or concert – it was a high school graduation.
Irving ISD’s Jack E. Singley Academy held commencement at the new facility on Friday afternoon. It was the first of 49 graduations from 18 different districts to take place at the ballpark through the end of June.
“All of my classmates are back here and I’m so proud of all of us,” said Mariela Lara, graduating senior.
375 seniors are in the Singley Class of 2020 and graduating at the new stadium wasn’t part of the plan back in August. But Irving ISD moved all of its ceremonies to the venue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the need for social distancing for grads and their families.
“They worked hard, they deserve it, they made it to the finish line, so we’re here,” said Magda Hernandez, Irving ISD Superintendent.
It was an experience complete with taped congratulatory messages from Texas Rangers players.
“I’ve been in school since I was 3. I was in pre, pre K. So you think about it and you’re like, ‘Do I really not get to walk the stage?’ Then this is such an amazing opportunity,” said Zwany Viruet, graduating senior.
The ball club said it was happy to host and was also learning from the experience.
“We’re keeping folks socially distanced at the restrooms, a ton of enhanced cleaning protocols in terms of what we do pre, during and then after the event,” said Sean Decker, Texas Rangers spokesman.
The graduates, well, they’re just plain happy.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity, especially how everything has been going, this is great, this is amazing,” said Christian Carbajal.