Criner reflects on time at DMS, ongoing pandemic

Allison Bailey
Ka’Ziya Criner participated in the eighth-grade career day at the end of February. Now, she and the other students at DMS are dealing with a worldwide pandemic.

This year is a little bittersweet for Student Council President Ka’Ziya Criner. Not only is this her last year at Duncan Middle School, it’s also her last year as a Duncan Demon.

Next year she will be attending Edmond Santa Fe High School.

This year, Criner, an eighth-grade student, was involved in the DMS varsity volleyball team, the DMS cheer squad, the track team and Student Council. With Criner being so involved at DMS, it’s easy to imagine it being hard for her to leave, especially earlier than expected.

“It has affected me in more ways than one,” Criner said. “For example, I’m not able to go to school, perform in some of my favorite activities, and I’m not able to finish my last year at middle school with my dear friends. It has also stopped my family and I from doing outside activities.”

Criner’s last track season at Duncan and middle school experience were cut short because of the pandemic.

“I’m really sad to be honest,” she said. “Yes, I complained about school and the work, but you never know how much something means to you until it’s been taken from you so quickly. Track on the other hand, it is my favorite sport, and the fact that it’s gone all of sudden just really hits me hard.”

Although she’s still involved in distance learning with other students at DMS, she said it’s not the same experience because the interactions aren’t the same.

“(I’ll) most definitely miss all of my amazing teachers and the staff,” Criner said. “You guys have been so good to me, and y’all have helped form me into the young lady I am today. I’ll never forget you guys.”

Lastly, Criner had a message to relay to the students of Duncan Middle school regarding the pandemic.

“I just want everyone to know that if we all continue to stay inside, follow the proper guidelines and precautions then we can all get through this and soon we will be able to go back to our normal, healthy and happy lives,” Criner said. “Continue to stay safe!  I’ll forever be a Demon. Horns up! I love y’all!”