Cumby High School seniors took home more than $115,500 in scholarships, earned recognition for academic and extracurricular successes, and took time to honor special educators and adults who have made a lasting impact in their lives. Also honored during the program were high school students who made the honor roll, had perfect attendance, received class awards and earned recognition in UIL competitions.
Cumby High School Counselor Richard Kirby recognized Alyssa Hebert for being admitted to the honors program at Texas A&M University-Commerce. The Honors Scholarship is considered a full ride, valued at approximately $75,000.
Kirby also recognized Akayshia Smith for being named a Bright Star Scholar by the John and Deborah Gillis Foundation. The scholarship is renewable up to four years for a total of $32,0000. Smith, who will graduate with both an associates degree from Paris Junior College as well as her high school diploma, will be able to apply the Bright Star Scholarship as she continues her education in pursuit of a master’s degree at the University of Texas at Arlington with the intent of becoming a social worker.
Dayton Wood received a Cumby Masonic Lodge Scholarship, presented by Robert and Hunter Cash. The Lodge also presented Cumby ISD Transportation and Maintenance Manager Mike Thorman with the Mirabeau B. Lamar Award for his dedication to the district.
Cumby Telephone Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 were presented by Cumby Telephone Board member Robert Spillers to Akayshia Smith, Brayden Freeman, Harley McLarry, Allyssa Hebert, Bethany Taylor and Dayton Wood.
Wood also was awarded a $500 Cumby PTO Scholarship, presented by Megan Petty.
Aresenio Ugalde Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 were awarded to Mairely Camargo and Lacy Jacobs by the Ugalde family
in memory of the 2013 Cumby HS graduate who drowned at age 20 while home on leave from the Army. Arsenio Ugalde was a private first class in the U.S. Army, serving in field artillery while stationed in Washington. The award is funded annually through a Stars and Stripes 5K Color Run, which will be held on May 11 this year.
A special part of the annual awards program is the presenting of Golden Apples. Seniors are given the opportunity to recognize school personnel who have impacted their lives positively over the years. Some students gave heartfelt, emotional speeches, others funny accounts, and some simply recognized those teachers, coaches and numerous other school personnel who have left an indelible print on their lives. The time of thanks was marked with hugs, a few tears and laughs.
Recognition did not end there, however. As Beta Club President Akayshia Smith recognized the new Beta Club members, presenting each in attendance with certificates.
In an effort to streamline the program and make it more personal for each group this year, the junior high and high school awards presentations were separated. Students were able to eat a spaghetti supper while being honored.
Students were called in alphabetical order and presented with all class and extra awards at one time, instead of announcing the recipients by award group type.
Several students were recognized for being on the A or AB Honor Roll, having perfect attendance. Outstanding student and high point award were also presented, including for dual credit courses. Academic UIL awards too were awarded to students who earned medals.