Sulphur Springs Independent School District Thursday morning recognized 29 seniors as honor graduates during a special breakfast hosted at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center.
The 29 are the top ranking students in the Sulphur Springs High School Senior Class of 2019, which includes 298 graduation candidates.
Each honor graduate was encouraged to have their parents and a teacher or educator who made a lasting impact in their lives attend the breakfast with them. Each honor graduate received a gold honor stole to wear during their graduation ceremony May 24, presented by their chosen educator.
The SSHS counselors called each honor graduate to the front of the room and provided information about their school activities, college and career plans, and the noted why that student selected the educator they recognized.
This year’s SSHS honor graduates are, in alphabetical order, along with their parents’ names, career plans and the educators who impacted them:
- Felipe Alba, son of Ana Marin, plans to attend the University of Houston with a goal of pursuing a career in engineering. Alba was joined by Paula Hass, who taught taught him in 10th and 11th grades. He described Hass as a “great teacher,” whose class he had fun in and with whom he had fun wining in accounting UIL.
- Peyton Baugh, daughter of Sherry Baugh, plans to attend the University of Oklahoma to pursue a career as a civil engineer. Baugh was joined by Renee Maeker, who taught her Spanish II, III and IV her sophomore through senior years and Baugh described as “always incredibly helpful and supportive, no matter the subject or circumstance.
- Mariana Botello, daughter of Lorenzo and Gloria Botello, has been admitted to Texas A&M University-Commerce Honors College. Botello recognized Demetra Robinson. She said she is “forever grateful” to have had Robinson as a teacher.
- Mason Burgin, son of Corey and Teffany Burgin, plans to attend Texas Tech University. He recognized Gayle Rainey, his third grade teacher, who “made learning fun,” and more importantly, made Burgin realize he could succeed at anything he puts his mind to.
- Carissa Carter, daughter of Jackie and Ron Carter, plans to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she’s been admitted to the Honors College, with a goal of becoming a dermatologist. The SSHS valedictorian recognized Gail Herman, her literary criticism coach all four years of high school, for being a “great influence in my education, UIL, and my personal life,” for for giving her “memories I will laugh at for years to come.”
- Chase Crouch, son of Joseph and Renee Crouch, plans to attend Southwestern University where he will pursue a career as a political scientist or economist. He recognized counselor Karey Brice, who he says “expressed interest in all of my extracurricular activities from the day we met.”
- Austin Cade Dodd, son of Landon and Cindy Dodd, plans to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce. He recognized coach Kurt McCain who has taught him all four years of high school, to whom he’s grown very close.
- Pacen Edwards, son of Angela Edwards and Keith Edwards, plan to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce; he’s undecided in his career plans. He recognized Mrs. Warren, who taught him in fifth, seventh and 11th grades, with whom he says he’s always been close.
- Alli Fain, daughter of Holly and Terry Fain, plans to attend Texas A&M University, where she will major in communications with a goal of attending law school. Fain recognized Mylissa Bailey, who she says has been “one of the brightest parts of my day, and can always see the positive and make light of every situation.”
- Kaitlyn Ferrill, daughter of Kristi and Jeremy Ferrill, plans to attend Texas A&M Commerce. She recognized her 10th grade teacher, Kaley Williams, for always being “a great example of how to love and respect the people around you.”
- Brayden Fisher, son of Carol Stoermer, plans to attend Baylor University with plans to pursue a career in computer science. Fisher recognized his ninth and 10th grade teacher, Gina Wilder, as the “proprietor of my career choice and my UIL experience.”
- Jaci Glenn, daughter of John and Joy Glenn, plans to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she plans to work toward a career in nursing. Glenn recognized her 9th and 12th grade teacher, Amanda Clark. She said Clark’s classes “have always been the ones I look forward to.”
- Wendy Harrington, daughter of Maria Harrington, plans to attend the University of North Texas. She recognized Sarah Tull, who over the last two years “has been a great mentor and has greatly assisted me with all my needs.”
- Diana Herrera, daughter of Oscar and Irma Herrera, plans to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce, with a goal of becoming an orthodontist. Herrera recognize Carmen Contreras, her fourth grade teacher at Travis Elementary, for helping her “embrace my strengths and found potential in me.”
- Tessa Holt, daughter of Chris and Jennifer Holt, plans to attend Tyler Junior College. Holt recognized her fourth grade teacher Misty Brock. Her favorite school memories, which include hatching baby chicks, include Brock.
- Cameron Horton, daughter of Brad and Laynie Horton and Fred Horton, plans to attend Paris Junior college, then transfer to TAMU-Commerce to attain a bachelor of science in biology, then Ross University veterinary school to attain a doctorate of veterinary medicine. She recognized Coach David Carrillo, who she considers a mentor who “has taught me so much about life.”
- Jennifer Lopez-Cervantes, daughter of Pedro Lopez and Maria Cervantes, plans to attend the University of North Texas. She recognized Brynn Smith, who over the last two years has mentored and supported her in all academic aspects.
- Taylor McElfresh, daughter of Ginger and Clayton McElfresh, plans to attend Texas Tech University, where with a goal of pursuing a career in physical the therapy field. She recognized Caroline Kenealy, “because of how strong and courageous she is, and how inspiring she’s been in my life.”
- Maddie Millsap, daughter of Brad and Lisa Millsap, plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington. Millsap recognized her kindergarten teacher, Mary Surber, who pushed her at a young age to reach her potential, believed in her and taught her to believe in herself.
- Gracie Moore, daughter of Tonya Moore and Nick Moore, plans to attend TAMUC, with a goal of becoming a teacher. She recognized Lynn Smith for helping her “come of out my shell by getting involved.”
- Autumn Tanton-Neighbors, daughter of Amy Tanton, plans to attend Oklahoma Wesleyan University. She recognized Chandra Crawford, her second grade teacher, because of how special she made her feel with her “endless amount of love.
- Madelyn Ray, daughter of Kyle and Lesli Ray, plans to attend Texas A&M University-College Station to pursue a career in social work or work in missions. She recognized Elizabeth Bialecki, who she can talk to about anything and who “has always been there for me.”
- Skylar McKenna Shumate, daughter of Mitch and Destiny Shumate, plans to attend Texas A&M-Commerce. She recognized Mr. Wilson, who never taught her, but from whom she gained wisdom through daily conversations. She said she strives to have the patience and love he shows when she attempts to inspire the children she teaches one day.
- Sierra Smith, daughter of Andy Smith and Kimberly Smith, plans to attend Texas State University, where she will major in kinesiology in the hopes of becoming a physical therapist. She recognized Bailey Dorner, who she’s grown to love as a coach and mentor during the many hours spent with her during softball.
- Allison Breann Stephens, daughter of Brad Stephens and Rene Stephens, plans to attend Texas A&M University-College Station, where she will major in pre-physical therapy in hopes of becoming a physical therapist one day. She recognized Chris Valdovinos, who has been her rock throughout high school.
- Landry Tyson, son of Derek Tyson and Christi Tyson, plans to attend Texas A&M-Commerce, where he will work to become a strength and conditioning trainer. He recognized Gerald Grafton, whose influence Tyson said goes far beyond that of math; his wisdom, Tyson said, will help guide him throughout his career and life.
- Lainey Whittle, daughter of Robert and Faith Whittle, plans to Attend Texas A&M University-Commerce to study marketing. She recognized Rachel Finney, whose taught her all four years of high school and has always been wiling to lend a listening ear and help through rough times.
- Caitlyn Williams, daughter of Michael and Donna Williams, plans to attend Baylor University. She recognized her sixth grade teacher, Amy Harden, who she said “always speaks out of love has helped me with many projects in and out of school.
- Zoe Wilson, daugheter of Chris Wilson, plans to attend Baylor University to work toward a career in special education. She recognized Debbie Stribling for supporting her, even when it meant pushing her to do more.
KSST’s video of the awards program may be viewed here.