Scholarships abound for RHS grads

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
RHS graduates throw their hats into the air in celebration

Witnessing small town life at its finest, the hundreds who attended Friday night's graduation ceremonies at Rector High School watched as the school's 41 graduates stood arm-in-arm near the ceremony's end to sing the Alma Mater and their class song, most smiling broadly while also blinking away tears.

Many in the group had been classmates since childhood, and, for them, and for their families and friends, the ceremony stirred a wide range of emotions.

The night was perfect, and the large crowd enjoyed the comfort of the school's new gymnasium, which provided the first-ever air-conditioned commencement ceremony. The new facility no doubt contributed to the larger-than-ever crowd.

The Rector High School Concert Band, under the direction of Craig Wadley, provided a program of impressive music prior to the ceremony. Graduates entered as the band played "Pom and Circumstance."

The invocation was given by graduating senior Jackie Small.

Brief addresses then were given by valedictorians Josh Vangilder, Abbé McCarroll, Jordan Cornelison, Lauren Faulkner and Jessica Hill, each finishing with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Also recognized as honor students, with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, were Adam White, Katie Hardin, Andrew Hill and Charla Dinkins.

Jordan Cornelison and Jessica Hill then sang "My Time to Shine."

Departmental awards were presented by Principal Wade Williams to graduates with the highest average in each area of study. Recipients were: Jackie Small, agriculture; Carolina Fonseca, art; Lauren Faulkner and Andrew Hill, athletics; Josh Vangilder, business education, mathematics and science; Jessica Hill, drama, English and speech; Amanda Stewart, family and consumer science, and Jeremy Beck, social studies.

Gifted and talented awards went to Jordan Cornelison, Charla Dinkins, Lauren Faulkner, Katie Hardin, Andrew Hill, Jessica Hill, Abbé McCarroll, Brittany Shelton and Adam White.

President's Awards were presented to graduates with a 3.5 or higher grade point average who also scored at or above the 85th percentile in math or reading on a standardized test and who were recommended by faculty members. Recipients were Jordan Cornelison, Lauren Faulkner, Jessica Hill, Abbé McCarroll, Josh Vangilder, Adam White, Katie Hardin, Andrew Hill and Charla Dinkins.

Named as the recipients of the 2007 Best All Around award were Abbé McCarroll and Josh Vangilder. Winners were chosen by the faculty based on scholarship, citizenship, extra curricular activities and service to the school.

Following the presentation of awards to the valedictorians and other honor students, Principal Wade Williams announced these scholarships:

Brantley Terry -- Dannelly Lodge #300, $500; Wal-Mart Scholarship, $1,000; Rector Area Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, $500; Liberty Bank Scholarship, $1,000.

Brittany Shelton -- Sam Walton Community Scholarship, $1,000; Arkansas State University Academic Merit Award Scholarship, $1,000.

Abbé McCarroll -- Freed-Hardeman University Lion Leadership Scholarship, $1,000; Freed-Hardeman University Merit Scholarship, $8,000 ($2,000 each year for four years); Freed-Hardeman University Academic Scholarship, $16,000; Scholarship for Military Children, $1,500; Ralph Simmons Memorial Scholarship, $1,000; Mary Jo Purcell Scholarship, $1,000.

Katie Hardin -- Ralph Simmons Memorial Scholarship, $1,000; Arkansas State University Academic Merit Award Scholarship, $1,000; Arkansas State University Academic Challenge Scholarship, $10,000 ($2,500 each year for four years).

Adam White -- Hamilton Farms, $1,000; Arkansas State University University Honors Scholarship, $49,960 ($12,490 each year for four years); Arkansas Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award, $40,000 over a four-year period.

Jenny Galbraith -- Hamilton Farms, $1,000.

Andrew Hill -- Arkansas State University Leadership Scholarship, $8,000 ($1,000 a semester for eight semesters); Arkansas State University Academic Merit Award Scholarship, $1,000; Rector Area Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, $500; Tenaris-Hickman Scholarship, $1,000.

Jordan Cornelison -- McCluney Scholarship, $500; Arkansas State University Dean's Scholarship, $22,840 ($5,710 each year for four years); Mid-South Fair Scholarship, $1,000; Ira and Lillian Langley Scholarship, $987.98; Harry and Amy Irby Memorial Scholarship, $1,000.

Charla Dinkins -- Anchor Packaging Scholarship, $500; Harps Scholarship, $1,000; W.I. and Viva Phillips Scholarship, $500.

Eileen Mathis -- Arkansas State University Academic Merit Award, $1,000.

Lauren Faulkner -- Arkansas State University Dean's Scholarship, $22,840 ($5,710 each year for four years); Tenneco Scholarship, $16,000 ($4,000 each year for four years); Glen Sain Memorial Scholarship, $250; Ira and Lillian Langley Scholarship, $987.97.

Josh Vangilder -- Arkansas State University Honors Scholarship, $49,960 ($12,490 each year for four years); Honor Society Scholarship, $50; W.I. and Viva Phillips Scholarship, $500.

Jessica Hill -- Arkansas State University Chancellor's Scholarship, $36,200 ($9,050 each year for four years); Sam Walton Community Scholarship, $1,000; International Thespian Society Scholarship, $1,000; Mary Jo Purcell Scholarship, $1,000; Tenaris-Hickman Scholarship, $1,000; Clay County Fine Arts Council Scholarship, $500; Rector Woman's Club Fine Arts Scholarship, $500; Arkansas State Honor Thespian Scholarship, $500.

Jackie Small -- MFA Foundation Scholarship, $2,000; Southern Arkansas University Achievement Award, $4,800 ($1,200 each year for four years); Mary Jo Purcell Scholarship, $1,000; Clay Conservation District Scholarship, $1,000; Arkansas FFA Foundation Scholarship, $500.

Chase Sain -- Glen Sain Memorial Scholarship, $500.

Callie Vangilder -- Future Teachers of America Scholarship, $100.

Tallah Shelton -- Southern Arkansas University Achievement Award, $4,800 ($1,200 each year for four years).

Megan Fortenberry -- U.S. Army College Fund Scholarship, $62,100.

Jeremy Beck -- Military Dependents Scholarship, $44,400; Dependents' Educational Assistance Grant, $38,700; EdFinancial Services Scholarship, $1,000; Bowling Scholarship, $110; Arkansas State University Academic Merit Scholarship, $1,000.

Jase Speer -- Tulsa Welding School Scholarship Award, $500.

Robert Mathewson -- United States Marine Corps Scholarship, $50,000.

Tyler Davidson -- United States Marine Corps Scholarship, $50,000.

Rocio Cavazos -- Crowley's Ridge College Presidential Scholarship, $2,000 ($500 each semester for four semesters); Clay County Fine Arts Council Scholarship, $500; Michael Randleman Theatre Arts Scholarship, $400; Friends of the Arts Scholarship, $1,000.

The class was presented for graduation by Superintendent Rob Louder. Diplomas were given by School Board president Dale Vangilder. (School Board member Jim Speer presented diplomas to his children Jase Speer, Andrew Hill and Jessica Hill, Board member Gregg Sain presented the diploma to his son Chase, and Vangilder presented a diploma to his daughter Callie, in addition to the other graduates).

Other members of the class included: Brittany Beck, Jacqueline Blount, Gary Bullinger, Josef Burns, Hector Cavazos, Erik Esmon, Whitley Fannin, James Hall, Tony Loveless, Zac Morris, Joseph Parrish, Adam Scott, Skye Shepard, Josh Staley, Brock Walker and Adam Wheeler.

Graduates sang their class song "My Wish" and then were joined by other alumni in singing the school's Alma Mater. The benediction was given by Brantley Terry. A recessional was played by the RHS Concert Band.

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