Rector High School Holds Graduation for Class of 2013
The Rector High School gymnasium was filled with a near-tangible sense of excitement and energy Sunday afternoon, May 13, as a large crowd of proud parents, grandparents and special friends gathered to recognize the class of 2013 and its accomplishments.
Principal Wade Williams welcomed the crowd and wished a "Happy Mother's Day" to all of the mothers and grandmothers in attendance.
Adorned in blue caps and gowns, the soon-to-be graduates entered the gymnasium as the RHS Concert Band, under the direction of Daniel Van Aalsburg, played the processional.
Selected by the class to serve as ushers were Haven Cagle, Kaylee Hartsfield, River Rice and Alec Scott.
Senior Daniel White gave the Invocation for the ceremony.
Addresses then were given by valedictorian Kelly Fowler, daughter of Johnny and Kathy Fowler, and salutatorian Kaitlyn Essman, daughter of Danny and Jeannie Essman and Carla Essman. Fowler finished with a 4.16 grade point average and Essman maintained a 4.14 grade point average in eight semesters of college preparatory work.
Also recognized as Honor Students for maintaining a 3.5 GPA or higher were: Payton Holcomb, Neeley Sims, Sydney Simmons, Hayden McCluskey, Daniel White, David Rose, Mitchell Weber and Kayla Bond.
Principal Williams announced the departmental and special awards, which were presented by superintendent Johnny Fowler.
Payton Holcomb, Sydney Simmons and Mitchell Weber were chosen by the faculty as the "Best All-Around Students."
Other awards went to:
Jesse Studdard, Art; Daniel White, Agriculture; Aaron Johnson, Business Education; Kaitlyn Essman, English; Tarryn Tracy, Family and Consumer Science; Kaitlyn Essman, Math; Kelly Fowler, Science and Sydney Simmons, Social Studies.
Gifted and Talented Awards were given to longtime participants in the GT Program including Kayla Bond, Kaitlyn Essman, Kelly Fowler, Hayden McCluskey, Sydney Simmons, Tarryn Tracy, Mitchell Weber and Daniel White.
"I am very proud of these students. They have worked hard and have accomplished much already," stated Williams. "I am pleased to announce that they have earned a combined total of $527,340 in scholarships. Now, think about that amount. That's an impressive total for a class this size."
Scholarship recipients are:
Kayla Bond--Nucor Corporation Scholarship, $12,000; Arkansas Promise Scholarship, $4,000; Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, $14,000 and Arkansas Promise, $8,000.
Kaitlyn Essman--ASTATE Pride, $28,880; Clay County Conservation, $1,000; Ralph Simmons Memorial, $1,500; Robert and Pauline Crockett Scholarship, $20,000; Arkansas Academic Challenge, $14,000; RHS Hall of Fame Robertson Family Scholarship, $500 and Liberty Bank Scholarship, $250.
Kelly Fowler--ASTATE Leadership Scholarship, $32,880; Gerobina Farms, $2,500; Arkansas Academic Challenge, $14,000; University of Arkansas Honors Scholarship, $16,000; RHS Hall of Fame, $1,000 and University of Arizona Excellence Award, $48,000.
Payton Holcomb--ASTATE Pride One Scholarship, $26,880; Johnny Cash Memorial Scholarship, $5,000; National Honor Society, $50; Future Teachers of America, $100; Arkansas Academic Challenge, $14,000; Doma McCluny Scholarship, $500; Liberty Bank, $250 and Black River Academic Distinction, $5,000.
Aaron Johnson--ASTATE Pride Scholarship, $27,880.
Hayden McCluskey--ASTATE Pride Scholarship, $27,880; Johnny Cash Memorial Scholarship, $5,000 and Rector Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, $500.
David Rose--Bill Carter Scholarship, $5,000.
Emily Sanders--Arkansas Academic Challenge, $14,000; Shwager-Blackshare Scholarship, $1,000; ASTATE Band Scholarship, $4,800; Rector Chamber of Commerce, $500 and Hamilton Farms Scholarship, $5,000.
Dillon Shelton--American Red Cross Scholarship, $500; David Shelton Memorial Scholarship, $500; RHS Hall of Fame Book Scholarship, $200 and W.I. and Viva Phillips Memorial Scholarship, $750.
Sydney Simmons--Clay County Arts Council, $500; Ralph Simmons Memorial, $1,500; Gerobina Farms, $2,500; Sherland and Barbara Hamilton Scholarship, $2,000; MFA Foundation, $2,000; Arkansas Academic Challenge, $14,000; 2012 Miss Clay County Scholarship, $230; Mary Jo Purcell Memorial, $1,000 and Harru and Amy Irby Memorial, $500.
Neeley Sims--ASTATE Pride Scholarship, $26,880; Bill Carter Scholarship, $5,000; Arkansas Academic Challenge, $14,000 and Black River Tech Academic Distinction, $5,000.
Jesse Studdard--Clay County Arts Council, $500.
Tarryn Tracy--RHS Hall of Fame Book Scholarship, $200; Liberty Bank, $250 and W.I. and Viva Phillips Memorial, $750.
Mitchell Weber--ASTATE Pride, $26,880; Alan Pruett Memorial, $500; Glen Sain Memorial, $10,000; Arkansas Academic Challenge, $14,000; National Honor Society, $50; Liberty Bank, $250 and Black River Academic Distinction, $5,000.
Daniel White--LA Darling, $2,000; John Melvin Crockett Memorial, $5,000; RHS Hall of Fame, $1,000; Arkansas Academic Challenge, $14,000; Rector Lions Club, $250; Rector Nursing and Rehab, $1,000; Josh Robinson Memorial, $500; Liberty Bank, $250; Mary Jo Purcell Memorial, $1,000 and Kaylee Bell Memorial Scholarship, $1,000.
Rector School Board president James Turner presented diplomas to 35 deserving students. Superintendent Fowler made the presentation to his daughter, Kelly Karene Fowler. Board member Jody Simmons presented the diploma to his niece, Sydney Rebecca Simmons. Board Member Kirk Ford presented Mitchell Dewayne Weber's diploma. Others receiving diplomas as part of the Class of 2013 were: Ashley Earlene Arnold, Kasey Thomas Baker, Sarah Diane Bean, Jazmin Marav Beck, Matthew Dwight Blount, Kayla Cheyanne Bond, Tyler Ray Carter, Kaitlyn Marie Essman, Jessica Renee' Garner, Charles David Garron, Justin Alexander Herrera, Payton McKenzee Holcomb, Ryan Jackson, Aaron Lee Johnson, Rachel Louise Lampkin, Teresa Shauntae Lopez, Hayden Shelby McCluskey, Login J. Mooneyhan, Seth Clayton Morris, Toni Raeann Prince, David Jason Rose, Emily Leiann Sanders, Jake Dylan Scott, Dillon Alexander Shelton, Neeley Rochelle Sims, Jimmy Roy Smith, Robert Stokes, Matthew Stone, Jesse Nicole Studdard, Tarryn Arah Tracy, James Tyler Watson, Sherman Marcus Daniel White, Gabrielle Dominique Wilson and Misty Marie Writesel.
The RHS Class of 2013 gathered together as one group, standing side-by-side during the playing of their class song, "It's Time," by Imagine Dragons. The Honor graduate then took the stage to lead the group in the singing of the RHS Alma Mater.
Mitchell Weber presented the Benediction, after which the students were presented as graduates. The students left the court in single file as the RHS band played the traditional Recessional.