Graduation Held at RHS and MHS

Thursday, May 10, 2018
The RHS class of 2018 celebrate their graduation
TD photo/Jane Gatewood

The Rector High School class of 2018 made their entrance Sunday afternoon accompanied by the processional march, Pomp and Circumstance, played by Rector High School Concert Band under the direction of Daniel VanAalsburg. Afterward, Principal Nate Henderson welcomed the large crowd to the ceremony as hundreds of family members of the graduates, faculty and staff of the Rector School District, and well-wishers filled the RHS Gymnasium which was decorated for the occasion.

Sydney Wofford offered the invocation as well as the Valedictory address. She noted the class’ appreciation to the faculty saying, “They need a pay raise.” She went on to speak about how much heart and determination the class demonstrated through the years. Wofford’s remarks encouraged the class to use the experiences of high school as stepping stones to the future.

Hunter McNeely, Salutatorian, also offered remarks of reflection. He stated that the meaning of excellence is in “always striving to be better.” He challenged the class to always reach for more because “you owe it to many people, and to yourself.” He concluded with “God bless America.”

The 2018 Class was led through their years by sponsors Dawn Sims, Belinda Matheny, Joel Boyd, and Sara Wright, members of the Rector faculty. They were thanked by Principal Henderson who also introduced to the crowd the Rector School District administration – Superintendent, Johnny Fowler; School Board President, Jody Simmons; Vice-President, Tony Lockhart; Secretary, Kirk Ford; and board members Kim Isom and Mike Trail.

Department awards were presented to the following students – Sabrina Haneline, Art; Hunter McNeely, Science; Adria Kemper, Social Studies; Agriculture, Samantha Urbanski, Sydney Wofford was recognized with business education, mathematics, English, Spanish, and Family & Consumer Science awards.

Honor graduates were announced and recognized. Having maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above and have completed all required coursework. Kirk Beshears, Garrett Burns, Brianna Glasco, Samantha Urbanski, Adria Kemper, and Tabor Trail were seated on the front row along with Sydney Wofford and Hunter McNeely, Valedictorian and Salutatorian.

RHS Faculty voted for two students to earn the honor of Best All-Around students. The criteria included scholarship, citizenship, leadership, service, and extra-curricular activities. This year the faculty chose Sydney Wofford and Hunter McNeely for the prestigious awards.

This graduating class earned $515,740 in total scholarship dollars with $132,200 being awarded from local organizations and sources. Many substantial scholarships and grants were awarded to cover a four-year education cycle.

McKenzie Baker received the Arkansas Academic Challenge, RHS Helping Hands Foundation, BRTC Academic Incentive - $17,500. Kirk Beshears was recognized with the A-State Pride 2 award, A-State Academic Performance Education Department award, Arkansas Academic Challenge, Robert and Pauline Crockett award, Rector Hall of Fame Allen K. Pruett Memorial, John Melvin Crockett Rector First Baptist Church Memorial, Centennial Bank award for $73,230. Jada Bracken received Arkansas Academic Challenge, A-State Promise, BRTC Academic Incentive for $21,000. Garrett Burns earned A-State Promise, Arkansas Academic Challenge, RHS Helping Hands Foundation for $25,000.

Haleigh Ellis was awarded Arkansas Academic Challenge, RHS Helping Hands Foundation, Blackshare-Schwager awards for $17,000. Jarek Ellis received Arkansas Academic Challenge, Ralph Simmons Memorial, BRTC Academic Incentive for a total of $16,000. Andrew Garron earned Arkansas Academic Challenge, BRTC Academic Incentive for $15,000. Brianna Glasco was awarded A-State Pride 2, Arkansas Academic Challenge, RHS Helping Hands Foundation for $46,880. Frank Herrera was presented with Arkansas Academic Challenge, BRTC Academic Incentive for $15,000. Kyleigh Huckabay earned Arkansas Academic Challenge, Purcell Scholarship for Fine Arts, RHS Helping Hands Foundation, Lions Club Book Scholarship and Blackshare-Schwager award for a total of $20,700.

Adria Kemper earned Arkansas Academic Challenge, Purcell Scholarhip for English and Social Studies, Black River Technical Academic Distinction Scholarship for a total of $20,800. Hunter McNeely was awarded with the A-State Promise, Arkansas Academic Challenge, Purcell Scholarship for Math and Science, the GEOROBINA Farms, Blackshare-Schwager award, Rector Hall of Fame Male Athlete of the Year, and Centennial Bank award for a total of $27,750. Nick Mesa earned A-State Promise, Farm Credit of the Mid-South, Arkansas Academic Challenge, RHS Helping Hands Foundation, Rector Hall of Fame Book Scholarship, Clay County Conservation District awards totaling $27,250. Kyler Parrish was presented with RHS Helping Hands Foundation, Rector Hall of Fame Book Scholarship awards for $2750. Sam Simmons received the Harry and Amy Irby Scholarship, Hamilton Farms Scholarship, Ralph Simmons Memorial award, Rector Hall of Fame Book Scholarship, Clay County Conservation District Award and Centennial Bank award totally $8,500.

Zephyer Tinsley received the Arkansas Academic Challenge award for $14,000 over four years. Tabor Trail received Arkansas Academic Challenge, Rector Chamber of Commerce, Harry and Amy Irby Scholarship, RHS Helping Hands Foundation, Ralph Simmons Memorial, and Rector Hall of Fame Book Scholarship totaling $21,750. Caine Walker earned the Arkansas Academic Challenge award, Mose Knight Williams Baptist Scholarship, Rector Hall of Fame Lavaughn and Dennis Robertson Memorial award, and BRTC Academic Challenge totaling $36,000. Rhonda Walker earned Arkansas Academic Challenge, BRTC Academic Incentive for a total of $15,000. Sydney Woffard earned A-State Leadership 2, A-State Communications, Arkansas Academic Challenge, Purcell Scholarship in Career and Technical, NEA Wounded Warrior Scholarship, Rector Chamber of Commerce award, John Melvin Crocket award, RHS Math Club award, Clay County 4-H Youth Leadership scholarship funded by RHS Helping Hands, Rector Hall of Fame Female Athlete of the Year, and Centennial Bank award for a grand total of $74,630.

A group of RHS senior young ladies led the class in singing the RHS Alma Mater and the RHS Fight Song, accompanied by the RHS Concert Band. Nick Mesa came forward and offered the benediction. Principal Henderson instructed the class to “turn your tassel.” He then presented to the audience the Graduating Class of 2018 and the class pitched their hats into the air in a traditional celebration.

Ushers from the junior class, elected by the seniors, assisted as the class entered and exited the gymnasium during the awarding of the diplomas. Ushers were Gabby Clark, Colton Lindsey, Conly Lockhart, and Colbie Robinson.

Senior Class Officers were Sydney Wofford, president; Brianna Glasco, vice-president; Kyleigh Huckabay, secretary; Sam Simmons, treasurer; Kirk Beshears, reporter.

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