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ALT magazine

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Local 2021 Seniors & Travel ALT Magazine | April 2021


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As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

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I wish I knew all I know now when I was in high school. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to understand how much high school impacts – or doesn’t impact – what we become? What actually makes a difference? Being a friend, being a football star, being a cheerleader? Algebra, English, Science, Spanish, or History? I mean, what will actually make a difference?

From thePublisher

My high school years were filled with daily classes and daily practices. In a small private school, we had no band, but we did have majorettes who entertained at halftime, and I was one. I loved it! Class was just that – a class. I had to study very little as long as I showed up for class. And straight A’s were the result. Not so much the result when I got to college, but high school was easy for me as far as classes go. I was definitely a nerd. I was still a nerd in college, but I had to study more to make those A’s. So why is high school such a struggle for so many young adults? Growing up is hard. We want to rush through high school so that we can become adults. And then, when we become adults, we wish we were back for a do-over. I mean, why didn’t we learn how to speak Spanish better? Wouldn’t that be a great thing, especially living in Texas? I sure wish I had paid more attention. Growing up is especially difficult in this age of technology. I can’t imagine how difficult it is now with social media in so many available forms. Kindness seems to be something everyone struggles with – not just our kids but our adults as well. It’s so easy now to be a computer warrior and hurt someone. How do we teach kindness? It starts at home. Anyone who struggled at school – or is now struggling – teach your children to be kind, to treat others as you would like to be treated. Hopefully, they will listen. And when they graduate from high school, they will have grown into wonderful young adults before they leave home. May God bless you and yours…

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BELIZE THE PLACE TO RELAX! Surprise! We’re traveled to Belize… Mike and I have a unique situation. Fishing has been Mike’s life since he was 12 years old. His grandfather, C.E. “Mike” Brower, bought him a small fishing boat and would take him to Millwood Lake early in the morning, picking him up late in the afternoon. He loved being on the water, catching fish, and competing. Mike and I actually competed in the Guys and Gals tournaments when we first got married. Yes, that was 31 years ago. And yes, we did really well. I learned so much about fishing, humility, and my husband. He has always been a courteous fisherman. He knows when to slow down so the wake does not bother others. He knows who has the right-of-way. (Who knew there was such a thing on water?) He knows how to share a boat with another fisherman. He also knows he likes cold weather. As we have grown older, he has fished less and really loves the cold weather. After hurting his shoulder a couple of years ago, he started fly fishing more and bass fishing less. He loves our travels to Montana and Alaska and fishing in the cold weather. However, I am not too fond of fishing in cold weather. Been there, done that. Know what it is like to have ice come back on your line as you are reeling it in. I know how those “heat warmers” work on your hands but are really difficult to get on your feet. I am a warm-weather person where fishing is concerned. I love going to Alaska and Montana and sitting by the fireplace with a book, taking portraits of the amazing landscape, and just relaxing. With all that said, I have always been a beach person. I love the sound of the waves. I love watching all the people. I love being able to relax, read my books, and enjoy the fresh seafood that comes with being at the beach. I typically go multiple times each year. However, as all of you know, last year was not a typical


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year. And I went zero times to the beach. Mike heard my tale of woe all year long about not being able to go to my happy place. I actually think he felt sorry for me! (Even though I knew he hated the beach!) LOL! We were watching his favorite fishing show – I should say he was watching his favorite fishing show since I was on my laptop working – when I glanced up and saw someone fly fishing at what I knew was the beach! I immediately jumped up and started telling him I knew I just saw someone fly fishing on the beach! What an amazing thing because it would be the best of both worlds! His fishing and my beach! I immediately dropped it because I knew how much he A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

hated the beach and knew he would not be going anytime soon. What a surprise it was a couple of weeks later when I got an email with a link to a resort in Belize. He had actually found the place from the commercial and sent me a link! I was ecstatic and immediately posted on social media that I was going to Belize. Mike got a kick out of that because he had not said we were going, but that is how I took it. Well, in February, we made our first trip since our honeymoon to the beach. I had started to wonder where we were going to when we arrived in Belize City, at a very small airport, and then took a very small 013


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plane to the island of Ambergris Caye. The plane was so small that luggage was put on another plane, and only people were on the plane we took to the Caye. And I can promise you that they put as many people on that plane as they possibly could! When coming from home, the frigid temperatures gave way to balmy winds—just my sort of weather—mostly. The winds could have been a little bit calmer, but I will take it! El Pescador Lodge and Villas, on Ambergris Caye, was absolutely a delight! With the main lodge, eight private villas, three pools, and a quiet beachfront location, it was small, intimate, and relaxing. When we walked in the door, everyone seemed to know our names. I think they must have gone and found photos of us somehow and posted them somewhere! LOL! Seriously, even the dinner wait staff knew our names and used them. It felt like we were home with family. Our room was spacious, had a wonderful king-sized bed and a huge shower. I found it interesting that the island is so eco-friendly (and so small). The humidity was higher than it is here, Showroom 4321 Texas Blvd. Texarkana, TX 75503

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so humidifiers were in every room. They had to be emptied, sometimes three times a day, to keep everything cool and dry. It was all part of the experience. Mike was assigned a fishing partner, and the next morning, he got up, ate breakfast, and left for a day of fun. He caught a lot of bonefish and a couple of large amberjacks. Again, other than the wind, he had a blast. The only request he made for the “next time” is that he has the boat to himself or with me occasionally. He learned a lot about fly fishers and how they differ from bass fishers, and he will amend what he does in the future. Overall, he had a great time and loved it. I am so glad I could help him learn to love the beach. I spent my time sitting by the pool, reading books, and working a little bit. They did have WiFi available, and I used it – much to the chagrin of my staff! They thought they would be without me for five days. Ha! I really needed the relaxation that came with this trip. The food at the resort was delicious and made with local fruits, vegetables, and seafood. In addition to seafood, we had chicken, pork, and steak. Each meal was served familystyle, with a set menu each night. Breakfast and lunch were available, with a lot of choices on the menu. Fresh fruit abounded at every meal. Did you know that Belize makes wonderful chocolates? Our Orvis host, Nick Denbow, and I spent one morning learning how to make chocolate. One of the teenagers whose family was vacationing at El Pescador, joined us at the Belize Chocolate Company. I sometimes wonder how we ever found out about chocolate since it looks pretty nasty when it is first harvested. But someone was adventurous and decided to try it, and now here we are, with something most people cannot do without. We drove around Belize in a golf cart since there are very few cars on the island. I was saddened that there were so many poor areas. Belize has been hit hard by COVID-19 and needs tourism to survive. I am glad we were able to do our little part to help. Mike even researched what the people of Belize need and came upon a site that was for the animal shelter there. Of course, we took a few items that they could use and donated them to the shelter. All in all, we loved our Belize vacation. We ended up cutting it short a day since the Blizzard of 2021 decided to hit our beloved Texarkana. We drove home on roads that were covered with ice and snow. It was crazy to go from shorts and swimsuits to snow boots and coats in four hours. But had we stayed, we would have been there for another five days before we could get home. So I am glad we returned. Our babies (dogs) needed us! Hopefully, we will return to Belize this winter. I think I have Mike hooked on saltwater fly fishing now – and I have always been hooked on being at the beach! If you are looking for a wonderful place to go, where everyone has a little bit of what they are looking for, and you are treated like family, check out El Pescador - https://www.elpescador.com/. You will love it! Happy relaxing and fishing … or whatever you wish to do with your time while in Belize! Hope to see some of you there the next time I go!


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Kamryn Brown LIBERTY-EYLAU HIGH SCHOOL   SENIOR 2021 I stay true to myself and that I make choices that will help me prosper as an adult.”

LET'S GET TO KNOW KAMRYN. Kamryn Brown says that through the last four years of high school at Liberty Eylau, she has learned to be unapologetically herself. She says that she has learned not to be scared to make friends and that it is ok to change. “My high school experience has been wonderful. These four years have helped me to gain a lot of selfconfidence, allowed me to come out of my shell, and to gain better social skills,” Kamryn says. “These are all skills I know that I will need in the future.” For Kamryn, the recent pandemic has presented a challenge at school, but her experiences have taught her how to problem solve. “Because of COVID, I have had to navigate through some pretty tough decisions in school. Through this, I learned how to advocate for myself and work to solve problems in a very responsible way,” Kamryn says. “I will use these lessons to make sure that 020

One example of the confidence that Kamryn has gained since her freshman year includes the fact that she tried out for the drill team her junior year. “I made it, and during my senior year, I was a Liberty-Eylau Dazzler. This was a huge change for me,” Kamryn says. “I have come out of my shell enormously, and I have gotten more comfortable with being authentically me. I am very proud of who I have become during my high school years. I would not change a thing!”   If Kamryn could create one mandatory course for all high school seniors, it would be home economics. “That class should be mandatory for everyone because our generation lacks proper etiquette, basic needs skills, and even knowing how to manage financial issues,” Kamryn says. A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

“We need a course to teach us these things to prepare us for the real world.” One of the most interesting things about Kamryn that you would not learn from a resume or transcript is that she loves documentaries, museums, and all things history. “It is so interesting to learn about the past because it helps me to understand why and how things are in the world we live in today,” Kamryn says. Kamryn’s mom, Kristi Brown, and her dad, Robert “Anthony” Brown, have been her biggest cheerleaders. “They both support my decisions but allow me the freedom to make choices that I feel are best for me while guiding my path,” Kamryn says. “They have allowed me to be independent, yet I can call on them when I need them.” The accomplishment that Kamryn is most proud of is maintaining her top five class rank throughout her high school career. “I am beyond proud of myself because I have taken all dual credit

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or advanced classes throughout high school,” Kamryn says. “I am happy that I have been able to maintain my rank and GPA.” After graduating high school this spring, Kamryn plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas, where she intends to major in biology; however, her plans do not end there. “After college, I will attend medical school and residency. My hope and desire is to become a pediatric endocrinologist,” Kamryn says. “In ten years, I hope to have a family of my own and the ability to provide and take care of my loved ones.”  If Kamryn could give incoming freshmen any advice about high school, she would tell younger students to take their time and make the most of high school. ”You cannot get these years back. Have fun and work hard. These four years go by really fast, and in the blink of an eye, you’re practically an adult,” Kamryn says. “Just take your time and enjoy every little moment. Savor your high school years because they truly fly by.”  

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Evin Burton ARKANSAS HIGH SCHOOL   SENIOR 2021 Razorback was originally used and trademarked by my school before the University of Arkansas,” Evin says.  

LET'S GET TO KNOW EVIN. After graduating from Arkansas High School, Evin Burton plans to enroll in a four-year college to study and prepare for law school. “Being a part of the AP and college-level classes I’ve been in have set me up with the responsibilities of a university student,” Evin says. “Hopefully, with the mindset I’ve developed, I’ll manage to keep up with my college peers. Then, ten years from now, I hope to see myself finally graduating from law school and on route to opening my own firm.” Evin says that Arkansas High is special because it is the original home of the beloved Razorback, now the University of Arkansas’s trademark. “Most people don’t know that the Arkansas 022

While keeping up with classes, Evin is also involved with the student television program called Razorback TV, which is nationally recognized and known for its professional nature. He also loves to act, and he is part of the Razorback Theatre Company. Evin says that high school has taught him many lessons. “Always be prepared for change. COVID-19 was most definitely the hardest nail for this lesson, but high school also taught me always to perform even under pressure,” Evin says.  A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

One of the personal achievements that Evin is most proud of is becoming a Questbridge College Match Finalist. “Knowing that I was good enough to compete at the Ivy League level and good enough for a full four-year scholarship to one of the most prestigious universities in the world really boosted my confidence and self-worth,” Evin says. Looking back on his high school years, Evin says that he’s been humbled. “Coming into high school, I had a lot of inner egotism that got knocked off my edges the further I progressed through,” Evin says. “I rebuilt this gap with better quality traits, such as patience, selflessness, and humility.” 



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Davarious Clark HOOKS HIGH SCHOOL   SENIOR 2021

LET'S GET TO KNOW DAVARIOUS. After graduating from Hooks High School, Davarious Clark plans to attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University to major in kinesiology and play football. “Hooks High School has helped me get to where I’m headed in a major way. Ever since seventh grade, my coaches have pushed me to become a better athlete and be the best person I can be,” Davarious says. “Even outside of athletics, I was being encouraged by teachers. Without all of these staff members taking the time out of their day to help better other students and me, there’s no telling how much I would have progressed. Another thing that tells how good of a city I live in is that I’m not only supported by my teachers and coaches but also the whole community is a big part of how I’ve gotten to where I am today.” Davarious is the third oldest of eight siblings. There are six boys: Leonard, Kylon, Davarious, David, Jay, and Trayvon. The youngest siblings are twin sisters, Ceonna 024

and Deonna. “My family has always been a big part of my support system. With me having five other brothers, I’m always pushed to be great. We all encourage and push each other to aim for higher than we think we can reach,” Davarious says. “My mom, Sophelia, is who I’d give credit to for us turning out the way that we are because without her, we wouldn’t have the mindsets or work ethics that we carry. She’s a very strong and independent woman who takes care of every single one of her responsibilities. I feel like there’s absolutely no possible way that I can fail when I have the support of my family.” All of the coaches and teachers that Davarious worked with throughout his years at Hooks ISD have been influential. Davarious says that they all want nothing but the best for him. “I’m thankful for all that they have taught me to prepare me for life and other great things. My favorite of all of my teachers throughout my time at Hooks is most definitely Ms. Starrett. I’m pretty sure that she’s not only my favorite teacher but also the favorite of anyone else that she has ever taught,” Davarious says. “Before any athletic event, she asks me ‘How many touchdowns are you going to score?” or A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

“How many points are you going to have?” or “How fast are you going to run?” and through all of these questions, she shows me that she supports me. She always makes sure that I’m always included in any event that I would seem interested in and congratulates me on my successes. She treats other students and me like we are her own children, which draws most of the students in our school to her.”   His sophomore year of high school will always stand out to Davarious as one of the most fun years of his life so far. “I remember sitting in the AG (agriculture) shop telling jokes and laughing with my older brother, Leonard, and one of the best quarterbacks that I’ve ever played with, Mason Vasquez. There was never a dull moment with them,” Davarious says. “That was the class that I always looked forward to going to.”   Davarious says that if he could rewind to when he started high school, he would get more involved with theatre. He says that he already had a great teacher, Mrs. Godsey, with a great personality. “I was just too shy to act out a play in front of anyone. Now that I look back at that time, I think about how fun it would

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have been going to other schools to act out a play for their students,” Davarious says. “Theatre has always been something that I wanted to be a part of, but I knew that you can’t be shy or quiet when you’re involved in an activity similar to that one.” Some advice that Davarious would give to younger students about how to make the best of their high school years is to take care of their work and follow their heart. He says that high school goes by too fast, so they should enjoy every day because they will definitely miss it when they graduate. “If you’re debating on whether or not you should get involved in one of the school activities or clubs, just do it. Don’t hold off on it because before you know it, you’ll be a senior who is about to graduate,” Davarious says. “Another piece of advice that I would give is that you should give 100 percent to everything you decide to do. The more you accomplish in high school, the more doors will open up for you after you graduate. Turn in your work on time and check in with your teachers about your grades. That’s how you become successful.”



LET'S GET TO KNOW BEN. When Ben DePriest graduates from Texas High School this spring, he will go on to Ouachita Baptist University and play baseball. For Ben, his high school career has truly prepared him for the future. “Nobody else in the state of Texas gets to say they go to Texas High School. Our administration, facilities, and courses are the best of the best,” Ben says. “I’ve taken several DC (dual credit) classes and been in the STEM Academy to help prepare me for college classes. We also have academic advisors and the Principal for College and Career Readiness, Mrs. Betty Stark, who helps us make sure we know what we should be doing in the college application and scholarship process.” While at Texas High School, Ben has been involved with Student Council, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, varsity football, varsity baseball, varsity basketball teams, and the Leadership program. “Being involved 026

in the Leadership/STUCO program at Texas High has given me an opportunity to help in the community and develop leadership skills that are very important,” Ben says. “I’m also extremely proud of being a multiple sport athlete at Texas High. I play football, basketball, and baseball, and it requires a lot of time and practice to be able to play each sport.” When it is football season, Ben is still practicing for basketball and baseball on his own time, and it is the same through each sport’s season of competition. “I am glad that I did not quit and specialize in just one sport because I have made a lot of friends, and each sport/coach has impacted me in different ways,” Ben says. “I was picked for the football All-State Academic 1st Team this year and made 1st Team All-District for basketball this year and 2nd Team All-District as a junior. My sophomore year, I was 2nd Team AllDistrict in baseball.”  When he’s not in school, Ben plays travel baseball in the summers. “This A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

has also helped me continue to improve, and it helped me be able to get an offer to play baseball in college at Ouachita,” Ben says. Ben says that he will always remember COVID19 and the start of remote learning. The baseball team was on their way to play in Shreveport, and Coach John McClure got a phone call that they were not allowed to play that day because Louisiana had decided to shut down schools for a month. “We thought that since our spring break started on that Monday, things would be back to normal once spring break was over. We had no idea that the world would totally change, activities and school would be stopped for the rest of the year, and remote learning would start,” Ben says. “It has definitely been different going to school this year with all the changes and rules that have been made.” One famous school tradition, the Bacon Fry and Senior Sunrise, which is usually scheduled for the Friday of Texas vs. Arkansas week, was canceled this year because of COVID-19. “We were very disappointed that we were not able to have that tradition, so when we found out we were going to


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play Arkansas High in the spring for baseball, we asked Mrs. Susan Waldrep and Mrs. Carla Dupree if we could move the Bacon Fry to the spring for that game. They were able to get that approved, and we were able to continue the tradition,” Ben says. “This year, it was only for seniors, and it made it really special because we have learned to be more appreciative of school activities since so many have canceled and changed this year.” Ben says that while he has had many influential teachers throughout his time at Texas High, his English teacher, Mrs. Holly Mooneyham, stands out. “Mrs. Mooneyham has helped me the most with English. She has helped improve my writing and reading skills,” Ben says. “I know that the writing skills will benefit me the rest of my life and help me with the papers that I have to write in college.” Looking back, Ben realizes how much he has changed since his freshman year. “I had no idea how to study and didn’t want to as well. I was very lazy with school work,” Ben says. “Now, I study and always try to make the best grades on everything I possibly can.”

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Blaine Hammonds ATLANTA HIGH SCHOOL   SENIOR 2021 this year because of the pandemic. We only were able to go to two competitions, and we had to dial down our show level this year. But, band taught me how to stick with it even when it was hard.”

LET'S GET TO KNOW BLAINE. After graduating from Atlanta High School, Blaine Hammonds will pursue a degree in nursing. He plans to attend Texarkana College to finish his basics and then transfer to a larger university after the following year. “Atlanta High School has prepared me for my future by offering several classes that will help me with my degree, such as dual credit classes, health care classes, and AP classes,” Blaine says. Blaine has been very involved with several AHS activities, including the Symphonic Band. He says that being a part of the band has taught him how to work hard and work well with others. “Band is fun for the most part, but there are some days where you want to quit, especially in a state year, because you get tired and frustrated of trying to be clean and precise,” Blaine says. “I would have to say the most challenging season was 030

Blaine has also served in the student council at Atlanta High School. “Student council teaches students how to set an example for other people through acts of service, kindness, and compassion,” Blaine says. Through his high school experience, Blaine says the biggest lesson he’s learned is just to be yourself. “I have great friends, and I love them, but when new people came in, I was scared to actually be myself because I did not want them to think I was annoying or strange to them. I was being what I thought they wanted me to be, when in fact those people just wanted me to be myself,” Blaine says. “I was looking to the wrong things for confidence. I am finally learning that real confidence and joy comes from God and Him alone.” A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

The other important lesson that Blaine has learned is that no one can please everyone. “I was so worried about what everyone else thought about me, but I should have worried about what God saw in me,” Blaine says. “Ultimately, that is what matters in the long run.” Outside of school, Blaine has served as the youth leader at First Baptist Church Atlanta, Texas, for the past three years. He says that this year has been “amazing” and that the role has been fun, though filled with a lot of responsibilities. But, for his senior year, COVID-19 interfered with plans for the youth to get together as they had in the past. Blaine also fills in for pianists in the area when needed. “Sometimes I get asked to come and play a special in a church service. Music has always been in my life; it never gets old,” Blaine says. “I am starting to get involved with the Cross Creek Cowboy Church and their youth programs there. I love the close bonds everyone has there and the feeling of joy and peace when you walk into that place. I’m thankful for the new friendships I have made there.” Blaine’s family has been in Atlanta for several years, and in that kind of small-town environment, everyone seems to know everyone else. One thing that Blaine loves sharing with his family is a love of music. Blaine’s mother and her sisters used to travel around and sing together, and people still ask him if he is one of the Peninger Sisters’ boys. His grandparents, Betty and Clifton Peninger, have also been music ministers in some churches around the area. “My nana, Betty, my word, I love her so, has always been a good listener, and I can call her and talk to her for sometimes for an hour. She always gives me good advice, and on the days I can’t go down to her house I’m calling her. She has truly played a big part in raising me,” Blaine says. “My pop, Clifton, has never been one to sugarcoat things. If you want to know the truth, he will tell you. For the most part, I appreciate that because sometimes it is funny, and I love him very much.” Family is important to Blaine, and he appreciates the ways they have all impacted his life. Family members like his parents, his cousin Paige, who Blaine calls his “best friend,” his brother, B.J., and his aunts Cindy, Becky, and Rae have been influential to Blaine in many different ways. “My mother, Kim, has always been my support system, and she has always made sure I had what I needed. She also always pushes me to do my A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

best,” Blaine says. “My dad Bo, even though we are not that close, has done the same thing. It has just been harder for him to come support me in certain areas because his work schedule is more extensive than most.” Looking to his future, Blaine knows he has the support of his family to pursue his dreams of becoming a nurse practitioner. In 10 years, Blaine sees himself as a married father of at least two children. “I hope to have one of the most beautiful families in the world, and I hope I am doing all the things I’ve ever dreamed or talked about doing,” Blaine says. For incoming freshmen, Blaine has a lot of advice on making the most of their high school experience. He says to take some challenging classes and not just the easy ones. He also says that students should put their best effort into their high school endeavors. “You do not want to be that person who has regrets and wishes that they would have applied themselves better,” Blaine says. “Do not take these years for granted; they will be over before you know it.” 

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LET'S GET TO KNOW JOSHUA. Joshua Linnett says that Ashdown High School is special because of the “great teachers.” He says that while he had many amazing teachers, his most influential would have to be Mrs. Ryan Murray. “She was my freshman English teacher and taught me that English could be a ton of fun even though it is not one of my favorite subjects,” Joshua says. “I applaud her helpful teaching style. She really makes sure you enjoy her class when you’re in it and that you’ll remember it fondly once you are out of the class.” While at Ashdown, Joshua was also very involved with Quiz Bowl, Cross Country, E-Sports, National Honor Society, and Beta Club. “I have always loved running, so cross country was an easy fit for me, and it taught me to fight the pain and push through life’s challenges. Quiz 032

Bowl is like school trivia for middle and high school students and is a ton of fun. I was lucky enough to be the captain of my team and even made it on the all-region team this year. Being a part of the team taught me that even the little things you learn could be useful to you someday,” Joshua says. “As a kid growing up in the early 2000s, I spent a lot of time playing video games, and the chance to do it officially for high school was too good of a chance to pass up. It really taught me how to work together with my classmates as a team. And finally, I got involved with NHS and Beta Club for their notoriety and the possible acquisition of scholarships from them. Still, they have both taught me how to act more professionally.” Joshua has especially enjoyed being a part of the computer science class at AHS. He says that if he could create one mandatory class for all high school seniors, it would be computer science. “It’s a very volatile field that A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

pays well for even entry-level jobs,” Joshua says. “In computer science class, we were brought on to create a data science team for the baseball team. It took weeks of work learning an entirely new coding language than what we were used to and lots of research into data science,” Joshua says. “It taught me that hard work would give you new skills that you can use later for other jobs.” Throughout his endeavors and activities in high school, Joshua says that his family has always been there for him. “My family has seven members including me: my father, Daniel; mother Susannah; younger brothers, Isaac and Samuel; and younger sisters, Leah and Lily. My father has always supported me in sports and all my activities, and I love spending time with him working out and just driving around talking about life,” Joshua says. “My mother has also always looked out for me, given me opportunities in theater, and supported me emotionally when I needed it the most.”

When Joshua graduates from Ashdown High School this year, he will go on to Baylor University, and he hopes that in ten years, he will be working a job in computer programming or game design with a family of his own. “Looking back, Ashdown High School has really fostered my love of learning and pushed me to pursue higher learning,” Joshua says. “If I could give any advice to incoming high school freshmen, it would be to not slack off in your classes; every grade is important, and all colleges are going to look at your performance in high school very critically. Work hard and reap your rewards later when applying for college.”    

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LET'S GET TO KNOW KADEN. When he graduates from Redwater High School this year, Kaden plans to attend Houston Community College and pursue a computer architecture degree. “My counselor helped me look into the best college for me and helped me look into different career opportunities based on my interests,” Kaden says. “In ten years, I see myself successful in my career with a good-paying job.” While at Redwater, Kaden has been involved with the track and field event of pole vaulting. “I chose pole vaulting because the first time I did it, I fell in love with the feeling I had as I flew through the air,” Kaden says. “Through this event, I have learned to always focus on what you want to accomplish and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.” 034

Kaden’s favorite coach is Lawson McBain. “Lawson coached me throughout my first few years of track,” Kaden says. “He taught me everything I know about pole vaulting, and he’s been a good friend throughout my high school years.” One tradition that Kaden is proud of at Redwater High School is called the senior circle. “All of the seniors gather around in a circle after each pep rally and sway back and forth while the band plays,” Kaden says.  When he is not at school, Kaden works at Raising Cane’s. “I work after school, after track practice, and on the weekends,” Kaden says. “Having a job has helped me develop important skills and has taught me responsibility. “ Kaden says that his mom, Kelli, and his step-dad, Will, have A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

Chris A. Ferguson,D.D.S.

always supported him. “They helped me and pushed me academically. They always come to my extracurricular activities to cheer me on and support everything I do,” Kaden says.

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Kaden says that he has changed a lot since freshman year. He says that he has grown up in many ways and has really seen how difficult adulthood can be. If Kaden McGaha could give incoming freshmen any advice about their high school experience, it’s simply to be themselves. “Create your own YOU. Don’t be someone you are not just because others want you to be that way,” Kaden says. “Don’t let the weight of what others think about you hold you down. I am a very carefree, laid-back guy, and I plan to stay that way.”

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Preparing students for a world that doesn’t yet exist. A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

Strong Community Support Outstanding Faculty Nurturing Environment Excellence in Academics, Fine Arts, & Athletics 16 to 1 Student Teacher Ratio 035

Trentyn Morris-Hill NEW BOSTON HIGH SCHOOL   SENIOR 2021

LET'S GET TO KNOW TRENTYN. For Trentyn, graduation this spring means that he can continue his educational journey at a college and university and, hopefully, play sports at the collegiate level. “My New Boston school staff, teachers, and coaches have supported me by guiding me towards pursuing college and furthering my education,” Trentyn says. Trentyn is a student council representative this year at New Boston High School, and he volunteers and helps out in and around the community whenever he can. Trentyn has also been a four-year high school varsity player, where he has competed in football, baseball, and basketball. “I will always remember the brotherhood and bonds I’ve made with my 036

coaches and teammates,” Trentyn says. “Coach Waltz and Coach Mason have been very influential in my life. They’ve pushed me to become a better man and helped me become a better leader on and off of the field. Coach Waltz has taught me that no matter what adversity or challenges you may face, there will always be a way to overcome them. He also taught me to strive for greater things.” Trentyn says that his family has been an advocate and champion for him throughout his life. “My mom, Audrey, has always been my number one supporter. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be where I am in life today,” Trentyn says. “Also, my dad, Kevin, has taught me what it means to be a good man and important things in life that I’ll need when I go off to start my own journey in this world.”

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Other family members have also been there by his side. “My nana, Linda, and pawpaw, L.C., have also been very instrumental in my life and have motivated and supported me in all that I have done. My uncles, D and Chad, and my aunts, Frishi and Altis, have supported me and been there for me since I was born. They have treated me more like a son than a nephew,” Trentyn says. “Last but not least, my baby sisters, Aspen Rayn and Jazmine, give me a hard time at times, but they have always looked up to me as their big brother and have supported and cheered for me along the way.” In the future, Trentyn hopes to enjoy personal and professional success. “In ten years, I pray that I’m alive and well above all, but also that I am successful and somewhere nice, with plenty of money to take care of those that I love the most,” Trentyn says. 

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LET'S GET TO KNOW MACY. When Macy graduates this May, she will be attending the University of Oklahoma in Norman, where she plans to major in biology. “Pleasant Grove has fully prepared me academically and personally to achieve my future goals and plans by providing ample opportunities and experiences that I would not have seen at just any school district,” Macy says. “I feel the Pleasant Grove community supports me by having high expectations and a mindset that strives for excellence in every aspect of the school district. These high standards have prepared me to begin accomplishing my future goals and plans I have for myself.” When someone asks Macy what she loves most about Pleasant Grove, she always responds with how well the school district provides the newest technology, equipment, and facilities. “Pleasant Grove is always making new 038

additions to the school both academically and athletically in order to make the students feel important and valued,” Macy says. “I admire that the school district does not stop once one feature is added or one building is updated. They continue to find things to enhance solely to improve the education and abilities of each student.” Macy is extremely involved in the school. She has played volleyball since fifth grade, so she always knew she wanted to play competitively for the high school. She recently received the 2021 Volleyball Academic All-State award presented by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. She received this award for having an outstanding cumulative GPA over the last four years of high school and competing four years in a row at the varsity level. “I am most proud of this award because it represents my abilities academically and athletically,” Macy says. “This A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

sport, in particular, provided me with more life lessons and essential life skills that I never dreamed I would discover within a sport. Pleasant Grove volleyball not only gave me the opportunity to be the best volleyball player I could be, but it allowed me to grow in areas of patience, leadership, communication, decision making, and teamwork.” Macy also played basketball and softball at the high school level. These sports helped her broaden her perspective and gain new friendships with people. “I am thankful to have been a part of these sports because of the lessons I learned and knowledge I will carry with me for years to come,” Macy says. Though Macy always knew being a cheerleader would be fun, she could not have imagined the memories and experiences she would obtain through Pleasant Grove Cheer. She was voted Cheer Captain two years in a row, which allowed her to develop more leadership skills and apply them in different settings. “This is a phenomenal program that is tough, competitive, successful, and all around enjoyable,” Macy says. “From football games to pep rallies to competitions, I have experienced it all with this program, and I will forever cherish the amazing memories it has given me.” Macy is also a member of the National Honor Society, the Keyettes Club (a community service organization), and the journalism program. “I am a three-year staff member of PG Journalism and currently serving as Business Manager. Journalism is much more than just creating a book full of pictures,” Macy says. “It has taught me how to meet a deadline, design skills, creative thinking, and organization. I am thankful for my choice to apply to be a part of the journalism family.” Macy says that she comes from a family of five that “never leaves a room silent.” Her mom, Rebeca, dad, Kennedy, and brothers Braden and Griffin have all supported and cheered her on for as long as she can remember. “My family consistently congratulates me on my achievements and accomplishments. Every one of them does all of the little things right. They never fail to show up for me and make me

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feel meaningful and loved,” Macy says. “We are a very competitive group that constantly aims to finish above the other. My two older brothers never let me accomplish something without a battle, but when I do, they are always there to show their support.” One memory that will always stick with Macy is when she was allowed the opportunity to travel to the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, two years in a row to cheer on the Pleasant Grove football team as they battled for the State Championship title. “I will never forget the feeling I got when I walked onto that field. Being on the sidelines cheering at that NFL stadium made me feel extremely important. Not only did we get to experience the trip and luxuries of the atmosphere, but we won the 2019 UIL 4A-D2 State Championship,” Macy says. “It was an amazing feeling to be a part of a school that achieves such greatness. Few schools give their students opportunities and memories of this magnitude, and I can confidently say there is no other school I would rather be a part of.” In ten years, Macy sees herself graduating from medical school and practicing pediatric medicine in Texas. She hopes to be establishing her roots in a medium-sized town, preparing to start a family. “I plan to start up my own medical office where I will provide care to the children in my community,” Macy says. “I have extremely high expectations for my future, and I am excited to see where I land.”  Looking back on her high school career, Macy often tells younger students at Pleasant Grove to never limit themselves to a few activities within the school. In Macy’s opinion, making the most of high school years means being as involved with the school as students possibly can. “Even if you question trying out for that sport, sign up for that club, or join that fine arts department. I always say at least try it,” Macy says. “As involved as I have been throughout my high school career, there are still more activities and organizations I wish I would have been a part of because Pleasant Grove does an exceptional job at allowing each student to be a part of every single activity they wish to explore.” 



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Love God. Serve Others. Teach Truth.


CHRISTIAN WARRIORS CHURCH, 2101 E 50th St, Texarkana, AR 71854 Sunday Services, 10 am | PASTOR MICAH HARP A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

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financial focus



Raymond James is not affiliated with Everplans. © 2020 Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC. © 2020 Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value. Raymond James® Financial Services is not affiliated with the investment center. Raymond James financial advisors do not render tax services. Please consult a qaulified professional regarding tax matters.

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OPEN TUES - SAT: 11:00-6:00, SUN - MON : CLOSED


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Fish Tales with Mike Brower

Ready, Set, Go

It’s warming up and the water is warming, so the spawning ritual should be upon us once again. As I’ve talked about before, we here in Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas don’t get to fully enjoy fishing for spawning fish. That is, we don’t typically get to watch them on the bed and to see the strikes. All we know is we caught a male that looks like it is guarding a nest or a female that has not yet spawned. If you want to learn more about bass and how they act on the nest, you need to go to a clear water lake and sight fish. You can learn so much by watching how they act and react to different presentations and baits. For instance, bass on the nest really don’t care for a chartreuse and orange tube bait to be anywhere near their nest. Did you know the actual spot on the bed where the eggs are is only about the size of a half dollar? Bass on the bed are not as active or angry as you think. As something comes by the nest, they are more curious as to its movement than they are about moving it away. Males guarding beds mainly just swim around the nest looking tough and are not really looking to eat anything. They want to just move things away so they grab something and swim three or four feet away and spit it out, then go back to looking tough. Getting a bass to bite once they have seen you is a time consuming process. They know you are there and they will need to get used to you before they do anything, which can take quite a bit of time. If you have not sighted fish on the bed, you really need to try it. It will help your game considerably. Just don’t keep those spawners.

Happy fishing.


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April Events Rhea Lana’s of Texarkana is hosting a Family The Four States Fair Entertainment Center The Ark-La-Tex Challenge offers both novice Shopping Event! Get the entire family set for & Fairgrounds is home to the Annual Four and experienced cyclists a ride, unlike many all things spring & summer! Located inside the States Fair and Rodeo, but also hosts a others. This ride will allow you to ride through former Bealls store (Central Mall), shopping variety of other events including Barrel three states in one ride. We offer five different begins April 1st at 4pm and continues through Races, State Horse Shows, Cutting Shows, distances to accommodate different cyclist April 10th. Rodeos, Concerts, Banquets and much, much levels. Visit www.arklatexchallenge.com for more. More info and tickets can be found by more info and route lengths! visiting fourstatesfair.com.

Crossties Event & Wedding Venue, located Explore the African American Artists exhibit of in the heart of Downtown Texarkana quilts, fabrics, and fibers at the Regional Arts Entertainment District, will be hosting over Center beginning Saturday, April 10th from 100 Wedding Vendors in their unique & 12pm-4pm. The Regional Arts Center is located spacious 37,000 sq ft Event Center. Covering at 321 West 4th Street, Texarkana, TX. Future Brides areas of interest in: Catering, Floral, Wedding Attire, Photography, Videography, Wellness & Beauty, Makeup Artist, Beauticians’, Event Planners & much, much more for you to gain ideas and connect with local wedding suppliers that will help make your Dream Day uniquely personal and a huge success! Tickets are $15/each.

Country Club of Arkansas 4 Person LADIES ONLY Scramble Registration and Lunch: 11:00am – 12:30pm Shotgun Start at 12:30pm Team Entry Fee: $500

Each team has opportunity to purchase the Gaming Package · $50/team/each player receives raffle ticket for door prize · 1 mulligan per round/ per player · 1 auto-shot to be used on Hole #10 for the team to play · 2 entries into the Putting Contest (during the event after 9th hole)


CASA Colorful 5K & Family Fun Run is back! This 3.1 mile run/walk event begins on an open field and winds through a trail system, with color stations located throughout the route. Participants will be showered with brightly colored powder turning their white shirts into a color explosion. Visit casatexarkana.org for more info!

Country Club of Arkansas 4 Person Scramble Registration and Lunch: 11:00am – 12:30pm Shotgun Start at 12:30pm Team Entry Fee: $500

Each team has opportunity to purchase the Gaming Package · $50/team/each player receives raffle ticket for door prize · 1 mulligan per round/ per player · 1 auto-shot to be used on Hole #10 for the team to play · 2 entries into the Putting Contest (during the event after 9th hole)

1st Choice Pregnancy Resource Center will host this event on Saturday, May 1st at Spring Lake Park. All funds raised go directly to serving clients right here in our community. The Kids’ Fun Run starts at 8:30 AM, the Diaper Derby is at 9:00 AM, and all who want to walk together will start at 9:15 AM. Check the Events page on the Friends of 1st Choice PRC Facebook page for updates or to register, or call (903) 792-5735 for additional information. A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1

Drug Take Back Initiative Operation Medicine Cabinet The Texarkana Arkansas Police Department is proud to partner with Texarkana Emergency Center in an effort to remove unused and out of date prescription medicines from your homes. •It is important to know that law enforcement is only interested in the removal of unused and/or outdated medications from the homes of our citizens. •It matters not whose name is on the prescription, by whom it was prescribed, where it was prescribed, or where you reside. •We stress that it makes no difference if you live in Texas or Arkansas. •We take back all medications, no questions asked. You can remove the label if you desire but it’s not necessary. •We ask that you do not deposit needles (sharps), inhalers, medication from businesses or clinics, ointments, lotions, liquids, aerosol cans, hydrogen peroxide, or thermometers. One box has been placed behind the Bi State Justice Building at 100 N. State Line Ave., Texarkana, Arkansas and another outside the Texarkana Emergency Center, 4646 Cowhorn Creek Rd., Texarkana, Texas. These boxes are regularly checked and the contents are immediately packaged for destruction. If you would like to personally drop your medications off to law enforcement, you can at the Miller County Sheriff’s Office on East Street and Bi State Justice Building in Texarkana.

National Take Back Day April 24, 2021 8am - 12pm at Texarkana Emergency Center & Hospital

You can learn more about this program by visiting www.artakeback.org or on Facebook by searching Arkansas Take Back or Arkansas Drug take Back. FIND

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Passion For Pooches 2 year old Labadoodle. Ready for her furever home!


Boxer Rescue of Texarkana Let us get these babies homes! Gunner is a great dog!


Texarkana Animal League papillon/chihuahua mix babies. They’re Three months old. Two boys and a girl!

Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Local Rescues


CONTACT LOCAL RESCUES TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION! BOXER RESCUE OF TEXARKANA Facebook.com/ BoxerRescueOfTexarkana MUTTLEY CREW GERMAN SHEPHERD RESCUE Facebook.com/ MuttleyCrewRescue PASSION FOR POOCHES (mostly small dogs) Facebook.com/passionforpooches TEXARKANA ANIMAL LEAGUE Facebook.com/ TexarkanaAnimalLeague TEXARKANA HUMANE SOCIETY TexarkanaHumaneSociety.org Facebook.com/ TexarkanaHumaneSocietyInc

Muttley Crew A German Shepherd breed that is precious!


The Animal Care & Adoption Center of Texarkana, Arkansas is located at 203 Harrison, Texarkana, AR, 71854. For more information, call 870.773.6388, or visit: www. animalcareadoptioncenter.org or www.facebook.com/AnimalCare AdoptionTXK. Please note, all dogs adopted from this shelter MUST be spayed or neutered. Spays cost $89-$104, neuters are $76-$92 depending on the weight of the dog. We also have SPONSORED dogs and cats! This means someone has already paid for their vetting! Come see who’s waiting! We are always in need of caring, capable volunteers to assist in with duties at the center, adoption events, fund-raising activities and more. Open Monday-Friday 11AM 5PM; Saturday 11AM - 2PM.


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8601 YUKON AVE TEXARKANA, TX This beautiful, 5 bedroom, 2 story home has space galore. Over 3900 square feet of living space with a second living area or office, built in fireplace, formal dining as well as breakfast nook, large bedrooms, and a huge master suite, with separate walk in closets, walk in shower, separate lavatories, and the list goes on and on. Granite countertops, beautiful hardwood floors, freshly and tastefully painted with neutral colors are just a part of what makes this home so attractive. The home sits on just over 3 acres and has a wrap around front porch for afternoon sitting. A very quiet and peaceful neighborhood is calling you. Don’t miss this opportunity to own your perfect home.

Bill Spradlin Realtor 903-748-3186

Tracy Spradlin Broker 903-748-2477

Jan Williams Realtor 903-277-5771

Pam Hollingsworth John Trubia Realtor Realtor 903-277-1222 817-701-8402

Amber McCormack Kailey McDowell Administrative Property Assistant Manager 903-223-0710 903-559-1511 Now Servicing the

Dallas Fort Worth Area!

Brenda Elrod Property Manager 903-559-1511

1356 N. Kings Hwy. | Nash, TX 75569 | 903.223.0710 www.ImpactRealtyOnline.com | billsprad@aol.com | spradlintd@aol.com A LT M a g a z i n e | A p r i l 2 0 2 1



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April 2021 ALT Magazine  

The April issue of 2021 for ALT Magazine!

April 2021 ALT Magazine  

The April issue of 2021 for ALT Magazine!