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 | 2016 Graduation Guide

Inside this issue Killeen High School

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Shoemaker High School

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Ellison High School

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Harker Heights High School

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Belton High School

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New Tech High School

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Salado High School

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Florence High School

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Copperas Cove High School

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Lampasas High School

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Gatesville High School

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2016 Graduation Guide | A Killeen Daily Herald publication. Contact Us Editorial: news@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7542 Advertising: 254-501-7500 | Circulation: 254-501-7400 On the cover: Design by Renee Blue and Amy Casto Find more news at KDHnews.com.


2016 Graduation Guide | 

Killeen valedictorian eyes neurosurgery, salutatorian picks humanitarian work BY TODD MARTIN SPECIAL TO THE HERALD

The top two Killeen High School graduates have followed their considerable intellectual pursuits to a fascination with the human brain and the interaction of global culture. Valedictorian Aimee Nazario-Ovalle completed the two-year Texas Bioscience Institute program and plans to study neuroscience at the University of Texas en route to medical school and work as a neurosurgeon. Salutatorian Kenya Young spent her studies in the global-focused International Baccalaureate program and is headed to Texas A&M University and international studies with hopes of doing humanitarian work in third-world nations. Nazario-Ovalle’s military family took her to Hawaii, New Jersey, Virginia and Alaska before arriving in Killeen as a freshman, where she has been No. 1 in her class for four years. “It’s very rewarding,” she said of near-

Aimee Nazario-Ovalle

Kenya Young

ing the end of high school and maintaining her top spot in the class. “Officially being valedictorian takes on a bigger meaning. This is the final reward.” Always focused on academic success, taking Advanced Placement courses and the TBI courses at Temple College,

Nazario-Ovalle managed to carve out time for other pursuits. She was part of National Honor Society and French Club and was on the varsity tennis team. “Being so involved, I almost had to perfect time management.”

Her studies led her to a fascination with the way the brain works, to manage behavior and negotiate decisions. For Young, the IB curriculum proved an appropriate fit, and she was highly motivated to perform at her best. “I work closely with the top 10 percent of the class and they challenge me,” she said. “It wouldn’t be fair to them if I didn’t work hard. Everyone should work their hardest.” She was involved with the French Club, serving as president and taking a lead role in a Mardi Gras celebration. She has also done community service. Her focus, though, has been on a rigorous course of study. “I like IB,” she said, “because it’s global and it opens the mind to opportunities.” She found herself intrigued by the interrelationships between cultures and dived into learning about the roots of history and divergent culture. She sees herself working for a nonprofit organization in a third-world country to help victims of human exploitation.

Karen Vicente

Katrina Lynn Cantu

Congratulations to KHS graduate Karen Vicente. Texas State University is waiting for you! You will be missed! The sky is the limit. We wish that all your dreams come true.

We are so very proud of the beautiful young woman you are today! You have brought so much love, joy, pride into our lives the day you were born. Best wishes for your Bright Future!

Love, the Ramos family

Love, Dad, Mom & Helena


 | 2016 Graduation Guide

Top two Shoemaker grads draw on global perspectives BY TODD MARTIN SPECIAL TO THE HERALD

Both of the top graduates from Shoemaker High School draw on global perspectives and pursued diverse experiences in high school. Valedictorian Bich Nguyen is headed to the University of Texas at Austin to study nutritional science en route to medical school. Salutatorian SooBin Lee is going to Texas A&M University to study civil engineering. “I’m very honored,” Nguyen said. “There are amazing people at Shoemaker. We have students going to MIT and West Point. I just wanted to be in the top 10 percent.” She said she was ranked No. 5 as a freshman and that encouraged her to work even harder to crack the top two. Nguyen took part in the two-year Texas Bioscience Institute program at Temple College that broadened her interest and knowledge of medical

Kaitlyn Brooke Moseley Congratulations to our honor graduate. We are so proud of you and your achievements. Your future is bright, reach for the stars! Now “Carpe Diem”. We love you, Mom, Dad, and Colten

Bich Nguyen

SooBin Lee

science. “I was very encouraged,” she said. “I was able to focus on my studies and

I really liked the teachers.” In addition to serving as Student Council vice president and participat-

John Brady III

Joshua Elijah Rillera

ing in National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society, she volunteered at Metroplex Hospital and worked as an interpreter. Her native language is Vietnamese. “I’ll remember all the extracurricular activities at Shoemaker, the prom and the Starmakers Banquet,” she said. “I’ll remember the amazing people I’ve met.” “It’s a good achievement for me as I leave high school,” said Lee, reflecting on his salutatorian status. “It’s a good start to college.” An active student, he said he didn’t give a lot of thought to class rank, but focused on taking maximum advantage of education opportunities. He played soccer and took part in NHS, art club, science club and the Cyberwolves robotics club. A Killeen ISD student since sixth grade, Lee has also lived in China and Korea and speaks Korean. He said he would encourage his peers that hard work pays off.

Xavier GarciaRamos

Congrats! We are so proud of you!

We are so proud of you, my boy, hang on to your dreams, do your best, always remain in Christ.

Congratulations! We’re so proud of you! You did it!

Honey, Dad, Mom, Haley, Nana

We love you. Your Mom, Dad, Lance, Psalm, Your aunts, uncles & cousins.

Love, Mom, Dad, AJ & Nevaeh


2016 Graduation Guide | 

Ellison’s top two flipped rankings this year; both set on medical careers BY TODD MARTIN SPECIAL TO THE HERALD

They followed different paths along their high-achieving destinations, ending up together at the top of the Ellison High School Class of 2016. Valedictorian Ghazia Kazmi and salutatorian Chris Trujillo both said they didn’t consider class rankings a high priority until they realized they were within striking distance of the top. The pair actually flip-flopped their top rankings this school year. Taking a full slate of Advanced Placement courses at Ellison and the two-year Texas Bioscience Institute program kept Kazmi busy, and she said the long nights of studying seemed to pay off. “It’s a big honor to represent my class,” she said. Reflecting the competitive camaraderie that marks the top rankings of a large class, Trujillo, who was clearly humbled by his high achievement, joked that he was No. 1 “until she came along.” Speaking seriously, the salutatorian said he didn’t feel worthy to occupy

Anthony Levette Congratulations Anthony! Your family’s so so proud of you. There’s no way you could understand the joy we have knowing you dug deep & overcame through it all. Please continue that! To GOD be the Glory!! Love Dad, Mom, Jarvis, and Destini

Ghazia Kazmi

Chris Trujillo

such a high spot in the class and credited God and his family and friends for pulling him through. Kazmi has served as secretary for National Honor Society and been active in Ellison’s Leadership Academy and the Harker Heights Interact Club, as well as her church youth group. Trujillo focused largely on a full schedule of dual-credit and AP courses and was a varsity golfer and heavily

involved in his church youth group. Both said setting priorities and managing time were critical components of their life and sleep was often a casualty. “It was about prioritizing,” Ghazia said. “I always want to give 100 percent and giving up a lot of sleep was part of that. I think it was worth the effort.” She is headed to Texas A&M University to study biomedical science with plans to enter the field of dentistry.

Taylor Raeann Sowers “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” - Walt Disney Congratulations babe, we love you very much!

Tianna R. Woods

She credited family for pushing her hard when she was younger and allowing her to gain independence more recently. “My community has been a great support.” A native of Pakistan, Ghazia speaks Urdu and Hindi and is functional in Arabic. She attended Reeces Creek Elementary School and Patterson Middle School before going to Ellison. “It’s a sense that I made it,” said Trujillo of coming to the end of high school as the salutatorian. “Now it’s time to go on to bigger and better things.” He plans to attend Texas A&M University and study biomedical engineering. He came to that decision through connecting with veterans at a VA hospital where his two grandfathers were patients. Designing prosthetics, he said, would be a way to give back while exercising his engineering skills. While praising his parents, friends and church family, he gave special praise to Cedar Valley Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Odila Owens, who challenged his thinking when he needed an extra push.

Cherese Charlotte Evans

Congratulations to our miracle baby! Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews. 11.1

Congratulations Mimi! We’re so proud of you.

Love, Mom and Dad

Love, Daddy, Momma & Sissy


 | 2016 Graduation Guide

Harker Heights pair pursues wide variety of interests in school BY TODD MARTIN SPECIAL TO THE HERALD

The top graduates of Harker Heights High School combined considerable intellect and energy to pursue a wide range of interests while finishing at the top of the Class of 2016. Seun Fashina is valedictorian and Katherine Dunham is salutatorian. Both said they approached their studies with diligence and labored to never fall behind despite their busy schedules. “I feel very blessed,” Fashina said. “I’m thankful for my parents and for God for supporting me.” “I did my best, but I wasn’t obsessed with class rank,” she said. “It was about making sure I studied intentionally so I didn’t have to cram the day before.” In addition to completing the Texas Bioscience Institute dual-credit program, she took part in band, played tennis and was part of National

Seun Fashina

Katherine Dunham

Honor Society, Team Green and Junior Ambassadors. Fashina is headed to Baylor University to study biomedical engineering.

She said she enjoyed TBI, where she thrived in the independent college setting. She said she would remember most

Alberto J. Aviles Alberto, we are so proud of you and all of your accomplishments! We can’t wait for you to start your new journey at UT. We couldn’t have asked for a better son and may God bless you. We love you! Go Longhorns!

fondly the friends she made in high school. “It’s amazing,” Dunham said of achieving salutatorian status. “It wasn’t a huge goal. I really just wanted to finish in the top 10 percent.” As the semesters passed, she cracked the top 10 of her class and decided to work toward the top. “For me, it’s about getting all the work done,” she said. “It’s important to turn in all the work and study for every test — do all the little things.” She also completed the Texas Bioscience Institute program at Temple College and praised the experience for providing an independent learning environment. In high school, Dunham took part in National Honor Society and orchestra and she played soccer outside school. She attended Killeen Independent School District schools since kindergarten. She plans to attend the University of Texas and study biology.


2016 - -2017 School Calendar KILLEEN ISD 2016-2017 SCHOOL CALENDAR 2016 016 2016 --2017 2017 2017 School School School Calendar Calendar Calendar

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 | 2016 Graduation Guide

Friends with academic, other honors sit atop Belton class of 2016 BY CRYSTAL DOMINGUEZ FME News Service

BELTON — Jasmine Peng is valedictorian of the Belton High School class of 2016 — leading 663 graduates. Her good friend Christina Gaw is right behind her as the class salutatorian. Both students said they never paid much attention to their rank throughout high school, but as their senior year wound down, they were more aware of where they stood. “We have always flipped-flopped back and forth,” Peng said. “Each time rankings came out (at semester’s end), it kind of kept me on my feet. ... But at the end ... I was really pushing myself because I didn’t want all of my hard work to be for nothing.” Peng has received regional and national recognition in dance and academically. She is the co-captain of the Magic Belles, the school’s dance team, and a National Merit Scholar finalist — one of 15,000 nationwide. She said her drive to excel comes from her competitive nature. “The way that I was raised by my

Jasmine Peng, right, and Christina Gaw

parents was, ‘It doesn’t have to perfect, but it has to be your best,’” Peng said. “They have always made sure that I understood that the world is bigger than where I am and to never be satisfied with where I am.” Peng has volunteered at the Temple Public Library since she was in the sixth grade and is president of the National Honor Society. Gaw, who wears many hats at the

school, said she was able to reach this point because of her ability to juggle her school work with extracurricular activities. “It took a lot of hard work and dedication to my studies as well as time management with extracurricular activities,” Gaw said. Gaw is in cross country and track and is the chair for the Belton Youth Advisory Commission, where she serves as

a leader for the after-school program that helps kids stay out of trouble. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and Key Club. Gaw stays busy with several academic clubs and has been recognized for her various achievements at University Interscholastic League competitions with a focus on journalism. Peng said that following graduation she looks forward to heading back to Ithaca, N.Y., to visit with friends and family. But that is not the only reason why the straight-A student is heading to the Ivy League town — she will be attending Cornell University this fall. “I used to live in the area near Cornell, so I am really looking forward to going back there and reconnecting with my friends,” Peng said. She said she hopes to combine her interests in biology and helping others and pursue a career in the medical field. Gaw has similar plans and wants to become a physician like her mother, who has been her influence. Gaw said she looks forward to the medical opportunities she will be provided this fall while attending Baylor University.


2016 Graduation Guide | 

New Tech valedictorian, salutatorian push for top spots as friendly rivals BY CRYSTAL DOMINGUEZ FME News service

BELTON — Since he was a freshman at New Tech High School @ Waskow, Andrew McMahon has had his eye on the No. 1 spot in his class. “My freshman year I thought, ‘Hmm, this seems like an attainable goal,’” he said. “So then I decided to make a push for it.” Now a senior and close to graduation, McMahon has secured the valedictorian position out of 103 students. “Once I got that first ranking I didn’t want to let up,” he said. “I didn’t want to be the person who had something and let it go.” He has lived in Belton for the past 12 years and will be attending the University of Virginia this fall to follow his parents, who are relocating for a new job opportunity. McMahon, a “die-hard Chicago Cubs fan,” said he has chosen to pursue statistics in college. “I love sports. I picked my major based off of a movie.” That movie, which centers on both professional baseball and numbers, is “Moneyball.”

Andrew McMahon, left, and Heather Parker

Heather Parker, a good pal and study partner of McMahon’s, is this year’s salutatorian. “We have actually been very good friends since our freshman year,” Parker said about their similar involvement with extracurricular activities like National Honor Society and Key Club. “This year, we have the exact same classes.” Parker said her father influenced her

to strive for the top after he was ranked third in his class. “He said he always regretted not making that final push to get to second,” she said. Both students are highly involved in the school’s band and wind ensemble. McMahon plays the trumpet and Parker, the French horn. He said since they were freshman they have seen the band excel and receive top-notch ratings at competition.

Parker has been a section leader in the Belton Marching 100 for the past two years. “It has been a huge part of my life,” Parker said. “All of the people in band are amazing and they are the people that got me through this.” In the fall, Parker will be down the interstate attending the University of Texas at Austin. She completed a capstone project on Parkinson’s disease and is interested in learning about neurodegenerative disorders — what she plans to study in college. As a freshman, McMahon received the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout — the highest rank possible for the Boys Scouts of America, which requires the completion of an extensive service project. New Tech Principal Jill Ross foresees the duo continuing their academic excellence throughout college. “They are very genuine and humble,” Ross said. “And they don’t realize how exceptional they are. When they arrive at their college campuses next year they will take that same work ethic that they learned and refined here at New Tech with them — and they will be stars.”


10 | 2016 Graduation Guide

Athletics, academics go hand-in-hand for Salado’s top two grads By Bob Massey

Herald correspondent

Salado High School’s valedictorian and salutatorian both know what it takes to be a leader. Valedictorian Morgan Bird was class president for three years, president of Mu Alpha Theta, captain of the soccer team for three years, a participant in Salado Youth Leadership, student senate leadership class for two years and cheerleader junior varsity captain. Bird decided to run cross-country for the first time this year and was on the varsity team. She played volleyball and also lettered all four years in soccer plus winning several individual awards, including the 2016 David Smoak ESPNCentral Texas Academic All-Star title. She is also an AP Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society and was a student liaison on the Village of Salado Board of Aldermen. Salutatorian Preston Kimbrough has competed at the state level in cross-country three of the last four years and has been the top runner in

Morgan Bird

Preston Kimbrough

Salado the past three years. He is in the National Honor Society and vice president of Mu Alpha Theta. Bird, 17, is the daughter of Erin and Kim Bird, will attend Duke University and major in neuroscience. “I felt this positive and collaborative environment from the first minute

I stepped on campus the first time,” Bird said. “I knew it was the place I belonged because everyone I would pass introduced themselves and made me want to be a part of the school.” Bird said, “I’m not quite through with my speech, but part of it will include my belief that if you put this

class in a room together everyone would get along. “We’ve been together a long time and we will be a positive force in the world because everyone brings something special to the table.” Kimbrough, 18, is the son of Luke and Jacqueline Franks. In his leadership experience in high school, Kimbrough said he learned that it’s not just knowing what to do but convincing others about the part they play in accomplishing a common goal. Upon graduation, he will be enrolled in the Honors Engineering Program at Texas A&M University. His career goals are to secure a job where he creates and just doesn’t sit at a desk doing a lot of paperwork. “The emphasis of my speech will be Texas A&M tradition!” Kimbrough said. “I’ll also include comments about life choices, hard work, dedication and the pursuit of success.” Bird and Kimbrough will participate in Salado High’s graduation ceremonies June 4 at the Frank and Sue Mayborn Center at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton.


2016 Graduation Guide | 11

Florence valedictorian pursues food science, salutatorian eyes architecture By Val Valdez Herald Correspondent

As valedictorian of Florence High School’s class of 2016, Ryan Earb, 18, credits his family’s support for helping him achieve this high honor. “They’ve been a huge part of everything I’ve done, attending all my events for band, baseball and track, and I wouldn’t be receiving this without them,” Earb said. The Georgetown native is graduating with a 4.0 GPA and headed to Texas Tech University in the fall, where he plans to major in plant and soil science. Earb participated in many science fairs throughout his school years and was active in FFA, but it was during a trip this year to Texas A&M University science labs when he was inspired. “I did an experiment with nano particles in tomato plants and that really ignited my passion for it,” he said. His career goal is to work in a lab as a research scientist helping to solve the

Ryan Earb

Jacob Dasuta

world’s food problems. “I really want to make a difference with the work I do to find ways to feed the world’s population,” said Earb, who hopes to remain in Texas. Salutatorian Jacob Dasuta, 17, wants

everyone to live and work in a better world that he helps build. And that is his main motivation to study architecture at The University of Texas at Austin in the fall. “Combining the intricate side of

engineering with the artistic to create amazing cities to live in really excites me,” said Dasuta, who graduates with a 4.0 GPA. His military family settled in the area when he was in the third grade, and Dasuta grew up loving the outdoors, so he is keen on sustainable and energy efficient design, especially in the residential field. “I’m intrigued by positive urbanization methods, like in Austin, that improve communities, and reduce global warming,” he said. Besides his love for architecture, Dasuta was active in band, robotics and debate and track and baseball while at Florence High School. One day he wants to own his firm in Texas or maybe in London, one of his favorite cities. But for now, he’s excited about the next step in his life and thanked his family for giving him love and freedom. “They said to me, choose what makes you happiest, and we’ll always support you,” Dasuta said.


12 | 2016 Graduation Guide

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Copperas Cove ISD does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, or any other basis prohibited by law. Copperas Cove ISD no discrimina contra ninguna persona debido a la raza, color, religi贸n, sexo, origen nacional, inhabilidad, edad, o sobre ninguna otra base prohibida por la ley.

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2016-2017 School Calendar Important Dates

August 8-12 August 15-19 August 22 September 5 September 30 October 3 October 10 November 4 November 7 November 11 November 21-25 December 15 December 15 December 16 December 19-January 2 January 3 January 4 January 16 February 17 February 20 February 21 March 13-17 April 14 April 7 April 10 May 25 May 26 TBA TBA May 29 May 30-31

Staff Professional Development Days Staff Professional Development Days Begin 1st Grading Period/1st Semester

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2 9 16 23 30

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Copperas Cove High School Graduation Holiday Staff Professional Development Days

P - Progress Report R - Report Card 170 Student Days / 187 Teacher Days CCISD Board Approved: 2-9-16

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2016 Graduation Guide | 13

Music, medicine are career goals for Cove’s valedictorian, salutatorian BY DON MUNSCH

KILLEEN DAILY HERALD

Laura Purvis mentioned how some people wondered why she would “waste” her brainpower on music. The valedictorian of Copperas Cove High School doesn’t see that she is wasting her academic acumen on music — she’s just following her passion. Purvis and salutatorian Kayla Wilson will graduate with their senior class of nearly 500 students next week. Purvis will attend Texas A&M-Commerce to study music education and performance, while Wilson heads to Baylor University in the fall to study biology. She will minor in sign language. Purvis considered other schools, including out of state, but her parents talked to her about her future and advised her that if she finished as valedictorian there would be many scholarship opportunities in Texas with public schools. “That’s why I chose Commerce,” she said. “And not only that, but the teachers and staff there are so amazing and so welcoming and that just made me feel at home.” She serves as the student director of

Isabella Solis Congratulations from your grandparents (Opa & Oma), parents, brothers (Jr. & Ruben), sister (Denise), uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. Love, Papa and Maria

Laura Purvis

Kayla Wilson

choir at CCHS. She would some day like to teach music to choirs at the college level. She wants to get her master’s in choral conducting. Purvis has been involved in the school’s theater program and is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and Thespian Club. She describes her success as “surreal.”

“When I look at myself, I don’t think it’s me that has done all this — it’s been the people who have been in my life,” she said, and those people include parents Bill and Angelia. “I’ve been blessed to be given these talents and abilities. It’s not of my nature. It’s not anything I’ve done. My parents have been a wonderful support system. I don’t think I would be anywhere without them.”

Lashawn Lewis Congrats Jr. We are so proud of you and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. You have turned into such an amazing little man and we love you so much. Love, Mommy, Mimi, Papa, Peepaw, Yaya, Titi Lesley, Titi Iris, Titi Jera, Anisa and Josani.

Jasmine Malcolm We are very proud of you Jasmine. Keep rising to the top.

Love, Mom, Calvin, Brittany, Anthony and Mariah

Wilson, daughter of Chuck and Kim Wilson, moved to Cove from Colorado when she was 9 and counts math and biology as her favorite subjects. She hopes to be a pediatric surgeon and would like to attend Johns Hopkins University. “I wanted a way to give back because I’ve grown up next to Fort Hood, and I’ve seen people giving back all hours of the day,” she said, explaining why she wants to be a surgeon. Wilson’s activities include DECA, where she is a secretary for the group and competed with that group on the national level and finished 12th in the world in international-level competition. She also is the president and founder of group called School Spirit Committee and served as vice president of student council, treasurer of the senior class and a member of National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. “I view myself as someone who will never, ever stop whenever I have a goal, so I feel like I’m going to be just as successful as I was in high school in the future because of the fact I have a really stern mind-set and I won’t ever settle,” she said. “It’s going to be helpful in medical school for sure.”

Ariana M. Lavender Congratulations to our daughter, Ariana for completing her masters degree with Lamar University. Best wishes for continued success.

Love, Mom and Dad


14 | 2016 Graduation Guide

Lampasas valedictorian to study music; salutatorian to pursue engineering By Artie Phillips Killeen daily herald

LAMPASAS — The final bell on the last day of school is typically music to the ears of every student hearing it, but that isn’t the only music Lampasas valedictorian Dayna Yoho hopes to hear in the coming year. “I’m going to major in business at the University of Texas in Arlington, because I really want to be a music manager,” she said. “I’d like to be a talent scout. I don’t have any musical talent myself, but I’d love to find others with talent.” Yoho finished the school year with a 5.32 GPA, and said she was very surprised when she was told just how high her grade was. “I was shocked to find out I was the valedictorian,” she said. “I mean, I’m really happy, but it was just so shocking.” Salutatorian Chance Mason is also preparing for college, and is looking forward to the college school year.

Dayna Yoho, right, is valedictorian; Chance Mason, left is salutatorian.

Mason ended the school year with a 5.29 GPA.

ARTIE PHILLIPS | HERALD

“I’ve been accepted to the University of Texas in Austin, and I’ll be going

into their mechanical engineering program,” he said. “I don’t know yet what career I want in the future, but I’ve always liked math and science, and want to apply that.” It isn’t just the planning of projects that Mason likes, either. He also enjoys making things become a reality. “I like getting to design new stuff, but I also like building stuff,” he said. Yoho and Mason both said they only applied to their top pick school, but both were immediately accepted. Both are happy they were accepted, since family was a big part of their decisions. “I knew I wanted to go to Arlington because of their music program there, but I also have family in Dallas, and this allows me to be near them,” Yoho said. “Both of my sisters went to Austin, and they both really liked it,” Mason said. “That pretty much sold me on wanting to go there.” Lampasas High School’s graduation ceremony is at 7:30 p.m. May 27.

Gatesville’s top two graduates look forward to business, music careers BY DON MUNSCH KILLEEN DAILY HERALD

GATESVILLE — Corinna Hogan has a pretty specific career goal in mind. Hogan, valedictorian of Gatesville High’s class of 2016, will attend Stephen F. Austin State University and major in music composition. She wants to write musical scores for movies, and her preference is fantasy movies, mentioning, when asked, that “Mary Poppins,” “Amadeus,” “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and “Lord of the Rings” are a few of her favorite flicks. “Honestly, I listened to a lot of film scores while I was doing homework last year, and I realized that they’re really kind of my favorite type of music to listen to and I wanted to write music anyway, and that just gave me more of a direction,” she said. Hogan participated in concert band, jazz band and marching band and was a member of National Honor Society during her school years. Her teachers have been an important component in her academic career. “I wouldn’t be near anywhere where

Corinna Hogan

Kelsi Cummings

I am if I hadn’t had so many great academic and music teachers,” she said, noting that hard work was important to her success as well. Plus, she said, her family was supportive and helpful. She likes the campus of SFA and its music composition program and teacher, and looks forward to being in a place and meeting new people. “I’m excited to be able to primarily

focus on music, and music has always been a big focus of mine,” said Hogan, daughter of Mike and Mary Hogan. Salutatorian Kelsi Cummings will attend the University of Mary HardinBaylor and will “probably” major in either business financing or business accounting. “I was going to do art, but then I switched to that because it’s more

money and more promising than a major in art,” she said. “And I’m really good at math, so ...” She looked at Baylor, Texas A&M University and Tarleton State University. Because of UMHB’s proximity and academic scholarship, she chose UMHB. “The most deciding (factor) is the academic scholarship,” she said. She likes that UMHB is close enough to her house, and it’s smaller than the larger schools she looked at. Plus, she said, she didn’t want to attend a school where she would “have 400 people in a class.” At Gatesville, she played basketball and softball and participated in FFA and Dazzlers (dance team). She also belonged to National Honor Society, Junior Ambassadors and student council. Cummings, who says math courses were her favorite classes, credits her mom for her academic success, as she was a valedictorian at Lampasas High School. “And ever since kindergarten, I made a 100 on every test, tried to get the best grades possible,” she said, explaining her mom’s influence. She is the daughter of Jimmie and Kim Cummings.


2016 Graduation Guide | 15


2016 Graduation Guide  
2016 Graduation Guide  
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