Graduation ceremonies being held at Upshur schools
Jun 06, 2013 | 4313 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Gilmer High School Graduation Ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Buckeye Stadium.

Valedictorian is Danielle Nicole Plunk, daughter of Marie and Andy Plunk, who graduates with a GPA of 4.3770.

Miss Plunk plans to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce Honors College majoring in English.

She has been a member of the Buckeye Band for four years, All-Region Band for three years, and National Honor Society for two years, serving as president one year.

Salutatorian is Chelsea Sherie Miears, daughter of Christie Craver. She graduates with a GPA of 4.3672.

Miss Miears plans to attend the University of Texas at Tyler, majoring in nursing.

She graduates with 36 college hours.

Her high school honors/activities have included Varsity Softball, volleyball and Academic All-District Volleyball; Academic All-District Softball, All-District 1st Baseman, Junior Class President, and National Honor Society.

Students in the Top 10 Percent of the Class of 2013 are Danielle Nicole Plunk, Chelsea Sherie Miears, Skylar Chase Robert Hollis, Anthony Evaristo Villafuerte, Michael Keith Hendrix, Haley Nicole Yazell, Juan Antonio Lopez, Chelsey Lyn Alexander, James Edwin Whittle, Katheryn Grace Ivey, Jared Don Plant, William Slade Morris, Dillon McCrae Sampson and Jackson David McQueen.


Harmony High School Graduation will be June 7, at 8 p.m. at the Eagle Football Stadium.

Harmony High School 2013 Valedictorian with a GPA of 101.5454, is Preston Lloyd. Preston is the son of David and Lisa Lloyd. He is the older brother to Jacy and Andy Lloyd and the younger brother to Jennifer Horne and Jordan Lloyd. His grandparents include Nancy Lloyd and Gary and Veralyn Trimble.

Preston is an active member of National Honor Society, Key Club, UIL Club, and Vice President of Student Council. Preston has travelled to State for Cross-Examination Debate where he advanced to quarter-finals with his partner. He placed first in District Persuasive Speaking, 2nd at Region, and is now preparing for State. He also received 1st at District UIL in Current Issues and Events. Preston is also active in band where he has advanced to State the past two years for Solo and Ensemble. Preston also participated in tennis during the 2012-2013 seasons.

Preston is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After graduation, Preston will be serving a mission for two years in Santiago, Chile. Preston was accepted into Texas A&M College Station Engineering Department. Upon his return from his mission, he hopes to study Nuclear Engineering.

Harmony High School 2013 Salutatorian with a GPA of 101.1960, is Courtney Matulis.

Courtney is the daughter of Thomas and Lesia Matulis. She is the sister of Samantha Matulis. Her grandparents include Charles and June McCellon, the late Anthony and Dolores Matulis of Pittsburg, and the late Norman and Opal Overstreet of Gilmer.

Courtney is an active member of National Honor Society, Key Club, and UIL Club. She is also President of the senior class and President of Student Council. Courtney has participated in volleyball and softball. As a member of the volleyball team, Courtney was 2011 Server of the Year, and 2012 MVP Libero. Softball awards include: 2010 First Team 2nd baseman, and Pitcher of the Year for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Courtney is a member of the Holy Cross Catholic Church. After graduation, Courtney plans to attend LeTourneau University where she will major in Mathematics for Secondary Education. Courtney will also be a member of the Lady Yellow Jackets softball team at LeTourneau.

Top Ten members of the class are:

Preston Michael Lloyd

Courtney Michelle Matulis

Reid Parker Rendon

Samuel Taylor Radde

Bailey Elizabeth Rhodes

Amy Renee Allen

Lucas McKane Askew

Mikenna Jane Denton

Byron Paul Murphy

Katherine Lynn Kerwin


New Diana High School Graduation Ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 7, at LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center.

Valedictorian is Kaylee Marcella Loeza, daughter of Adan and Teresa Aguilar.

Miss Loeza plans to attend Texas A&M University at Texarkana, majoring in Neonatal Nursing.

Her high school achievements include Student Council President, Yamboree Duchess, Junior Class President, varsity basketball, National Honor Society, Spanish Club officer, Peer Assistance Leadership member and Homecoming Queen 2011.

Salutatorian is Kimberly Ann Hendricks, daughter of Keith and Pam Hendricks.

Miss Hendricks is considering LeTourneau University, Southern Arkansas University, or Harding University. She plans to major in animal science and music.

Her activities have included Student Council member and officer, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, varsity volleyball, basketball, track and softball; basketball MVP Offensive player 2011 and MVP defensive player 2012; FFA trap Shooting team (two time State female champion); FFA district talent winner; and Dogwood Jamboree Artist of the Year.

The top 10 percent class members are Kaylee Loeza, Kimberly Hendricks, Andrew Mulanax, Justin Grizzle, Samuel King, Garrett Mayeaux and Haley Turman.


Ore City High School’s graduation was held Friday, May 31 at 8 p.m. in Rebel Stadium.

Valedictorian is Kenneth Chance Buckner, who graduates with a GPA of 3.829.

He is the son of Wayne and Traci Buckner.

He plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington, majoring in sports medicine.

Salutatorian is Courtney Loraine Bingham, who has a GPA of 3.722.

She is the daughter of James and Julie Bingham.

Miss Bingham plans to attend Tarleton State University, majoring in animal science.

She participated in varsity basketball, track and softball, and was a member of the Student Council.

She also participated in numerous UIL events, received several academic awards, and received commended rating on all TAKS tests.


Union Hill High School graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2013 were held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the new gymnasium.

Valedictorian of the class is Oscar Eduardo Ramirez, who graduates with a GPA of 3.22.

He is the son of Gerardo Ramirez and Martina Marado.

Oscar plans to attend Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in Marshall, working toward a degree in Architecture.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and First National Bank Junior Board.

Awards he has received include Outstanding Student, Academic Excellence Award, Academic Star Scholar Award TAKS, and Academic Scholar Award A/B Honor roll.

AlsoAcademic Excellence Award for Business, Academic Excellence Award for U.S. History, English 3, Top Student Physics, and Mr. Congenialty Award.

He also was a member of the Community Soccer Team 2010-2013.

He has completed 12 college credits.

Community Service activities include Pancake Breakfast for Senior Citizens, Handicap Rodeo, Coat Drive, Glove Drive, Christmas for a Needy Family, Bullying Guiding Lessons and Birthday Cards for Students at Union Hill.

Marcus Alan Lawton is the 2012 – 2013 Salutatorian, having a GPA 3.03. Marcus is the son of Steve Lawton, and grandson of Marie Lawton Taylor, born in Stephenville Texas, and has attended Union Hill since 5th grade. Marcus has been accepted to East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) Marshall.

Activities and honors include National Honor Society, Student Council Vice-President, Senior Class Vice President, and Spanish Club and FFA.

Academic and Community Accomplishments include: Usher at Bethlehem Baptist Church since the 5th grade,

Duel credits class English 1301 and 1302; Duel credits class Government and Economics; Certified in OPAC Alpha Filing; Certified in OPAC Bank Deposits; Certified in OPAC Bank Reconciliation; Certified in OPAC Excel 2010; Certified in OPAC Numeric Filing; Everfi Financial Literacy Certification 2013.

Also, National Society of High School Scholar. A/B honor roll, ETREYS leadership camp at ETBU; Scholarship from ETREYS leadership camp; Mock Trial; UIL 4years

Athletic activities include cross country, football, basketball, track, baseball, and track.


Union Grove High School Graduation Commencement will be held on June 7 at 8 p.m. in Glynn Johnston Stadium at Union Grove High School.

Valedictorian is Kimberly Ruth Wallace with a GPA of 104.39. She is the daughter of Ricky and Carol Wallace. Kim is Treasurer of the National Honor Society, Secretary of Kilgore College’s Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and a member of Sigma Kappa Delta English Honor Society at Kilgore College.

She is graduating on the distinguished plan with 28 hours of college credit. Kimberly was accepted to Baylor University. She is Drama Club Vice-President and competed in UIL One Act Play receiving Honorable Mention All-Star Cast. Kim has been a member of the UIL Accounting team which took second place team at State last year.

This year, she has won first place individual and team at District, first place team and individual at Regionals with a perfect score, and is moving on to the State competition. Kim was voted by her classmates as “Most Studious” her freshman, junior, and senior years. She received the Accounting Award her junior year.

Kim was a Varsity Cheerleader for three years, participated in Volleyball for two years, and has been a member of the First National Bank of Gilmer Junior Board for two years. She was named DAR Good Citizen, Rotary Club Student of the Month, and Lion Club Student of the Month.

Kim has received the Lion Pride Award and a Bookkeeping Fundamentals Certification. She was named Who’s Who All American Scholar and received honor roll recognition from the United States Achievement Academy. Kimberly plans to attend the University of Texas at Tyler to major in Accounting and become a Certified Public Accountant.

Salutatorian is Mikala Nicole Tarkington, daughter of Danial and Lisa Tarkington. She is a member and President of the National Honor Society. She ranked in the top 10% of her class all four years.

She has been voted by teachers as student of the month both her junior and senior years. Mikala has served as her Class President for four consecutive years and has been a member of the UIL Calculator and Mathematics teams.

She played Volleyball where she received Academic All-District and Honorable Mention her senior year. She also participated in track, band, cheerleading, and the FFA during her high school career. Mikala was voted KYKX Cheerleader of the Week and also received the “Cheerleader of the Year” Scholarship given by KYKX.

Mikala was voted as Head Cheerleader her senior year. She was also voted by her fellow classmates as Class Favorite both her Junior and Senior years and for this past football season she was elected this year’s Homecoming Queen.

After graduation, Mikala plans to attend Blinn College and pursue a career in Veterinary Technology.


Graduation ceremony for the Big Sandy High School Class of 2013 was held at 8 p.m. Friday, May 31.

Valedictorian is Bailee McDonald, daughter of Mark McDonald and Allison McDonald.

She plans to attend Texas A&M University.

Among her high school honors are: FFA-President, NHS-President, FCA, Theater, Drama Club, Spanish club-Secretary, prom committee, Model UN-Committee chair, UIL, Gifted and Talented Program, Class Officer-VP Student Council-VP, Geometry Award 2010, Spanish II Award 2011, Spanish III Award 2012, Most Dependable 2009-2012, Most School Spirit 2010-2011, Most Dramatic 2011-2012, Prom Queen 2013.

Salutatorian is Jonathan Howe, son of Carol King and Henry Howe.

Jonathan plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin.

He has played varsity football, basketball, and baseball, and ran track for four years. He also is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Band, and Model United Nations.

High school accomplishments include: 2009, Highest Male Athlete GPA, Class Favorite, Most Athletic; 2010, 2nd Team All-District Offensive Lineman, Honorable Mention All-District Infielder, Student of the Year, Highest Male Athlete GPA, Class Favorite, Most Athletic; 2011, Honorable Mention All-District Offensive Lineman, 1st Team All-District Defensive Lineman, Honorable Mention All-District Infielder, selected for RYLA, Spanish II and U.S. History Student of the Year, Highest Male Athlete GPA, Class Favorite, Most Athletic; 2012-13, Honorable Mention All-District Defensive Lineman, Honorable Mention All-District Basketball, World History Student of the Year, Highest Male Athlete GPA, Gates Millennium Scholar.

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