Schools announce graduation ceremonies
Jun 03, 2010 | 5451 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Upshur County schools are celebrating high school graduation this week. Congratulations to all as you commence your role in life.

This article lists the valedictorian and salutatorian of each of the seven schools based in the county.


Gilmer High School graduation ceremonies will be held Friday, June 4, at 8 p.m. at Buckeye Stadium. There are 142 graduates.

Honor graduates are Daniel Perry Arrington, Jacob Aaron Johnson, Jeremy Davis Payne, Jacob O’Neal, Shelbi Laine Gray, Garrett Thomas Hill, Keaton Parish Box, Carolynn Elizabeth Wuester, Kade Macaulley Barton, Sarah Elizabeth Morris, Benjamin James Tomlin, Benjamin Bryant Griffith, Shaylee Desire’ Wilson, and Jacob Alexander Price.

Valedictorian of the Class of 2010 is Daniel Perry Arrington, son of Ms. Carol Arrington and the late Bobby Arrington.

He graduates with a GPA of 4.1643, and has been accepted to Texas A&M University-College Station to the College of Engineering. He will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

Some of his high school accomplishments include All Region Band 2008 and 2010; Math and Science Team, 4 years; Student Council, 3 years; National Honor Society, two years; varsity tennis, three years; and Tennis Regional Qualifier 2009-2010.

He is a Globe Scholar and an Eagle Scout.

Salutatorian is Jacob Aaron Johnson, son of Dennis and Dawn Johnson, who graduates with a GPA of 4.1286.

He has received a full 4-year academic scholarship to Texas A&M University-Commerce Honors College, studying pre-medicine.

He has been a member of the band for seven years, and served as president his senior year. He also participated in the State Solo and Ensemble for two years.

He was a member of the National Honor Society for two years, was listed on the “All A” honor roll for four years, and was voted “Most Dependable” of his class.

He is a member of the Calvary Baptist Church Praise Team where he plays the guitar.


Harmony High School graduation ceremonies will be held June 4, at 8 p.m. at Eagle Stadium.

Valedictorian is Colton Bunn. Colton is the son of Crissy Drennan, Michael Bunn, and Andrew and Michelle Traylor. He is the older brother of Tyler Bunn, Jax Wilburn, and Grayson and Mia Traylor.

Grandparents include Mike and Becky Drennan, Joe and Liz Bunn, Billy and Linda Traylor, and Great-Grandmother Josie Cox.

Colton has been an active member of Beta Club, FFA, FCA, Spanish Club, and Key Club. He also participated in football, basketball, baseball, track, and tennis. As a member of the football team, Colton was 2007 2nd Team Punter, 2008 Most Outstanding Defensive Back, 2009 1st Team Quarterback, and 2009 1st Team Defensive Back.

Basketball awards include: 2008 Newcomer of the Year and 2009/2010 First Team All-District. During the 2008/2009 season, Colton received 1st Team First Base in baseball. While in track, he was a Regional Qualifier in the Mile Relay.

Colton is also a member of Rosewood Baptist Church and plans to attend Texas A&M at College Station where he will major in Nutritional and Biomedical Science.

Salutatorian is Josh Keel. Josh is the son of Gary and Maeleta Keel and brother of Cody Keel. His grandparents are Olen and Gwen Keel.

Josh is an active member of FFA, Spanish Club, Key Club, and FCA. He is also the Vice-President of his Senior Class. Josh has also participated in football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and track. He has qualified for Regional Track in the 400 and Mile Relay as well as Tennis Singles.

He is a member of the youth group at Holly Tree Chapel and a member of Rosewood Baptist Church . After graduation, Josh plans to attend Texas A&M at College Station where he will major in Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Big Sandy

Big Sandy High School will hold graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2010 at at 8 p.m. Friday, May 28, at the Big Sandy High School Stadium.

Valedictorian is Christine Marian Wilson, daughter of Michael and Sarah Wilson.

She is the granddaughter of Marian Helen Worthen of Big Sandy and Dora Wilson of Sparta, Ill.

Miss Wilson plans to pursue a degree in mathematics from the University of Texas at Tyler.

During her high school career she was a member of the Student Council and Math and Science Club for all four years. As a member of the Student Council she worked on the Veteran’s Day and Black History Day Programs, Blood Drives, Book Fairs, reading to elementary students and Nature Trail and Campus Clean up Projects. Miss Wilson was the secretary of the Math and Science Club her sophomore year and president her junior year.

During her freshman year she was a member of Interact and worked at the Winter Wonderland and various clean up projects around the Big Sandy Community and School. She was class president two years.

As a freshman, Miss Wilson received the Spanish I and World Geography Academic Awards. During her sophomore year, she received the PAP English 2 Academic Award and was inducted into the National Honor Society.

As a junior she received the Pre-Calculus and AP US History Academic Awards. She participated in Model UN her freshman through junior years and received multiple awards.

She participated in the Wildcat Tennis Team all four years of High School and was named Most Improved Player in 2006-2007, she received the Highest Woman Athlete GPA award in 2008-2009 and placed 3rd at the 2010 District Tennis Tournament.

Salutatorian of Big Sandy High School is Joshua William Stanford, son of Scott and Annette Stanford. Joshua plans to attend The University of Texas in Austin and has been accepted into the College of Natural Sciences. He plans to further his education by attending medical school and becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.

During his high school career, Joshua has been involved in many sports, clubs and other activities. He held the officer positions of Class President, Class Representative, Class Vice President, National Honor Society Vice President, Spanish Club President, Math and Science Club Parliamentarian, and served on the Principal’s Advisory Team.

Joshua was a recipient of a 2009 All-Regional Leadership Honors Award and received a Spanish II Academic award. He was chosen to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy and is a member of Who’s Who for mathematics, science and football. He was chosen Most Dependable his Junior and Senior years, and participated in UIL competitions all four years. He also attended Model United Nations all four years, winning awards for his map two of the four years.

Joshua competed in numerous sports while in high school. He was a member of the Wildcat football, basketball, tennis and golf teams for four years, while also competing in power lifting and track. He received the Academic All-District award for football, Individual Medalist in golf and All-District Honorable Mention in basketball. During his junior and senior years he competed with the golf team at the regional competition, placing third both years.

He was involved in numerous community service projects, including volunteering with Special Olympics for three years, volunteering at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital, assisting with Little Dribblers, reading with elementary students, and helping with the Rotary Club fund raisers. He worked during the summers, holding jobs in computer repair, ranch maintenance and construction. He is an active member of the Summit Heights Fellowship youth.

Ore City

Graduation ceremonies for the Ore City High School Class of 2010 will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, June 4, at Rebel Stadium on U.S. 259.

If rain is expected, it will be in the high school gymnasium.

Valedictorian is Brittney Rae Kennedy, daughter of Dennis and Kim Kennedy and step mom, Michelle Kennedy. Grandparents are Dennis and Georgia Kennedy.

She will attend Oral Roberts University in the fall with a full scholarship.

Her high school activities are the following:

First place in calculator at state in the TMSCA (math and science competition) in 2006 and 2010, 9th and 12th grade respectively

Also in TMSCA, third place at state in “Top Gun” (competition in all areas of math and science) in 2010.

UIL Academic Competition – 9th grade Calculator State Qualifier; 10th grade first in district in calculator, Calculator Regional Qualifier; 11th grade, first in district in calculator, second at regional in calculator, then third place at state in calculator, third at district in general math and General math regional qualifier; twelfth grade, first place at district in calculator, second at district in calculator, and Calculator State Qualifier, second at district in general math and third at district in accounting.

Salutatorian is Jessica Ann Rogers, daughter of Billy and Jennifer Rogers. Her grandmother is Edith Rogers Wilkins.

She will attend Northeast Texas Community College on full scholarship in their Honor’s program and will continue her studies at Texas A&M.

Her school activities are the following:

TMSCA — first place science in 2007; Placed “Top Gun” in state competing in all areas of math and science in 2010.

UIL Academic — 1st place Calculator team in district, regional’s in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 and State qualifier in 2010; 1st place Science team in district and regional’s in 2009 and 2010; 1st place Individual Chemistry Science in district and regional qualifier in 2009; 1st place Individual Biology Science in 2010; Judy McLendon “All Heart” award in 2009.

New Diana

Graduation ceremony at New Diana High School is set for Friday, June 4, at 7 p.m. at the Gilmer Civic Center.

Valedictorian is Edith Daniella Plants-Paris, who graduates with a GPA of 4.127.

She is the daughter of Randall and Frances Plants of Diana, and the granddaughter of Jake and Edith Plants of Lecompton, Kansas and Jim and Sonia Mings of Longview.

She is active in the Student Council, National Honor Society, PALs, Eagle Band, Spanish Club, and UIL science competitions.

She plans to attend the University of Texas at Tyler in Fall 2010, majoring in Biology for a career as a research scientist.

Salutatorian is Katherine Anne Lenno, who graduates with a GPA of 3.873.

She is the daughter of Wade and Gay Lennon of Gilmer.

Grandparents are the late Landis and Doris Medlin of East Mountain and the late DeWitt and Louise Lennon of Avery.

Active in National Honor Society, First Priority, Art Club, Spanish Club, and UIL spelling competitions

She plans to attend the University of Texas at Tyler in Fall 2010, majoring in Pre-Pharmacy for a career as a pharmacist.

Union Hill

Graduation for Union Hill High School’s Class of 2010 will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 4, in the new gymnasium.

Valedictorian is Sarah Elizabeth Johnston, who graduates with a GPA of 3.91.

She is the daughter of William and Elizabeth Johnson.

Her academic accomplishments and recognitions are: Honor Roll 9 through 12 grades; class secretary, FFA treasurer and vice president, class president, student council, and National Honor Society.

Civic honors include Gilmer Chamber of Commerce duchess and.

College courses and summer programs include dual-credit courses at NTCC, ETREYS and Farm Bureau Leadership Conference.

Miss Johnston has been awarded a full scholarship to Texas A&M Commerce’s Honor College.

Salutatorian is Stormie Lynn Sharp, who graduates with a 3.7 GPA. Miss Sharp is the daughter of Sam Sharp and Celina and David Nelson. Her grandparents are Lesley and Carolyn Hunter and Glen and Dorothy Gray.

She has been recognized as an Academic Star Scholar and received the Academic Excellence Award, Academic Scholar Merit Award, TAKS Master Award in Social Studies and many classroom merit awards.

Union Grove

Commencement exercises for Union Grove High School will be held on Friday, June 4, at 8 p.m. in Glynn Johnston Stadium at Union Grove High School. Union Grove will be graduating a total of 54 seniors.

Many of these students will not only receive a diploma, but will also receive certificates for completing courses such as Certified Nursing Assistant, Pharmacy Tech., ServSafe, Adobe Illustrator and NCCER Welding.

Speakers for this event will include Valedictorian Raigan Maddox, Salutatorian Shelby Greathouse, High School Principal Chris Wayt and Superintendent Brian Gray.

Miss Maddox is the daughter of Jared and Patricia Maddox. She is a distinguished graduate, a two year member of the National Honor Society, current vice-president of the National Honor Society, and has been elected Class President the past four years. She has also been active in many UIL events, participating in spelling, calculator applications, headline writing, band, and One Act Play

Raigan has been on the National Honor Roll 4 years, Who’s Who Among American High School Students both academically and athletically four years, a Texas Scholar Athlete, and was selected by teachers to represent her school in the Yamboree Pageant as a duchess.

This year, she was selected to attend the Kilgore College Leadership Convention, and was also Gladewater Rotary Club’s Student of the Month in September. Raigan has participated in many varsity sports: cross country,

The salutatorian is the daughter of Karen Wills and the late Tom Wills. She is the wife of Chance Greathouse and the mother of son, Stoney Greathouse.

In her four years at Union Grove High School she has been in the top ten percent of her class. She played freshmen volleyball, junior varsity as a sophomore, and varsity volleyball along with varsity softball as a junior. She is a member of the National Honors Society, Fellowship of Christian Students, and the UIL Accounting team and was a regional qualifier for accounting her junior and senior years. She also passed the bookkeeping certification her senior year.

She was selected as the Rotary Club Student of the Month her junior and senior years and chosen to go to the RYLA leadership camp for the Rotary Club her junior year.

Following graduation, she will attend Kilgore College working toward the Associate of Applied Science Degree for Accounting. She then plans to start out her career working for an accounting firm. Later, she plans to go back to school to earn her Bachelor’s Degree for Accounting and become a CPA.

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