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Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - June 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Local seniors end high school careers
Trinity Standard - June 2008

TRINITY – A total of 79 area students ended their public school careers last week during the formal commencement programs hosted by Trinity High School and the Eagle Academy of Trinity.

The THS Class of 2008 totaled 53, with Micah Hoevelman and Kathryn (Kadie) Davis serving as the valedictorian and salutatorian.

The Eagle Academy charter school presented diplomas to 26 with Travis McCaleb giving the valedictory address. The salutatorian, Johnathan Marin, was unable to attend the ceremony and Aaron Wade Foster presented the opening address in his place.

THS graduation
While thunder was heard earlier in the day, the skies over Tiger Stadium remained fairly clear and dry Friday night when the THS Class of 2008 received their diplomas.

Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Glenn told the large crown of parents, friends and family members that the seniors have been awarded in excess of $250,000 in scholarship that will allow many of them to continue their education.

Among the schools class members will be going included Texas A&M, the University of Texas, East Texas Baptist University, Angelina College, Kingwood College, Montgomery County College, Sam Houston State University, Stephen F. Austin State University and the Texas State Technical College.

He also noted that a number of those graduating had enlisted in the U.S. military and would soon be off to receive their basic training.

In his address to his classmates, Hoevelman voiced their thanks to family, friends and faculty of their encouragement.

 “I believe I speak for the entire class when I say that your presence here is a reflection of all the years of love and support that you have for each senior,” he said.

The THS valedictorian then voiced his thanks to Jesus Christ for helping to make him the person he is today.

“This crazy stage of our lives called high school all started the first day of Fish Camp,” he recalled. “I remember driving up the long driveway to the school. The first thing I saw were the current seniors dressed in little kid’s floaties while screaming and jumping around in an effort to make us freshmen feel welcome and relaxed.

“I know I was smiling when they came beating on my car window but I had no idea what to think or feel. We were all so shy and nervous back then; at least I was,” he said.

Hoevelman said the shyness faded over the years and they were pushed and challenged both educationally and socially.

“A common motto around campus is ‘be a fool for your school.’ We’ve done that be simply having crazy fun school spirit. Whether it be a nerd themed pep rally, or a powder-puff football game complete with guy dancers and cheerleaders, or TWIRP games, or a beauty pageant full of guys in prom dresses; these on-the-edge activities have pushed us out of our comfort zones, which in turn brought us closer together.

“What I’m trying to say is this: taking a step out of your comfort zone will enable you to grow as an individual, and I challenge you to take every opportunity to do that.

“So, basically, dressing up as a female will make you find you true self,” he joked.

Hoevelman also asked his classmates to remember that God created them for a purpose, to never let fear prevent them for moving forward, to dream big and to surround themselves with people who love them and will push you in these three other areas.

In her address, Davis also recalled her first days at Trinity High School and said she felt intimidated.

“I will never forget talking with my friends roughly a week before the start of our freshman year and trying to coordinate our arrival so that we wouldn’t have to walk into school alone,” she said.

“I feel very fortunate to know the THS graduating class came through those doors together, and we will be entering the next chapter of our lives the same way,” the salutatorian added.

Davis noted that on element that played a vital role in their success was “involvement.” She noted that in the years to come, it will be important that the seniors continue to become involved with others and to “take the time to invest in the lives of those around us.”

She noted that during the past year she was fortunate to be involved with the Senior Leadership Team at THS.

“For those of you who don’t know what this is or what we are about, I will take a moment so share with you our motto: I C.A.R.E. This stands for Investing in my high school Community through Attitude, Respect and Encouragement.”

Davis noted that as her senior year began to come to an end, she had moments of panic regarding her future, but found that by trusting in God, she gained confidence that she will chose the right direction.

“There is no guarantee the roads of our lives will be easy to follow, but by trusting God we can know He will always point us in the right direction,” she noted.

“Trinity High School has given me a lot to take with me. My lessons learned haven’t simply come while in the classroom, but from the people sitting in those classrooms with me. I could not be more proud of my classmates. We have laughed together, cried together, but most importantly we have grown together,” Davis added.

Eagle graduation
Held Saturday night at the Burning Hope Baptist Church, the local charter school paid tribute to its graduates, not all of whom could attend.

Because the school allows students to complete their educational requirements at their own pace, many of the class members have been out of school for some time and are already involved in work, the military or college.

In his valedictory address, McCaleb voiced his thanks to his family and teachers for helping him reach this milestone in his life.

“These past four years were the most challenging of our lives,” he said. “We knew in order to become better citizens, we needed to get an education to be productive in our world.

“Tonight our high school life comes to an end. We should be proud of ourselves as we leave this ceremony tonight for against all odds, we did it!” he added.

McCaleb voiced his appreciation to the Eagle faculty for urging their students to do the best they could and to their parents and guardians for helping them “through these crazy teenage years.”

“But through all of this, our parents and teachers, friends and classmates – you people in this room tonight – you wanted us to succeed and indeed we have.

“Thank you parents, teachers and the people who are here – you are the ones who cares – you are the ones that were there for us,” he added.

Filing in for the absent salutatorian, Foster noted that he was chosen by his fellow graduates to give the opening address.

He also expressed his thanks to the teachers and staff at Eagle Academy for their help and offered a special thank you to Principal Herschel Brannen for his “time and patience to put up with all us students this year.”

“I can speak for all the students and teachers when I say thank God it’s over,” Foster said. “Even though most of us had a hard time when we first came here we have all come a long way and I am proud to be a part of Eagle Academy’s Class of 2008.”

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