Friday, July 01, 2016
About the Class of 2016
Waynesville High School Graduation will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20.
About the Waynesville High School graduating Class of 2016:
Candidates for graduation: 386 seniors
Their after-school plans:
College-bound - 162
Military - 55
Trade school - 101
Workforce - 35
Missouri A+ Scholarship Program: 171 seniors
3.5 or greater with Presidential Award for Excellence: 26 seniors
3.5 and received Presidential Award for Ed Achievement: 83 seniors
Top 10% Governor Nixon Award: 39 seniors
College prep certificates: 93 seniors
Vocational certificates: 76 seniors
Vocational passports: 52 seniors
Students inducted into National Technical Honor Society: 28 seniors
Total number of scholarships: 213
WHS Valedictorians Candidates Announced
By Nya Dorsey, WHS student
Editor’s Note: The position of valedictorian will not be official until May 20, the day of graduation; consequently, the students mentioned in this story are valedictorian candidates. The candidates for valedictorians of the graduating class of 2016 at Waynesville High School are Rebecca Bain, Javier Diaz Vicens, Lindsey Kramer and Tommica “Courtney” Pope.
Middle school and high school have many differences: the number of students, the school lunch, the teachers and of course, the workload. However, the biggest difference is the amount of balance and self-discipline that are needed.
In high school a student has to learn how to effectively balance friendships, relationships, jobs, sports, clubs and classwork. This may seem overwhelming. For some students the grades started slipping early in the game, which makes it more difficult to catch back up in those last seconds.
A few students, however, have this balancing thing down to a “T.” They are known for having great work ethic, exceeding expectations, and – most of all – having all “A’s” for all four years of high school.
They are the valedictorians.
This year’s valedictorian candidates are Rebecca Bain, Javier Diaz Vicens, Lindsey Kramer and Tommica “Courtney” Pope. Each year during graduation the valedictorians are charged with the task of reading an original speech that is centered around the same overall theme. This year’s theme: a novel – metaphorical, of course. Imagine a student’s entire educational career at this point as a novel and each valedictorian has “chapters” from this novel they will be presenting. Before the big day when the valedictorians reveal their “chapters,” it would be good to know a little bit about who they are and where they want to be after this chapter ends.
Let’s just start by saying this a big deal to all of them. They accomplished something some people look at as unreachable.
Diaz says, “I feel honored. It has been my dream since second grade.”
Diaz was watching a movie that took place in a high school and he said to himself, “That’s what I want to do, that’s what I want to be.”
This feeling of honor was mutual for the other valedictorians as well; for all of them it was a dream they’re glad came true.
Now some may be under the assumption that these kids’ lives are all academics. And while academics may take up a hefty chunk of their time, they most definitely have time for other things. The valedictorians are all involved in other activities including: National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Science Olympiad, Marching Band, Concert Band, Indoor Drumline, FMP, Spanish Club, French Club, Key Club, Art Club, managing sports – the list goes on.
Through clubs and such, they have maintained their grades, but it hasn’t been a smooth ride the entire time. They have all had their share of struggles while they were going on their journeys. Diaz had calculus, Kramer had AP language, Bain had to explore different ways to study for herself, and Pope struggled with good old procrastination.
“There was a time,” Diaz said, “my grade almost dropped too low.”
In the end though, the one thing they have in common is they pushed through it. They all did what they had to do to keep their grades up whether it was staying after school or staying home on Friday nights. And each valedictorian made it clear that they are glad their hard work paid off.
In their next journey the valedictorians are ready to face college head on.
Diaz has decided to go to Drury University for two reasons: 1.) they offered him more scholarships and 2.) they’re one of the two schools in Missouri that have an incredible program for his field, architecture.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, Diaz was constantly surrounded by the “old-Spanish colonial buildings” sparking his interest in architecture. Diaz also plans on doing a lot of language learning because he has always had a passion for languages. He revealed “one of my goals in life is to learn as many languages as possible; at least 10.” According to his brother Alex, he is at three languages: English, Spanish and French. Japanese is currently in process.
Kramer is going to Truman State University on a full-ride scholarship.
“Of course I accepted,” she said. Kramer has always had a passion for biology, so this is what she plans on studying. With this major, her dream job would be a job she’s only witnessed in one movie, Bourne. She would is interesting in altering the brain and human genome to amplify qualities such as strength and intelligence. Long story short, she can’t wait for that day to come.
Pope, who wants to be a nurse anesthetist, will attend Maryville University in St. Louis. She says she has always enjoyed the health sciences and medical field, so it made sense for her to choose Maryville because the school’s main focus is on her major, nursing.
“I love the atmosphere it’s ‘homey,’” said Pope. “Plus it’s a small, private academic school so I can focus more on my academics and not stray away. I’m excited for college but I’m going to miss high school a lot. I’m going to miss seeing my friends every day and only being a couple minutes away from them. I’m going to miss Key Club and Mr. Floyd, too.”
Bain is going out-of-state to Loyola University in Chicago. “I really love Chicago,” says Bain, “It’s such a diverse city.” She explained that Loyola is a “green” school meaning they do a lot of activities incorporating things such as using leftover kitchen grease to run the buses around campus.
Bain’s advice for incoming freshmen whose desire is to be valedictorian: “I would say to find classes you enjoy. When you’re making your schedule, try something new, maybe like a class you wouldn’t normally pick to see if you like it.”
The valedictorian candidates for Waynesville High School are Tommica “Courtney” Pope, Javier Diaz Vicens, Lindsey Kramer and Rebecca Bain.
WHS Graduation Ceremony Changes Announced
By Lindzie King, WHS student
The Final Walk
Every year, the senior class experiences something different. There are different memories, different accomplishments, and different people.
The class of 2016 will experience something new at their graduation ceremony. Instead of having one entry onto the stage, there will be two entrances and the graduate’s names will be announced alternating between the two sides of the stage.
This should lead to a quicker and smoother graduation ceremony.
Administrators have talked with other schools around the area who follow this process to make sure they have a good understanding of what they are supposed to do.
“We've always talked about trying this, but this year we decided to give it a try,” said WHS Principal Courtney Long.
The purpose of this is to not only save time (about 15 minutes), but also to make the process flow better.
Toward the end of the traditional ceremony, the audience starts to lose interest. If there are more things happening at once and not a lot of waiting, then hopefully the audience will remain engaged.
As part of this new process, there will be two photographers as well as two announcers. On one side of the stage, a senior will walk up their side of the steps and half way across the stage as the announcer says their name. The senior will then meet with one of the two school board members to shake hands and pose for a photo. They then will walk off the stage using the middle staircase. After they walk off, the next name will be called from the other side. The process will continue in alternating fashion.
Long and Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent, will move the tassels on the cap after the seniors walk off. Many times during the ceremony, the seniors are in such an excited rush, they forget to change the side of their tassels.
The administrators always take notes during the ceremony to see what should improve for next year. As long as this is a good change, Waynesville High School will continue doing this. Long said that they will always try to improve processes to make sure it is the best experience for the seniors and their family and friends.
NOTE: Graduation begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, at Tiger Stadium, weather permitting. The parking lot will open at 5:30 p.m. Stadium gates will open at 6 p.m. To sit in the home-side bleachers, guests must have a ticket from a senior. In the event of inclement weather, an announcement about graduation’s location change to the gym would be made as late as possible.
This graphic shows the routes the graduating seniors will take onto the stage.
3 brothers to graduate today at WHS
Three brothers will graduate on May 20 from Waynesville High School.
They are not triplets, but they have the same mom and dad.
No one skipped a grade.
No one was held back.
All three have cumulative GPAs of 3.48 or better.
One is a valedictorian.
The oldest is often guessed as being the youngest.
All three speak at least two languages.
They have lived in the United States for nine years.
All three are members of Future Business Leaders of America.
And, so it goes for Alexander, Javier and Manuel Diaz Vicens who were born eight months apart in Puerto Rico to Felix Javier Diaz Del Valles and Lorenze Hughes. (The parents have since divorced and Lorenze has remarried.)
Javier, the oldest and a valedictorian, was born in December 1997; and his twin brothers Alexander and Manuel, debuted prematurely in August 1998.
“It was definitely a surprise (to find out she was pregnant with twins),” Hughes says. “I was 17 when I had Javier and the twins were two months premature so by age 19, I had three boys. I was very young and I had to grow up quickly.”
With Spanish as their native language and with young parents, the statistical odds may not have been in their favor, but the family persevered. “I just believed in teaching them values and I now have three amazing boys and I am so proud of them and all they have accomplished,” Hughes says.
Often the trio of boys would be mistaken for triplets while out shopping on the streets of San Juan. “They all looked alike when they were younger and we would be walking down the street and people would assume they were triplets. When Javier got older, he would just say, ‘Mom, just tell them we are triplets. It takes too long to explain.’”
They started kindergarten together and have continued to challenge one another to do their best in school ever since.
“The twins were especially competitive with one another in sports,” Hughes says.
As Hughes reflects on their younger years, she says it was surprisingly easy to raise the trio of boys.
“People find this hard to believe but raising the three of them wasn’t that difficult,” Hughes says. “They did everything together, so it was easy.”
The difficult part for Hughes is today.
“I am losing all three of them at once,” Hughes said. “I will go from having three boys in the house to none.”
Hughes will move to the state of Washington with her career in the military but the boys will remain in the Missouri to attend college. Javier will attend Drury. Both Alexander and Manuel will attend the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Left to right: Manuel, Javier and Alexander Diaz Vicens
A free Summer School program will be offered from 7:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. June 6-July 1 for students who have attended 8th through 12th grades. Current 8th grade students will attend 9th grade Summer School courses. The first session will be held June 6-17; the second session will be held June 20-July 1.
For more information download our WHS Summer School Flyer.
WHS Class of 2016 Honors Night
Members of the community and school officials presented generous scholarships and awards totaling approximately $6 million, if utilized over the next four years, to the Waynesville High School Class of 2016 during Honors Night on Tuesday, May 17. Graduation is Friday, May 20.
School Board recognizes JROTC Drill Team
The Waynesville JROTC Armed Drill Team finished 11th in the nation for 2016 at the Army Drill Nationals Championships in Louisville, Ken., on April 9. This was only the second time Waynesville’s JROTC team has been invited to the national competition. In 2015, they finished 17th.
The overall finishes were as follows:
- Armed Exhibition Team: 7th place nationally, moved up from 10th place in 2015
- Armed Exhibition Solo: Cadet Tim Hutchings moved to 5th place from 10th place in 2015
- Armed Dual Team: Cadets Donovan Dunaway and Matt Jones placed 9th competing for the first time
- Armed Regulation Team: Tied for 12th place, up from 22nd place in 2015
- Armed Color Guard Team: Moved to 12th place from 13th place in 2015
Waynesville JROTC Drill Team members are alphabetically:
The Waynesville JROTC Drill Team finished 11th in the nation.
WHS students recognized for winning Missouri SkillsUSA state medals
The Missouri SkillsUSA State Championships were held March 31-April 2, 2016, at State Technical College of Missouri located in Linn, Mo. SkillsUSA competitions allow career and technical education students to showcase their skills in various occupational areas. The Waynesville Career Center (WCC) had nearly 70 students participate at the state level. This includes Waynesville High School students, area students who attend WCC, as well as adult students.
During the May 16 Waynesville R-VI Board of Education meeting, the board recognized the students from Waynesville High School who earned medals at the state competition, including:
Catherine Kristek, Television Production Tech Info – 2nd place & Broadcast News Production – 1st place
Dominique Jospeh, Pin Design – 2nd place
Brandon Militti, Commercial Baking Tech Info – 2nd place
Raegan Garbee, Broadcast News Production – 1st place
Alexander McEachern, Broadcast News Production – 1st place
Vincent Rivere-Barb, Broadcast News Production – 1st place
Kalani Ferguson, Graphic Communications Tech Info – 1st place & Graphics Imaging Sublimation – 1st place
Trysten Smith, Computer Programming – 1st place
Noah King, Interactive Application and Game Development – 1st place
Phantasia White, Restaurant Service – 1st place
Autumn Sitton, Commercial Baking – 1st place
Perkins named WHS Student of Month
Melissa Perkins has been named the Waynesville High School Student of the Month for May by the Rotary Club of Pulaski County.
Melissa is a freshman and the daughter of Charles Perkins and Ilka Perkins-Hagen. She is a two-sport athlete (basketball and soccer), has a current GPA of 3.57 and is enrolled in Algebra 2 as a freshman. Perkins has been selected to be a Freshman Mentor next year and volunteered her time to mentor East Elementary students during the high school’s visit to East in April.
Pictured are Rotary President Jim Standfast, Ilka Perkins-Hagen, Melissa Perkins, her little sister, WHS Assistant Principal Cory Ace and Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent.
Seniors return to Freedom to dig up buried treasures
On Wednesday evening, Waynesville High School seniors returned to Freedom Elementary to dig up the treasures they buried as sixth graders. As sixth graders at Freedom Elementary (before Waynesville’s Sixth Grade Center was built) in Kim Ramirez and Traci Simpson’s classes, they buried a time capsule with a computer CD, copies of the Daily Guide, a necklace and many other treasured items.
The students had buried their treasure next to a tree, but the tree died, making it more of a challenge to pinpoint the time capsule’s exact location. It took several attempts — 26 to be exact — but after about 1 hour and 15 minutes, they located it. Despite the plastic wrappings and tape, the container leaked making the items have a unique odor, but the students were delighted to find it.
“The students were so excited to finally locate the container,” Simpson says. “The search made it a treasure hunt.”
The students also wrote letters to their teachers, which the teachers kept and shared with their students on Wednesday.
After enjoying hot dogs, snacks and drinks, the students played a game of four square and a game of kickball, just like they did six years ago.
Photos by Traci Simpson
Miss Simpson and Mrs. Ramirez kept the letters their students wrote to them at the end of the year and shared this one:
Written on May 11, 2010:
Dear Miss Simpson and Mrs. Ramirez,
I’m truly sad to leave the sixth grade. I told my friends I’m going to miss everyone in this class. You’ve taught me well, like a ninja and his “grasshopper.” Hopefully we can keep in touch. I’m a little scared to go onto middle school but I feel prepared. This has been one of my best years!! We had a lot of good times. I’m going to miss recess though. Anyways, I can’t wait to come back and dig up our time capsules. I get to see all my friends again.
Whenever I’m in middle school, I’m going to wonder what hair color you guys have. I’ll always remember what verbs and helping verbs are. Hopefully I can come back here just to say hi once in awhile. You two were like my family. I’ll miss you two!!
Photos by Marianne Ward
The Waynesville High School Jazz Band and Concert Band presented a concert on May 12 at the WHS Auditorium.
The bands perform under the direction of Jim Stockmann, Jared Sabatasso and Chelsea Handley.
Rep. Steve Lynch presents proclamation to WHS Boys Baseball Team
State Rep. Steve Lynch presented the 2016 Waynesville High School Boys Baseball Team with a proclamation for last year’s team winning districts for the first time since 1977.
Lynch praised the students who were on last year’s team for being tenacious and for staging one of the greatest comebacks in Tiger baseball history. The players did not give up and neither did Lynch in his efforts to present the team with a resolution. Graduation activities prevented the presentation from taking place last year, so Lynch waited until this year’s season to remind players of the importance of working together and that efforts today make a lasting impression.
WHS National Honor Society seniors named teachers who have had a profound impact on their lives and the teachers were presented with plaques during a recognition banquet on April 25. Waynesville High School students spoke about the teacher they had nominated for the award and why the teacher was selected. Student comments included one about a fourth grade teacher who helped welcome a young boy to the United States (who will graduate in just a few days) to a teacher who was with the senior when she learned of her mom’s passing. This event clearly demonstrated the impact that teachers have in a student’s life and their importance both in and out of the classroom.
Parents and Guardians,
In an effort to increase learning, develop responsibility, and reward positive behaviors we will be incorporating Student Learning Plans as well as a Privilege System at the high school in the 2015-2016 school year. The Student Learning Plans are to increase communication between students, teachers, and parents in creating a plan of action for struggling students. Starting September 8th, any student who falls below a 65% will be placed on a SLP. Student Learning Plans will be created and monitored for improvement every two weeks.
In addition, we will be running a privilege system to reward positive behaviors at the end of the first six week grading period. You may view an example of a SLP as well as the qualifications and privileges in the attachments above. Please feel free contact us at the high school with any questions.
We look forward to working together and developing relationships to help our students become successful!