PALESTINE — Memories.
These are the things that Westwood valedictorian Hailey Bunnell told the seniors of 2007 they should cherish during the Westwood High School graduation ceremony Friday night at Panther Stadium.
“A couple of months ago, I was just ready to get out of school and forget all about Westwood,” Bunnell said. “But then I heard something from a really great coach that said instead of looking to the future, you should also look to your past.”
Bunnell, speaking to the 112 graduates, talked about how they all made a difference in her high school memories.
“I’ve looked back on my years at Westwood and realized that everyone of you contributed to my life,” she told the seniors. “If we always forgot about the past, life would be dull and we would never learn about life’s lessons.”
The valedictorian went on to speak of old memories and lessons from friends, including a sixth-grade incident in which John Welch experimented with scissors resulting in a cut tongue.
“He wasn’t quite as skilled in his hand-eye coordination as he thought,” Bunnell said.
Bunnell said she learned three years later that “if you act like freshman, you’ll be treated like freshman.
“I quickly learned that if you pick a fight with a senior, the senior will always win,” she said.
Bunnell also told of her and other’s experiences with an English teacher.
“Miss Ivy taught us that we needed to understand the true definition of plagiarism before we started an essay,” Bunnell said. “I think we all learned never to copy and paste again when writing something.”
Bunnell also touched on the meaning of senioritis.
“I think we’ve learned that there is no cure for senioritis and that it’s contagious to only the graduating class, but miraculously seems to disappear about 30 minutes after the graduation ceremony,” Bunnell said. “Some of the symptoms include tardiness, not paying attention, half or not done homework and arguing with teachers.”
The valedictorian concluded her speech by advising the class to cherish all the memories they’ve built at Westwood.
“These were just a few of the thousands of memories we’ve all had. We’ve supported and been there to help each other,” Bunnell said. “My advice is to not forget the memories, the people or where you came from. We are more than just a class of students. We are Westwood.”
Salutatorian Ashley Taylor also spoke during the ceremony.
Westwood High School seniors were presented approximately $1,124,864 in scholarships during commencement Friday.
The following are individual awards:
• Dennis Alberto — Interact Club Scholarship $250; The National Honor Society Scholarship $100.
• Brianne Barnett — Early Graduate Scholarship $3,000.
• Tyler Belt — The John Jordan Memorial Scholarship $500; Dogwood Classic Scholarship $1,000.
• Michael Boyd — Westwood Church of God Scholarship $500.
• Hailey Bunnell — Highest Ranking Student Tuition Scholarship $8,000; Texas A&M; Foundation of Excellence Award $8,000; Society of Women Engineers Scholarship $250; Texas Public Education Grant $2,000; Federal SEOG Grant $500; Federal Pell Grant $2,460; ACG First Year Grant $750; The Corey Swartz Memorial Scholarship $1,000; The National Honor Society Scholarship $100.
• Kira Cheek — The University of Texas at Tyler Tuition & Fees Award $20,000.
• Porche Crawford — Lon Morris Dance Team Merit Award $2,000; The Palestine Negro Business & Professional Women’s Club Scholarship $500.
• Ashley Davis — Federal Pell Grant $3,860; Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant $750; Federal SEO Grant $1,000; Texas Tuition Equalization Grant $3,000.
• Joshua Dennis — The Palestine Noon Lions Club Scholarship $1,000
• Allen Dudley — TVCC Football Tuition & Books Award $3,000.
• Zachary Dunnam — University of Mary Hardin Baylor Scholarship $4,444; Desk & Derrick Scholarship $1,000; Rotary Club Scholarship $1,500.
• Kristen Evans — Tyler Junior College Apache Band Scholarship $5,000; The Palestine Masonic Lodge Scholarship $1,000; The National Honor Society Scholarship $100.
• Chance Frazier — Josh Frazier Family Memorial Scholarship $1,000 (Chance started this scholarship in 2005 in memory of his cousin Josh.)
• Jennifer Grant — Trinity Valley Volleyball Officials Association $500; Anderson Co. Area Go-Texan Scholarship $1,000; Palestine Regional Medical Center Scholarship $2,000; Dogwood Classic Scholarship $1,000.
• Josh Hatten — United States Army Montgomery GI Bill $38,000.
• Sarah Holcomb — United States Navy 100% Tuition Assistance $15,000; Montgomery GI Bill $44,100.
• Zan Hoskison — Dogwood Classic Scholarship $1,000.
• Jennifer King — Tyler Junior College Apache Band Scholarship $5,000; Interact Club Scholarship $250; Westwood Band Boosters Scholarship $500.
• Alicia Latham — Trinity Valley Community College Choir Scholarship $3,800; Altrusa International of Anderson Co. Scholarship $1,000; Westwood Church of God Scholarship $500.
• Asa Linson — The Academic Decathlon Scholarship $7,200; SFA Academic Excellence Scholarship $6,000 per year/$24,000.
• Terris Nichols — Kilgore Junior College Book Scholarship $1,000.
• Zachary Paris — Tyler Junior College Presidential Scholarship $4,000; TJC Apache Band Scholarship $4,400.
• Sylvia Parker — United States Army Montgomery GI Bill $38,000; Army Enlistment Bonus $12,000.
• Carlos Ramos — Early Graduate Scholarship $3,000.
• Stephen Reynolds — United States Air Force Education & Training Assistance $200,000.
• Sydney Richardson — TVCC Color Guard Scholarship $3,400; Veteran’s Tuition Assistance Program $30,000.
• Melanie Salas — The Josh Frazier Memorial Scholarship $500; Westwood Band Boosters Scholarship $500.
• Rainey Schafer —Sacred Heart Catholic Church Scholarship $500.
• Scott Smith — Texas Army National Guard Tuition Assistance $70,000.
• Richard Soape — Trinity Valley Comm. College Choir Scholarship $2,000; TVCC Color Guard Scholarship $3,400.
• Will Stevens — Area Anderson County Go-Texan Scholarship $1,000; David Joe Walton Scholarship $1,000; The Buckshot Johnston Memorial Scholarship $500; Dogwood Classic Scholarship $1,000; Heritage Land Bank Scholarship $2,500.
• Clayton Thompson — Embry Riddle Alumni Endorsement Grant $1,000; Embry Riddle University Grants $5,000; The National Honor Society Scholarship $100; Air Force ROTC Scholarship $100,000.
• Ashley Thornton — Cars of Palestine Scholarship $2,000; Palestine Evening Lions Club Scholarship $2,000.
• Michael Tibbetts — Texas Army National Guard Tuition Assistance $70,000.
• Kimberly Towns — Lon Morris Dance Team Merit Award $2,000.
• Travis Wacha — Altrusa International of Anderson Co. Scholarship $1,000.
• John Welch — Texas Army National Guard Tuition Assistance $70,000; Federal Pell Grants $30,000.
• Alyssa Wetzel — United States Air Force Education & Training Assistance $200,000.
• Lacreshia White — DeVry’s Community Scholar Award $8,000; Wheat-Freestone County NAACP Scholarship $300.
• Tabitha White — Lon Morris Dance Team Merit Award $2,000.
•Tara Yaunk — Early Graduate Scholarship $3,000; National Multiple Sclerosis Society Scholarship $3,000 per semester/$24,000.
• Mariela Zavala — Early Graduate Scholarship $3,000; Spanish Club Scholarship $250.
PALESTINE — Memories.
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