Copperas Cove Education Foundation holds annual Senior Walk of Fame
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Education Foundation recognized 43 students in top 10 percent of Copperas Cove High School’s graduating class of 2023 at its 16th annual Senior Walk of Fame.
Students in the top 10 percent of their class each selected the teacher that had the most impact on them in their school experience to join them as the guests of honor for the dinner.
Beverly Smith, Copperas Cove Education Foundation president, opened the evening with brief remarks before Shreya Patel, the Class of 2023 Salutatorian, led the audience in the Pledges of Allegiance for the American flag and the Texas flag. Class of 2023 Valedictorian Haley Wang led the group in prayer with the invocation.
During and after the dinner, the students and their guests enjoyed different photo opportunities, including a 360 spinning photo station.
CCISD Superintendent Joseph Burns gave congratulatory remarks before the students and their teachers were recognized.
“I am so excited for you, and by the time we finish this week, you're going to be tired of seeing me, and I'd still love to see you,” Burns said.
Tbe banquet followed the Baccalaureate service held on May 21 morning and ahead of the commencement ceremony at the Bell County Expo Center.
“You are the special guest. You have earned every opportunity and right to be here tonight because you worked really hard. You put forth great effort, and you made a commitment that you followed through on that ensured you grab a spot in the top 10 percent of the senior class,” Burns told the group of students. “Out of 438 graduates, you are the cream of the crop, the top of the heap, the cat's meow, and anything else that goes along with it. I'm here to congratulate you and tell you how proud we are of the effort and the hard work that you put into it.”
Burns shared some advice for parents as they prepare for their seniors to graduate and then take them off to college: bring tissues.
“I can tell you that when I came home from College Station after I had dropped my first one off, I called my wife, and I was so choked up I couldn't hardly talk,” Burns said. “She said, ‘Joe, are you all right?’ I said, ‘I'm fine. I just left him to the wolves though. Those people don't care about him like we do.’ But you're going to be okay seniors, and I want you to know that if ever you get someplace and you feel like they don't care about you, I want you to always remember you'll always be a Bulldawg or a Lady Dawg. You'll always be part of the CCISD family, and I don't care how far you go or what you do, you will always be one that we're rooting for, one that we're praying for, and one that we're wishing the very best for.”
Following the teacher and student recognition, several scholarship winners were announced by Education Foundation board member JC Stubbs.
“We’ve got a really great group of applicants this year. We’re so excited to be awarding scholarships to these outstanding young individuals,” Stubbs said. “We’ve awarded over $75,000 in scholarships since the beginning of the Foundation, and this year, we will be awarding $14,000 worth of scholarships, including our first Vocational scholarship that was awarded to William Malone at Senior Awards Night last week.”
This year’s scholarship recipients included Jasmine Hill ($2,000), Gracie Mae Smith ($2,000) and Solana Anderson ($4,000) and Makai Goudeau ($4,000). The $4,000 scholarships are for $1,000 paid each year for four years.
The honorees include: Rhadika Amin, who selected Tad Laver. Laver was also selected by Christian Lachica Vazquez, Madison Moriniere and Deryk Tantiangco. Solana Anderson and Kevin Pontious selected Patina Harrell. Grayson Avritt and Blaine Butler selected Vanessa Wheat. Savannah Clawson selected Jessica Steele. James Cook selected Gregory Fitzgerald. Emma Dixon selected Dr. Misty Thomas. Delisa Dudley selected Randy Parsons. Alexander Eade selected Benjamin Seifert. Andrew Freeman selected Bernadine Wagner. Makai Goudeau selected Chelsie Raysor. Bethany Hamilton selected Lawrence Varela-Halbert. Emily Hicks selected Heidi Brown.
Jasmine Hill and Leighann Roche selected Marcie Caffrey. Brenden Jaccaud selected Tim Smith. Hannah Johnson and Paige Perry selected Nancy Norris. Korey Keller selected Rebecka Shuffler. John Lindemann VI selected Sarah Courtney. Olivia Martinez selected Laci Pruitt. Brayden Masingale and Elizabeth Simpson selected Alba Hart. Emma Grace Moris selected Ryan Stewart. Bailey Ness and Alejandro Sanchez selected Jenny Sanchez. Shreya Patel, Leita Spencer and Haley Wang selected Morgan Camese.
Yanelis Ponce de Leon Rivera selected Gladys Figueroa. Ryan Reed selected Rick Gates. Abigayle Rocha selected Chandler Diaz. Ethan Roque selected Lori Perez. Dakota Sanders selected Paul Talbett. Alexa Scales selected Shelby Martin. Allyson Sokolowski selected Tony Chapa. Andrea Steller selected Mason Tabor.