Foundation recognizes top 10 percent

Cove Leader-Press

The Knights of Columbus Hall was filled to the brim Friday evening as the Copperas Cove Education Foundation recognized the students in the top 10 percent of their class in the 10th annual Senior Walk of Fame. 
Students dined with their families and their teachers after the pledges and the invocation given by CCHS senior Caroline Harrison. Noted guests included Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees members Joan Manning, Inez Faison, Mike Wilburn and Dr. Karen Harrison, as well as CCISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Burns, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Katie Ryan, and Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Support Rick Kirkpatrick. Copperas Cove High School principal, Miguel Timarky and Russell Porterfield, Director of College and Career Readiness, were also present. 
There were 52 students and 42 teachers recognized Friday evening. Each student selected a teacher or staff member in CCISD who had a significant impact on them and their education. A few students selected their kindergarten teachers. Several teachers were selected by multiple students, such as Janice Stalder, Tony Chapa and Lisa Yates, all of whom were selected three different times. 
Students and their selected teacher walked down a red carpet to the stage to receive a gift from members of the Education Foundation before getting their picture taken by Camera Artistry as a keepsake of the evening. 
Copperas Cove Education Foundation president, Etta Kay Kirkpatrick, addressed the crowd of students and their supporters and explained the importance of students being in the top 10 percent of their class. 
“Graduating in the top 10 percent of your class is no easy task,” Kirkpatrick said. “We recognize the dedication, sacrifice and hard work this achievement represents. You have to have had good time management skills in order to balance your school, your extracurriculars, your community service, your work, your family, and to take some time just to be a teenager and have some fun.”
Kirkpatrick also shared that the Education Foundation started their annual scholarship program this year, thanks to the “generous support of the businesses and people of Copperas Cove” and the success of the annual Gala before Foundation member Cindy Hutcherson presented CCHS senior Jacob Snider with the first ever Education Foundation collegiate scholarship. 
CCISD Superintendent Joe Burns praised the group of scholars but also gave them a few pieces of advice. 
“This is a special, special time to celebrate some exceptional young people. We have students represented here tonight who have dedicated their efforts and their energies to making a difference in their academic preparations and to establish a routine that will set them up for success when they go off to do whatever they want to do,” Burns said. 
He encouraged the students to enjoy their last few days of high school and time with their peers before careers and higher education separates them and takes them away. Burns also thanked the parents and family members of the accomplished students. 
“For your child to be part of this dinner tonight, I want you to know you’ve done something right,” Burns said, before asking for a round of applause for the parents in the room.  
Burns shared advice he heard in a speech earlier in the year. 
 “Every scholar needs a skill. We have a lot of kids and a lot of people in this world today that know a lot of stuff but they don’t know how to do anything. They know a lot of stuff but they can’t do anything,” Burns said. “And just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean that it’s going to pay your bills in life.”
Burns encouraged the students to learn how to do something, for a hobby or for a career, as a skill, and also to utilize whatever they’re passionate about in a way to enhance their “ability to earn a living and move forward in life.”
Burns left them with one last piece of encouragement, relating to a show his father-in-law watches, “Prospectors”, about miners who searched for rare gems and gold deep in the ground. 
“Within each of you lies the possibility to be anything you want to be,” Burns said. You have got to be determined to get to it and get it out of the ground.”
Graduation is Thursday May 25, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bell County Expo Center. 

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