By Judy Sheridan
Hundreds of family members and friends saluted Aledo High School’s 302 graduates with loud cheers and enthusiastic applause Wednesday evening as students crossed the stage at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on the TCU campus in Fort Worth to receive their diplomas.
Aledo ISD Board President Jay Stringer, introduced by Aledo High School Principal Daniel Peterson, extended his congratulations on behalf of the trustees and officially certified the Class of 2013.
“Parents and family, thank you for sharing your gift with Aledo ISD,” he said. “Teachers and staff, thank you for sharing your knowledge with these graduates. Graduates, thank you for making Aledo ISD what it is.”
Retiring Superintendent Dan Manning awarded the diplomas, along with Peterson and AHS lead counselor Scott Kessel. The men offered their congratulations and shook hands as cameras flashed and supporters shouted the names of graduates.
One of the highlights was a presentation from valedictorian Heather Nickelson and salutatorian Madison Bennett, who chose to collect and present input from their classmates in a unique, inclusive joint address.
After thanking their parents and others and recognizing their best friends, the two took turns reading an assortment of words, dedications, quotes, names and memories.
“With the responses we did receive, we can truly say this is a speech written by the Class of 2013 for the Class of 2013,” the two said. “Because this speech, this ceremony, this entire day is for each and every one of us.”
The girls noted things that everyone would remember — like the football state championships — as well as memories unique to special groups.
“So whether you have the perspective from a tennis court, the end of a trombone slide, the top of a cheerleading pyramid, the sidelines of a robotic arena or the viewfinder of a camera,” they concluded, “you are a part of this graduating class.”
Other students with roles in the commencement ceremony were Eric Estill, who led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Kathleen Nguyen, who introduced trustees and administrators and asked faculty and staff to stand and be recognized.
Daniel Duncan thanked the parents, while Baker Roberson recognized the teachers.
”We didn’t make it through all of our tribulations because of how bright we are,” Duncan said. “We, the senior class, have succeeded because of the love and support of you, our parents.”
“Teachers, we thank you for your hard work and dedication and for motivating us, inspiring us and preparing us for the next phase of life,” Roberson said.
Leah Vann, who bid the Class of 2013 farewell, opened with a moment of silence for a student named Eric Willoughby, who couldn’t participate because he is battling cancer.
“Judge your [future] success by the degree that you’re enjoying peace, health, and love,” she advised her classmates. ”No matter how far we go, we will always remember where we came from, the small town where trains stop the flow of traffic, but opponents do not stop the buses of state-bound competitors.”
With Bearcat pride burning in your hearts ... Ready, set, go.”
The commencement exercises were accompanied by the Aledo High School Band, directed by Joey Paul.
Peterson invited the top 10 percent of the class, noted on the program, to rise for a round of applause.
Those students are: Aaron Scott Albritton, Kendall Paige Baker, Madison Reid Bennett, Gabriel James Bogdanoff, Pate Wallis Davis, Annie May Denny, Daniel Paul Duncan, Alexander Cole Ecklund, Amelia Ann Ellis, Eric Philippe Hugh Estill, Lily Grace Garton, Megan Marie Gomba, Kyle Austin Gromann, Michael Richard Haertling, Caroline Emma Huff, Colby Sebastian Lewis, Margaret Caroline McGlothlin, Alexandria Lee McStay, Kathleen An Nguyen, Heather Elizabeth Nickelson, Channing Nichelle Nuttall, Trevor Daniel Rice, Baker Mays Roberson, Mitchell Burrows Robinson, Kira Bryanne Schlosberg, Sara Elizabeth Smith, Christopher Duncan Snyder, Mary Taylor Tillman, Rachel Erin Tosh, Natalie Jane Uhl, Leah Hannah Vann, Alicia Michelle Ward, Madison Paige Wiesner, Taylor Callan Wood and Allison Elaine Wortman.
The program also noted salutatorian Madison Bennett as a National Merit Scholar.
Valedictorian Heather Elizabeth Nickelson, Pate Wallis Davis, Erin Gale Flinchbaugh, Lily Grace Garton, William C. Hampton,Jr., Sarah Marie Mallet, Margaret Caroline McGlothlin, Mitchell Burrows Robinson, Kira Bryanne Schlosberg and Shea Paul Wood were shown as National Merit Commended Scholars.
In addition, 218 seniors graduated as Texas Scholars, having completed the Distinguished Achievement or Recommended High School Programs and at least two courses eligible for college credit while in high school.
To A Daughter Leaving Home
When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
for your life, screaming
the hair flapping
behind you like a
by Linda Pastan, as shared by graduate Daniel Duncan
By Judy Sheridan
- Aledo ExtrA
SPRINGTOWN – After finding that a breaker manufactured by a company with a history of issues contributed to a house fire Friday, Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott is urging Parker County residents with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breakers to call an electrician and get them checked for safety.
Candidates have filed for city, school board elections
Filings for May 10 city and school board elections are now complete. A summary follows:
On the Aledo ISD school board incumbents David Davis, in Place 6, and Hoyt Harris, in Place 7, have both filed for re-election, each drawing one or more opponents. Farida Goderya has filed for Place 6, opposite Davis, and Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers have filed for Place 7, opposite Harris.
East Parker County Calendar of Events
The East Parker County Chamber of Commerce will welcome retired USAF SMSGT Vernon M. Anderson, Jr., senior technical instructor, Bell Helicopter, Integrated Operations Engineering Support Technical Training Department, as the key note speaker for the March 12 luncheon.
The Sunny Side
WILLOW PARK – Peppered with anecdotes from his stellar baseball career, former Texas Rangers catcher Jim Sundberg gave witness to his Christian faith and told how it changed his life before a crowd of about 200 at the recent annual Trinity Christian Academy dinner and fundraiser.
Aledo ISD approves suicide prevention program
The Aledo School Board approved the LifeLines Suicide Prevention Program in February, lining up with a recommendation from the Student Health Advisory Council, which has spent a year reviewing choices.
Aledo ISD could save up to $2 million
Expecting to save close to $2 million, Aledo ISD trustees recently voted to let district staff pull the trigger on a bank-qualified refunding of some of the district’s outstanding bonds once market conditions are optimum.
Don't feed the deer!
HUDSON OAKS — The city council recently passed an ordinance banning the feeding of deer.
Parker County Sheriff's Report Feb. 27-March 2
Burglary of a vehicle
Deputies were dispatched to the 300 block of James Street in Aledo shortly after 6 p.m. regarding the burglary of a vehicle.
ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Is it too early to start a vegetable garden?
Considering our winter temperatures this year, that’s a good question. When it comes to a successful vegetable garden, timing is everything. The goal in Texas is to have most of your vegetable crops mature before the temperatures soar in mid-summer.
EXTENSION NEWS: Getting more zzzs could help you lose some lbs.
We spend about one-third of our lifetime sleeping. Sleep is important for learning and memory. Sleep also helps our immune system to resist illness and disease, increases response times in emergencies, improves our mood and feelings of wellness and gives us the energy we need to be more active and alert.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- Breaker, breaker!