Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

June 3, 2014

Time to fly: Rusk High School graduates 129

Cristin Reece
Jacksonville Daily Progress

RUSK — This past Friday's stormy weather rolled out just in time for the pomp and circumstance of Rusk High School's graduation ceremony for the district's class of 2014.

The ceremony, held at Eagle Stadium, officially graduated 129 seniors from high school. Stands were packed with family and friends -- many of whom cheered and applauded with pride as each young person walked the stage to receive a diploma.

"Congratulations on a job well done," Rusk Independent School District President Britt Patterson told the graduates. "May the Lord always guide your path."

RISD class of 2014 Salutatorian Casey Lynn-Myers Abernathy gave the Salutatory Address and quoted Dr. Suess's "Oh the Places You'll Go" and recalled some of her favorite teachers' antics through the year.

"We've been given opportunities some people can only dream about," she told her classmates. "There's nothing to hold us back. We hold the future in our hands, and now it's time to start shaping it."

RISD class of 2014 Valedictorian Amy Kendall Holcomb took the podium next and also addressed her peers.

"Cherish the friends you've made here and never forget the important lessons we've learned -- like balancing a pencil on your nose and angiosperm reproduction," she joked before getting serious. "Find something that sets you on fire and make that your future. Find a way to make your mark on the world, because life is short."

High honor student Kara Elizabeth Hugghins was the student speaker. Other top 10 graduates included Madison Turner, Erin Flowers, Mallory Buckley, Jaclynn Dyess, Margaret Beckworth, Miranda Uherek, Tierra Turner, Micah Russell, Kerry Day and Kayla Woodlee.

After school administrators presented each student their diploma, graduates tossed their caps before making their way to the district's annual Senior Finale post-graduation party.

The graduation march, Pomp and Circumstance, and the school song were performed by the Rusk Eagles Band. Ushers were class of 2015 National Honor Society members Candace Corley, Bailee Gates, Rebekah Heidel, Sydna Long, Vanessa Wilbourn, Jenny Magruder, Kyle Monk, Elizabeth Norman and Kaitlin Tugwell.