Year-end programs promote philanthropy, recognize success, accomplishment

Published 8:34 am Saturday, May 21, 2016

Editorial by Rickie R. Harris

This Friday, May 27, the West Orange – Stark High School Class of 2016 will graduate. Please join us in celebrating the academic success of these students at this milestone event. It is scheduled to be held in our stadium; and, weather permitting, commencement will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Mustang honor graduates were officially recognized at the High School Senior Scholarship and Awards Program earlier this month. Brandon Roy is the WOS valedictorian; and Margan Ferguson is the salutatorian. Honor graduates are Olivia Basinger, Emma Dorantes, Desiree Howard, Payton Roberts, Tara Dunn, Avelia Self, Tyffani Hinson, Angelica Jimenez, Nakaiya Platt, and Gabriela Rico. These students and their classmates have collectively earned more than $706,000 in academic and athletic scholarships. Congratulations!

Outstanding 2015-2016 Mustang varsity athletes were also recognized recently at the Athletic Awards Banquet. The awards program also included the presentation of certificates to more than 40 student athletes for their selection to the Scholastic All-District Athletic Team for lettering at the varsity level and, at the same time, maintaining an overall numeric average of at least 90 in all subjects taken. We are very proud of you.

It was also very exciting to watch and cheer for our Mustangs as they competed recently at the UIL State Track and Field Meet at The University of Texas in Austin. This competition showcased the best high school athletes in Texas and was extremely competitive. Our Lady Mustang 4 x 400 meter relay team of Mercedes Fezia, Taylor Colbert, Shavontae Thomas, and Aaliyah Teel placed seventh at the event. The 4 x 200 meter relay team of Betty McDonald, Thomas, Diamond Judge, and Teel placed fourth. Teel also placed fifth in the 100 meter dash. Jared Dupree competed in the high jump and earned the STATE silver medal with a jump of 6’7”! Thank you to each of these Mustangs for representing us so well.

WO-S High School featured a phenomenal guest speaker this past week. Inquoris “Inky” Johnson shared his personal story of poverty, injury, determination, and success. His motivational words presented guidance and challenge to our students. His story is truly inspiring and timely, as the Class of 2016 prepares to embark on their post high school journey. We appreciate his time and his willingness to share.

I am also very glad to recognize the work of West Orange – Stark Elementary third grade students and their teachers. This week, the students held their second annual Lemonade Stand fundraiser. The fundraiser is a math department project which teaches and allows the practice of financial literacy skills. Additionally, the lesson teaches philanthropy. Proceeds from the lemonade stand are donated to the Southeast Texas Humane Society. Thank you, as well, to all members of our community who supported this project.


The District is also requesting the support of all of our parents in a Campus Parent Survey. The surveys can be found in the “Parent” and “News” pages of our WOCCISD website: Surveys will be available on-line through the first week of June.

Finally, we are continuing to move forward with on-line registration. All of our parents must utilize the Family Access Parent Portal during the 2016-2017 school year. Family Access includes student gradebook, attendance, and other data. Family Access applications and information packets are downloadable from our website.

As contemporary author John Maxwell said, “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” Go Mustangs! Have a great summer!

Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD.