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Eagle Nation Sends 8 Seniors on their way

According to Betsy Barnett, Eads High School Principal who retires at the end of the school year, this year’s crop of seniors was the smallest class in school history, but a class with one of the largest hearts and percentage of participation.  This would soon become obvious to the nearly 350 people attending the Eads graduation ceremony on Saturday afternoon. Eads Eagles Class of 2018

The day started off with the eight seniors marching one by one into the gymnasium as Mrs. Nancy Walker played the obligatory “Pomp and Circumstance” procession.  Mr. Glenn Smith, Superintendent of Schools, then introduced the Eads School District Board members including Ralph Berry, President; Larry Gifford; Marty Miller; Marlynn Eikenberg, Keith Crow, Jessica Sierra, and Darci Johnson who were all present sitting on the stage and ready to congratulate the seniors as they received their diplomas.

Mr. Brian Bohlander, who will take over for Barnett at the beginning of next year, then introduced the class Salutatorian, Zach Haase.  Haase described how he sees the world in numbers.  He described how much actual time he and his classmates have spent eating, sleeping, going to school, practicing or playing sports, and hanging out together.  He spoke of his family and the community and stated, “It truly does take a village, and Eads does it the best.” 

Bohlander then came back to the stage to introduce Madison Kelley, the class Valedictorian.  Kelley’s speech was quite entertaining as she told the story of a little baby girl that was born back in 1999 and how she grew and hoped and dreamed to get to the next milestone---and finally to that day, on that stage, speaking to all who have encouraged, challenged, and supported that little girl.

Smith and Board President Berry then came forward and verified to the public that all seniors had successfully met the requirements of graduation as specified by the board of education.  Smith then thanked Mrs. Barnett for her 30 years of dedicated service to the district and Barnett was then honored with a standing ovation.

The seniors then came forward to receive their diplomas from Smith while Barnett detailed each student’s future plans and rewards received.

Due to Zach Haase’s academic excellence, as well as his involvement in sports and other organizations, he was accepted at a number of universities including the University of Nebraska. However, Zach made many visits to possible Institutions and decided upon attending Southeast Community College in Beatrice, NE to complete an Associates of Arts degree in Diversified Agriculture.  Barnett also announced that Haase was the recipient of the Kiowa County National Bank Honor Athlete Scholarship for $750.  This award is given annually to a girl and a boy from Kiowa County who demonstrated excellence in both the sports arenas and in the classroom.  Haase is also a school record holder in the Triple Jump where he broke a 30-year school record this year.

Damian Hernandez has a solid plan in place to move him out into a strong career.  He will attend Lamar Community College taking their 9-month Welding Certificate Program.  With that training he hopes to either get hired in the trade industry or trek out into his own business.  Barnett also complemented Hernandez on being such an effective contributor in the boys’ sports programs.

Madison Kelley, class Valedictorian, was accepted at the Colorado School of Mines.  At Mines she will pursue a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Metallurgical & Civil Engineering to eventually become an Architectural Draftsman.  She received the Colorado School of Mines Merit Scholarship for $2,500 per semester for 8 semesters for a total of $20,000.  She also receives the Kiowa County Conservation Book Scholarship for $250.  Sheriff Casey Sheridan then presented Madison with the County Sheriffs of Colorado for $500.  Mrs. Delisa Weeks, Kiowa County Clerk & Recorder, presented Madison with the Colorado County Clerk’s Association regional scholarship that encompasses 7 counties for $750.  Madison is the female recipient of the Kiowa County National Bank Honor Athlete Scholarship for $750.  Madison was recognized as a team member of the Eads High School’s Girls Go Cyberstart competition. Finally, Barnett thanked Kelley for her contributions in cheerleading, music, FBLA, and varsity sports.

Trey McDowell will attend Otero Junior College in La Junta to begin training in Wildlife Management.  Upon receiving his Associates of Science degree, he will transfer to Adams State University in Alamosa to complete a Bachelors of Science degree in Wildlife Management.  He eventually hopes to work at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Management Division.  Trey received the 3.0 Scholars Program Scholarship from OJC worth $1,000 per year renewable for 2 years for a total of $2,000.  Barnett also indicated that McDowell was essential for Eads boys’ sports program and because of his dedication has left the programs ready for future successes.

Trevor Randel will attend Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, KS and study to obtain an Associates of Applied Science in the field of Welding.  This is a two-year degree that also has a welding certificate applied.  He then plans to return to the family farm and he hopes to use his degree and training for possible job security as needed.  Trevor received the William Glover Memorial Scholarship for $500.  Bill Glover’s family chose Trevor as the recipient of this award because he best represents the positive aspects of their son Bill who they lost way to early in a car wreck a few years ago.  Barnett also spoke about Trevor becoming a wrestling state champion and how he was an effective role model for the district’s elementary students. 

Brenna Rouse will attend West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX to obtain her Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing to specialize as an OB nurse. She received the West Texas A&M Scholarship Service Award for $1,000 per year renewable for 4 years for $4,000.  She was a 4-year varsity player on the volleyball and basketball team.  She was a key player on the basketball team where she was at state with her team three years running.  Brenna, too, has left her name marked in the record books here at Eads High School as last year she broke a school record hitting 7 three pointers in a single game.

Mariah Smith will attend Colorado State University – Pueblo to earn a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing.  She also joins the Thunderwolves’ Track Throwing Team after she signed her national letter of intent to throw at the Division II level. At Pueblo she receives the following scholarship package:  Academic Scholarship for $6,000 per year renewable for 4 years for a total of $24,000; Track Throwing Scholarship for $4,000 per year renewable for 4 years for a total of $16,000; Work Study for $3,000 per year renewable for 4 years for a total of $12,000. That’s a $52,000 scholarship package from CSU-P.  Smith also received the Weisbrod Hospital Employee Scholarship for $500 that is given annually to a student going into the medical profession. Barnett told the crowd that Smith, as Student Council President, was persistent in raising enough funds to purchase a much-needed vending machine for the students.  She was also the FFA President.  Finally, Barnett told the story of how Smith won the 1A state championship in the discus while at the same time breaking a school and state record.

Mindi Uhland will attend West Texas A & M University in Canyon, Texas to pursue a Masters of Science degree in Communication Disorders.  She wants to eventually become a Speech Language Pathologist living in a rural area and working with schools and the area youth.  She received the West Texas Scholastic Service Award for $1,000 per year renewable for 4 years for $4,000.  Mindy received the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers scholarship for $1,000; the Kiowa County Conservation District Book Scholarship for $250; and the FFA Alumni Scholarship for $1,000.  Mrs. Dawn James, President of the Eads Education Association, presented Mindi with the annual EEA Future Teacher Scholarship for $500.  James also announced that Caden Parker, EHS Class of 2017 who is studying to become a teacher, received a scholarship from EEA, as well.  Nancy Walker, representing the Eads Alumni Association then came forward announcing Mindi was the recipient of the $500 scholarship from their association.  Mindi also received the Ethel Johnson Memorial Scholarship which traditionally goes to a graduating senior girl who emulates the attributes that Ethel Johnson was known for in this community way back during the 1950s through the 1980s.  She was a woman with a true entrepreneurial spirit who believed in education, always learning new things, pursuing civil and community improvements, and was an exceptional business woman.  This scholarship is for $500.
Eads Eagles Class of 2018
Once all graduates had received their diplomas and awards, Barnett announced that although this class was the smallest in Eads history they were still successful in obtaining sufficient funding to move into the next level with a total award amount of $90,825.

Barnett then closed the ceremony by thanking school counselor Mary Vasquez for assisting the seniors in planning for their futures; and Mrs. LaDawne Britten for organizing the ceremony and helping the seniors from start to finish.  She also recognized the class for all their contributions, the parents for their unwavering support, the school board and staff for their unending professionalism, and the community for the traditions of support that never fails these students. She closed by saying, “Eagle Nation thanks the Class of 2018 from the bottom of their purple and gold hearts.”
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