Hannah Van Winkle opened the graduation service for the 2018 senior class of Arp High School with an invocation followed by a welcome given by senior class president Dutch Whitt. The ceremony was held in the Wayne Roberts Auditorium of Arp High School Friday, May 25.
Arp ISD Superintendent John S. Arrington introduced valedictorian Christine Bays, announcing she had earned an award from the Texas Education Agency for “free tuition during both semesters of the first regular session immediately following high school graduation.”
Arrington also introduced the 2018 salutatorian, Alexis Martsolf.
“Well, we made it,” Martsolf opened her salutatorian address. She reminisced about teachers, classes, experiences and friends throughout her high school years. She concluded her address with song lyrics by Mark Harris’ song, “Find Your Wings.”
“The plans that heaven has for you will all too soon unfold, so many different prayers I’ll pray for that you might do. But most of all, I want to know you’re walking in the truth,” Martsolf read. “And if I’ve never told you, I want you to know, that as I watched you grow, I prayed that God would fill your heart with dreams and that faith gives you the courage to dare to do great things. I’m here for you whatever this life brings, so let my love give you roots to help you find your wings.”
Bays began her valedictorian address by thanking her parents, boyfriend and best friends for being there for her. She then spoke of 10 things she believed her classmates had learned during high school including, be positive, know your role, don’t worry what others think, don’t be afraid to try new things, stop comparing yourself to others, procrastination is a habit, coffee makes everything better, stop complaining, continue learning new things and appreciate your family and friends.
Bays closed her speech by encouraging classmates to keep in touch with friends and family following graduation, noting many of the people and behaviors she would miss from high school.
Arp High School Principal Justin Hunley then acknowledged valedictorian Bays and salutatorian Martsolf as honor graduates. Also recognized as honor graduates were Chelsea McDonald, Silver Roberts, Lacy Mowrey, Elaina Smith, Kimberleigh Cox, Derek Chatham, Sarah Pike, Dakota Shores, Nichole Geisleman, Patricia Sanders, Hannah Van Winkle, Brittany Green, Matthew Jackson, Aaron Reneau, DeMarvion Overshown, Dutch Whitt, Sydney Saso, Dionna Wade, Alixa Rodriguez and Samantha Fuller. It was noted that Sarah Pike was also receiving a certificate as the highest ranking three-year graduate.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the school song and a benediction by Elaina Smith.
Over $600,000 in scholarships had been received by 2018 graduates. Scholarship recipients included Autumn Bailey, Alex Barocio, Byron Brown, Derek Chatham, Kimberleigh Cox, Alexis Ferguson, Emilee Gee, Nichole Geisleman, Brittany Green, BraNausha Harris, Christian Holsinger, Connor Jackson, Kalyn Johnson, Alexis Martsolf, Chelsea McDonald, Lacy Mowrey, DeMarvion Overshown, Sarah Pike, Silver Roberts, Alixa Rodriguez, Patricia Sanders, Sydney Saso, Dakota Shores, Elaina Smith, Carleen Smelley, Dionna Wade, Hannah Van Winkle and Dutch Whitt.