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Cover story: Great Graduates


Cover story: Great Graduates
We asked administrators and counselors at Fort Smith’s Northside and Southside high schools to choose a representive group of this year’s graduating seniors to help us put some faces to those hundreds who will receive their diplomas this month. They introduced us to what we would call a bunch of good kids. 
All of these bright young people are moving with confidence to the next step in life. Many are academically outstanding – with scholarships and awards distinguishing them. A few have been thrust into early self- reliance by difficult personal circumstances, but are succeeding with the help of mentors and their own drive. 
Some of them have majors and careers in mind and some are entering college to explore several choices. All of them will be on their own in August or even sooner. Like the many classmates they represent, they take along with them the best efforts of Fort Smith’s public school teachers, staff and administrators. 
Southside’s graduation ceremonies are at 7:30 p.m. May 23 at Jim Rowland Stadium. Northside’s graduation is at 7:30 p.m. May 24 at Mayo-Thompson Stadium. We wish all graduating seniors the best!


 

Jesse Flurry NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL


In June he’ll be:
In Army basic training at Fort Sill, Okla. Career in Mind: Career Army.
I am going into the medical field – I will be a medic in the Army.

High school highlights:
JROTC
Quiz Bowl, Junior Year

High school highlights:
Jesse is proud of taking control of his own future at a time when his family support was withdrawn. He made the decision as a senior to meet all the requirements to enlist in the military and scored highly in the entrance examinations.

 


 

MALEKA MOMOND NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

 

In August she’ll be:

At University of Central Arkansas- Honors College.

 

Career in Mind:

Studying psychology or history, considering law school or combining music and psychology with an interest in cognitive therapy.

 

High school highlights:

Northside Band Drum Major 

Northside Orchestra, principal bassist

 

What she’ll miss:

AP Psychology, AP History and AP Statistics. I enjoy taking AP classes. I really respect the phenomenal teachers I’ve gotten to work with.


John Spradlin NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL


In August he’ll be:

At the University of Tulsa, Petroleum Engineering program.

 

Career in Mind:

Petroleum Engineering

 

High school highlights:

National Honor Society Northside’s Skills USA Team – gold medalist, advanced carpentry Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout and 

Medal of Merit for saving a life.

 

What he’ll miss:

Playing football as a varsity linebacker with the Grizzlies 

and seeing all my friends every day.

 


SERGIO MARTINEZ NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

 

In August he’ll be:

Likely accepting the offer from Central Baptist College in Conway, Ark.

 

Career in Mind:

Possibly sports medicine. I want to stay close to sports because that’s been a big part of my life.

 

High school highlights:

Playing soccer, all three years on the varsity team as a starter. As a senior he is leading scorer with 12 goals.

 

What he’ll miss:

Getting to see the friends I grew up with every single day.

It’ll be a big change, not seeing them after 18 years.

 


stephanie ratsamy 

NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

In August she’ll be:

At Arkansas Tech University majoring in International Studies.

 

Career in Mind:

The major I will be working toward is international studies and cultural affairs. I think this will allow me to work in government, as a translator or even a teacher.

 

High school highlights:

Student Council 

National Honor Society 

Mu Alpha Theta 

French Honor Society

 

What she’ll miss:

I think that I will miss having student council as a class period because I like having all that time to plan and work with those with like minds.


CLAYTON PANKEY  

SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

 

In August he’ll be:

At Harding University on a football scholarship

 

Career in mind:

Math Education/Football Coach

 

High School highlights:

Football All-Conference Junior and Senior Years. Three-year starter at corner. 

Basketball

FCA President 

National Honor Society 

National Spanish Honor Society 

FBLA 

National Business Honor Society

 

What he’ll miss:

I will miss playing high school sports and all of the relationships I have built.

 


TYLER DAVIS  

SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

 

In August he’ll be:

At Ouachita Baptist University majoring in ministry

 

Career in mind:

Youth Pastor

 

High School highlights:

AP Courses that I have put in so much work for

FBLA

Student Council

Mu Alpha Theta

 

What he’ll miss:

The amount of time I was able to spend with my friends is something I will cherish forever and I know that moving forward I probably won’t get to spend as much time with them.

 


MEG KOENIGSEDER 

SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

 

In August she’ll be:

At the University of Arkansas

 

Career in Mind:

Majoring in Communication Disorders with the intent of 

becoming a Speech Pathologist

 

High school highlights:

Southside Dixie Belles 

National Honor Society 

Student Council 

Mu Alpha Theta

 

What she’ll miss:

I’ll miss spending time with so many people I’ve known for so long – we’re all going separate ways, so it’s kind of sad.

 


LAUREN PAYNE  

SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

In August she’ll be:

At the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

 

Career in mind:

Botany

 

High school highlights:

National Honor Society

National Business Honor Society

Southside Debate Team, captain

AP Classes

Mu Alpha Theta

 

What she’ll miss:

I’ll miss knowing as many people in my classes as I do. 

I might never see some peers again because of different majors,

even if we do go to the same university.


RACHEL DAVIS  

SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

In August she’ll be:

At Oklahoma State University, in Chemical Engineering. Davis won the W.W. Allen Scholarship, with the option of graduate study 

at the University of Cambridge.

 

Career in mind:

I want to go to either med school or pharmacy school and pursue a 

career in research or as a physician.

 

High School highlights:

Quiz Bowl,

Science Bowl 

Southside Band

 

What she’ll miss:

The friendships and relationships I’ve formed. I’m definitely going to miss those I have studied with and learned with here. I’ll also miss the football games and atmosphere.


REBECCA ROEBUCK  

SOUTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL

 

In August she’ll be:

At Oklahoma State University

 

Career in mind:

Majoring in Strategic Communications, minoring in Spanish

 

High School highlights:

Varsity Soccer

FBLA 

National Honor Society 

Student Council 

Noble Cause Award Board 

Christ the King Youth Group

 

What she’ll miss:

High school was a great time for me to get deeply involved in leadership activities, sports and church activities. I’ll be concluding my soccer career after 15 years playing with a lot of the same teammates from day one.

 


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