From Staff Reports
Jefferson High School recently announced their Superlative Graduates for the Class of 2020. The Superlative Graduates represent the top ten percent of graduates based on grade points earned during their high school career.
The Bulldog Beacon staff compiled each graduate’s high school achievements and plans for college.
James Roraback is the Valedictorian of the Class of 2020. James is the son of Paula Breckenridge Roraback and Mark Roraback. He has taken numerous honors classes as well as dual credit classes throughout high school. Over the years, he participated in baseball, band and the fishing team, and was also a member of the National Honor Society. He played the trumpet all four years in band, and was the trumpet section leader his senior year. He also advanced to the state tournament on the fishing team his junior year. James plans to attend Stephen F. Austin State University in the fall of 2020. He plans to major in accounting and minor in business. Once graduating, he will go on to find a job as a forensic accountant.
Robert “Hayden” Sachtleben is the son of Kenlah and Richard Sachtleben, and the grandchild of Kerry and Kelly Blackburn, and Riley Sachtleben. He has two brothers, Rhett and Kerry Sachtleben. In high school, Hayden participated in band. He was drum major his junior and senior year. Hayden also lettered in golf when he was on the varsity team his sophomore year. He was involved with the paddlefish program throughout his school career and he was team captain in the robotics program. Hayden is a member of the National Honor Society. He was also a part of the EMT class that was created this year. After college, Hayden plans on attending Southern Arkansas University.
Caleb Shepard will finish his senior year ranked third in his class. Caleb is the son of Cortney Shepard and Janet Benton-Williams. He is a four-year varsity cross country and track athlete competing at the regional level. He is secretary of the National Honor Society, secretary of his class all four years and secretary of the Spanish Club. He is part of five non-profit organizations: Good Samaritan, Open Closet, Joshua Generation, Texas Say What! and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, where the group was able to lobby at the capital to pass a state bill known as Tobacco 21 his junior year. One of two founding members of the Journalism Club, he is also a writer and sports photographer for the Bulldog Beacon, the student newspaper for JHS and a publication of the Jefferson Jimplecute. He is an active member of 4H and a state qualifier in DECA for two years in a row. In November, he was nominated Rotary Student of the Month. During the summer he volunteers at the S.A.I.L.S program, tutoring younger students. He has taken CNA courses and acting classes and has been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA. Caleb will be attending the University of Houston in the fall, majoring in nursing and minoring in education/business.
Mariah Williams is graduating fourth in the JHS class of 2020. She is the daughter of Nancy and Loyd Kirkland. In high school, Mariah participated in cheerleading and is the treasurer of the National Honor Society. After graduating high school, she plans on attending Stephen F. Austin State University in the fall of 2020, majoring in nursing. Once she has earned her BSN, Mariah plans to complete a master’s degree program enabling her to be a nurse practitioner.
Caleb Wallace is graduating 5th in the JHS class of 2020. He is the son of T.J. and Patti Wallace. He has participated in football all four years of high school. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. He plans to attend Stephen F. Austin State University and earn a degree in criminal justice to enable his career goal of becoming a Texas State Game Warden.
Sharday Turner is the daughter of Kim and Randy Turner. She was a member of the band all four years, played the clarinet, and attended the Four States BandMasters Association Clinic. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, The Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement and Honor Society, and is the Spanish Club president. Sharday has earned 12 college hours and has taken dual credit for three years and honors classes all four years. Sharday will graduate as a Distinguished Student. She is attending Sam Houston State University and majoring in Business Administration. After graduation from Sam Houston, she plans to attend law school in hopes of becoming a corporate lawyer.
Madison Bristow is graduating seventh in the class of 2020. Madison is the daughter of Robert and Ashley Bristow. She earned 18 hours of college credit while in high school, as well as attended many honors courses. Madison participated in varsity basketball and softball, and she is a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. This past year Madison was named to the 2019-2020 Academic All State Team for basketball. Madison plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where she will be enrolled in the College of Natural Sciences. Madison’s future plan is to become a physician’s assistant. Madison is a Distinguished graduate, Texas Scholar and a Red Cord recipient.
Tay Gram is the son of Rebecca Gardner and Jason Henderson. He is a member of the National Honor Society. He has been awarded Academic Excellence awards in English, money matters and business finance and marketing. He has also earned certifications as a Microsoft Office Specialist in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Tay’s future plan is to continue his education through Penn Foster online, pursuing a degree in business. He will be working full-time while taking classes.
Mason McNeely is graduating ninth in his class. He has been in band all four years of high school and was nominated as a part of the 4-States Honor Band this year. Mason also participated in One Act Play and received the All-Star Cast award in 2019. Mason has acted with the East Texas Performing Arts in many of their productions. He has been an active volunteer for many causes in Jefferson. Mason will be attending Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas. He plans to pursue a career in pharmacy.
Jefferson High School will hold their graduation commencement ceremony Friday, May 29 at 8 p.m. It will be held at W.F. Lockett Stadium, Jerry Bennett Field. A graduation parade will be Friday, May 22 in downtown Jefferson at 7 p.m.
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