Held on Saturday evening, May 27, the commencement exercises began with the RHS band’s playing of the National Anthem.
After welcoming comments from Interim Principal John Myers, Allison Watkins, a member of the senior class, honored the memory of deceased classmate Sammee Michelle Taylor. She placed a rose in the chair that was left empty in memory of Taylor.
Class President Ben Kees told his classmates they need to continue the tradition of excellence shown by past RHS graduates. He then introduced the guest speaker. Don Firchow, long-time supporter/volunteer in Russellville schools and a retired manager in industry, gave the commencement address. He urged RHS graduates to be the best they could be, to achieve and make a difference in the world and to remember their school and teachers with gratitude and respect.
On behalf of the senior class, Kees presented Firchow with a recognition plaque, in appreciation for all of the support and effort he expends in Russellville City Schools.
Myers then recognized students who received special awards and scholarships.
Students who were members of the National Honor Society wore light blue stoles. Honor students, who maintained an academic average of 94 or above for the total semesters spent in high school, wore honor Black and Gold cords.
Students who wore either or both gown coverings were: Sam Corbin, Jeremy Gilbert, Elizabeth Harris, Katie Hindman, Brittany Holloway, Erin Johnson, Ben Kees, Nick LeVan, Karen Lewis, Demetria Miles, Brea Popelka, Terricka Quarles, Lauralee Robey, Katelyn Scales, Stephanie Southerland, John Starks, Kyle Stoker, Will Stuart, Sarah Urban, Emily Walton, Allison Watkins, Rob Watkins, and Jonathan White.
The six Kentucky Governor’s Scholars from this class were recognized. GSP scholars were Sam Corbin, Kyle Stoker, Nick LeVan, Jonathan White, Ben Kees, and Sarah Urban.
Stephanie Southerland and Allison Watkins were recognized for completing the HOSA Medicaid Nurse Aid Program. Seniors who were recognized for their outstanding attendance records were Paul Blewett, Demetria Miles, Justin Williams, Ben Kees, Terricka Quarles, Sam Corbin and Allison Watkins
Presidential Awards for Educational Excellence were awarded to Sam Corbin, Jeremy Gilbert, Elizabeth Harris, Katie Hindman, Brittany Holloway, Erin Johnson, Ben Kees, Karen Lewis, Nick LeVan, Demetria Miles, Brea Popelka, Terricka Quarles, Lauralee Robey, Katelyn Scales, Stephanie Southerland, John Starks, Kyle Stoker, Morgan Stratton, Will Stuart, Jazmihn Troxler, Sarah Urban, Emily Walton, Allison Watkins, Rob Watkins, and Jonathan White.
Jazmihn Troxler was recognized for having received the Commonwealth Diploma. Troxler successfully completed four advanced placement courses and three AP exams with a cumulative score of at least eight.
Students who accepted college and/or local scholarships are as follows:
Jacob Allen— RHS Athletic Booster Club Male Athlete award;
Sam Corbin— University of Louisville Trustees’ Scholarship Award for full tuition and stipend, KHSAA/First Corbin Financial Corp. award for outstanding sportsmanship, Kentucky Technical Education Pro Engineering Skills Standards Certificate of Recognition, Marie Turner Science scholarship;
Shonay Danridge— University of Louisville Trustees’ Scholarship Award for full tuition, Russellville Optimist Club Kelley Russell Memorial scholarship female athlete award, Community Action of Southern Kentucky scholarship, Wal-Mart scholarship;
Jeremy Gilbert— University of Kentucky William C. Parker scholarship for in-state tuition, First Southern National Bank scholarship, NAACP scholarship;
Elizabeth Harris— Campbellsville University Dean’s scholarship, Baptist Award, Acteen scholarship, KYMU Snider scholarship;
Amber Higgins— Rotary International Club scholarship in Business and Marketing, given by First Southern National Bank;
Katie Hindman— WKU College Heights Foundation scholarship, KAPOS Cheerleading scholarship, Joseph H. Emberger scholarship, WKU AP Award, RHS Science Club scholarship, Diana Hutchings Glasgow scholarship, NAACP scholarship, RHS Athletic Booster Club Female Athlete award;
Brittany Holloway— Rotary International Club scholarship in Accounting and Finance, given by Lewisburg Banking Co., Wal-Mart scholarship, RHS Future Business Leaders Association scholarship;
Erin Johnson— Campbellsville University Music Performance grant, Academic scholarship, Baptist Leadership award, Frances and Ruth Moore scholarship, Hazel Carver Music scholarship;
Ben Kees— Kentucky Wesleyan James Graham Brown full tuition scholarship, Fellowship of Christian Athletes scholarship;
Nick LeVan— University of Louisville Trustees’ scholarship for full tuition and stipend;
Demetria Miles— University of Louisville Trustee’s scholarship for full tuition and stipend, Townsend Grove Missionary Baptist Church scholarship;
Terricka Quarles— Kentucky State University Presidential scholarship for full tuition;
Lauralee Robey— Miss Logan County Tobacco and Heritage Festival Queen scholarship;
Craig Sanko— U.S. Army National Scholar/Athlete award;
Katelyn Scales— U.S. Army National Scholar/Athlete award
John Starks— Centre College Merit Award scholarship, Russellville Optimist Club Kelley Russell Memorial scholarship male athlete award;
Stephanie Southerland— Rotary International Club scholarship in Health Science, given by Paul Kerr, Kiwanis Club scholarship;
Kyle Stoker— University of Kentucky Provo scholarship, Best Group of Art Winner scholarship, Fraternal Order of Police Award, RHS Spanish Club scholarship, Diana Hutchings Glasgow scholarship;
Morgan Stratton— Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority scholarship;
Sean Stratton— Kentucky Construction Skill Standards Certificate of Recognition;
Jazmihn Troxler— University of Kentucky William C. Parker scholarship for in-state tuition, room and board;
Sarah Urban— University of Kentucky Presidential scholarship for full tuition, Oddvar Berg scholarship;
Allison Watkins— Murray State University Rhoads Scholar Scholarship, WMU Snider-Creal Acteens scholarship, Girl Scouts of Kentucky Jean Cole scholarship, National Society of High School Scholars honor cord, RHS National Honor Society award, Leona Carrico scholarship, Logan Memorial Hospital scholarship, RHS Alumni scholarship;
Rob Watkins— Masonic Lodge award;
Jonathan White— University of Louisville Trustees’ scholarship for full tuition, Joseph G. Hardy Memorial scholarship, RHS Alumni scholarship, RHS Science Club scholarship;
Justin Williams— Mary Hope Henry music scholarship.
Over $600,000 in scholarships were awarded to RHS graduates this year.
One of the most significant awards is the Thomas P. DeGraffenried award, which is administered by the city of Russellville. This year’s recipient, determined by the vote of the faculty, was Katie Hindman. She was presented with a trophy and scholarship by Councilman Chuck Phillips.
Each year trophies are presented to the top three senior scholars. The third place award was presented to Katie Hindman, the Salutatorian award was presented to Kyle Stoker, and the Valedictorian award was presented to Nick LeVan. LeVan had a weighted 4 year GPA of 4.0250. Hindman’s weighted 4 year GPA was 3.9594 and Stoker’s was 4.0219.
After brief comments relating to the large number of past RHS graduates who have distinguished themselves with prestigious careers and the good wishes for this year’s graduating class, Roger D. Cook, superintendent, presented the class of 2006 to the Russellville Independent Board of Education. Board members took turns presenting diplomas to each graduate.
Myers gave closing and farewell comments. The ceremony ended by the traditional toss of caps and the singing of the high school’s alma mater.
Senior class advisors this year were Kathy Von Lehman, Robert Crick, Brandon Blake, Susannah Nelson, and. William Orndorff. Shawn Sansom was senior coordinator.