Rock Port High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian Montana Martin, left and Salutatorian Journi Burke, right.

The Rock Port High School Class of 2017 received their diplomas in a commencement ceremony held for the first time in the South Gymnasium, on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Graduating seniors included Eryn Juleighanne Adams, Paityn AnnaMarie Alberti, James Lee Barnhart, John David Barnhart, Alexis Marie Baucom, Dillon James Bothwell, Jacqueline Brooke Bradley, Journi Elizabeth Burke, Dayle Corrin Davis, Hannah Sidney Deatz-Mace, Erika Rose Dietze, Shelbie Katelynn Rose Gaines, Tyler Christopher Jones, Cortney Jill LaHue, Alexis Cheyanne Lewis, Noah Hunter Makings, Montana Nicole Martin, Ethan Karl Miller, Dallas Michael Moore, Trenton Dane Oswald, Coreylin Marie Perry, Megan Lura Stevens, and Melanie Alexandria Wilson.
The students processional was to “Pomp & Circumstance” played by Mrs. Lynn Hunter. Superintendent Mr. Craig Walker welcomed everyone and introduced the class speaker, Mrs. Janette Stanton.
Mrs. Stanton taught life skills in Family and Consumer Science classes, and advised the F.C.C.L.A. at Rock Port for 21 years. Her message to the Class of 2017 was titled “The Game of Life.”
“Life is about choices and consequences. Each of you has made good choices to enable you to be here today! In the next 10 years, you will make choices that will strongly determine the course of YOUR LIFE… I would like you to consider the part RESPECT, RESPONSIBILTY, and RESOURCEFULNESS have had in your first 18 years, and even more importantly, in your future success… You may be thinking – “It’s my life. I’m finally going to do what I want.” Do not under estimate the effect YOUR decisions will have on those who so deeply love and care about you! I am confident each of them in attendance today hopes you will continue to make great choices that will take you the direction you desire to go!”
Mrs. Stanton ended with “AND NOW, IN THE GAME OF LIFE, IT’S YOUR MOVE!”
Several graduates were presented scholarships and/or awards, by Mr. Walker, Mrs. Jonnie Kemerling or Mrs. Shauna Farmer. Presentation of diplomas included Mr. Rich Dewhirst, School Board President, Mrs. Jonnie Kemerling, Principal, Mr. Jeremy Davis, School Board Member and Mr. Brandon Oswald, former School Board President. Following the Diplomas was the Senior Class Video Presentation.
The Class of 2017 recessional was to “How Far We’ve Come” by Matchbox Twenty, the class song.
The class flower was white rose. The class colors were royal, black and chrome. The class motto was “Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” By Dr. Seuss. The class ushers were juniors, Catyn Chamberlain, Ally Demott, Dalton Brake and Mercer Deatz. The class sponsors were Ms. Kerri Acton, Mrs. Crystal Goins and Mr. Shawn Shineman.

ROCK PORT HIGH SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT – 2017- The following awards presentations were announced by Shauna Farmer, Counselor, at Rock Port High School’s Commencement Sunday, May 14, 2017:
Dillon Bothwell will be joining the United States Navy. We wish Dillon well in his new adventure.
John Barnhart was our first senior receiving a two-year certificate in Building Maintenance from Northwest Technical School in Maryville. Our students boarded a school bus every day at 6:30 a.m. to travel to Northwest Technical School. They arrived back in time for lunch and afternoon classes. John will be heading straight to work after graduation.
Noah Makings was the first to receive one of two $1,000 Atchison County Development Scholarships. ACDC is proud to invest in our students, hoping to see them back in Atchison County in future years. The ACDC board members realize the value of the vocational programs in our small community and hope to see more applications for this vocational scholarship in the future. Noah will be attending Missouri Valley in Marshall, MO, and play baseball on a $9,500 scholarship from the Vikings, majoring in elementary education.
Tyler Jones will be joining the National Guard following graduation. Good luck Tyler in all that you do and thank you for serving our country.
Dallas Moore received one year of welding training at Northwest Technical School in Maryville. He will be utilizing his New Horizons Scholarship at the Missouri Welding Institute in Nevada, MO.
Cortney LaHue received the Lutheran Church Scholarship. Cortney was one of three seniors who has had a “Principal’s Art Gallery” award on display in the elementary since the 2004-2005 school year. These pictures are located to the right of the stage and will be sent home with the graduates after the ceremony. Cortney is also our first A+ student to be recognized. Participants of this program must document 50 hours of tutoring or mentoring, achieve 95% cumulative attendance over four years, maintain a 2.5 GPA and be a good citizen in the community and at school. A+ graduates may use their grant benefits at any A+ Missouri public community college or technical or vocational school. The benefits will help with the cost of six semesters of fees or the completion of a degree program, whichever comes first. Cortney plans to attend Missouri State in Springfield, MO, and major in Health Sciences.
Alexis Baucom was our second student to graduate with A+ honors. Rock Port’s Optimist Club would like to honor Alex with the $500 Bill Andrews Scholarship. Bill was one of the founding members of the Rock Port Optimist Club and spent many hours supporting youth activities. The first of two $500 Rock Port Lions Club Scholarships was awarded to Alex. This fall, Alex will begin general education classes at Peru State College with intentions to transfer to Missouri State to complete a degree in Graphic Design.
Hannah Deatz-Mace was the recipient of the whopping $1,000 National Burger King Scholarship. Hannah was the first of six students receiving the Rock Port Recycling Scholarship. This award was initiated by community member Gary McGuire. Gary encouraged area residents to donate their aluminum cans and expired batteries so that he, in turn, could put the money towards a scholarship for our local youth. The first Rock Port Rotary Scholarship of $500 went to Hannah to be utilized at Missouri State where Hannah will major in Psychology.
Ethan Miller was the first recipient of the Warren and Evalyn Morgan Charitable Trust High School Vocational Scholarship which is renewable for high school students. Warren and Evalyn were farmers in the Watson area for several years, and Evalyn was a teacher. They valued education and helping students achieve their educational goals. Their charitable trust has been able to help many Atchison County students. Ethan was the final awardee of the Rock Port Lions Club Scholarship. The University of Arkansas is where Ethan will land in the fall, studying Engineering on an 80% New Arkansan Non-Resident Scholarship valued up to $11,500 a year to cover out of state tuition costs.
Erika Dietze, along with her Shaw and Cox Scholarships, was honored by Rock Port CTA with their $500 educational scholarship. The Watson Outreach Foundation offered one of their two $500 scholarships to Erika. This scholarship was made possible by donations and produce that was purchased from Gib Holmes during the summer. Erika was the second recipient of the Morgan High School Award. Erika plans to attend University of Northern Colorado and major in Early Elementary Education.
Melanie Wilson was also the winner of the $2,000 MFA Scholarship. The MFA Foundation was established in 1958 with the primary purpose of providing greater educational opportunity for youth in our trade territory. This scholarship was sponsored by Ag Choice of Rock Port and Fairfax. At the High School Awards Assembly Melanie was gifted a $750 scholarship from the Community Blood Center due in part to the Rock Port FFA Chapter having the most successful blood drives the past three years in Atchison County. The Rolla American Legion is honoring Melanie with a $100 gift. Northwest has offered Melanie the $1,000 Lydia Stickerod Scholarship, the A+ Scholarship and the $3000 Academic Excellence Scholarship. Melanie will attend NWMSU where she will be a statistician for the Bearcat football team and major in English.
Juleighanne Adams was our fourth senior to graduate with A+ honors. She will attend Truman State in Kirksville, MO. Truman State has offered Juleighanne the President’s Leadership and TruMerit Scholarships totaling $3,500 a year. Juleighanne will major in History Education.
Shelbie Gaines, along with the Beta Gals Scholarship and the Tony Gaines Memorial presented during awards, was the third Morgan High School and Rock Port Recycling recipient and received the second Watson Outreach Scholarship. The PEO-DU Scholarship was awarded to Shelbie, along with the last Rock Port Rotary Scholarship. Tiffany Care Centers presented the David Duncan Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to Shelbie to be used towards a nursing degree. Shelbie will be headed south to fulfill her dream of studying nursing at the University of Arkansas where she has been offered the New Arkansan Non-Resident Scholarship covering 90% of the difference between out of state tuition valued at nearly $13,000 per year.
Trenton Oswald received the American Legion Award. Trenton was the fourth Morgan High School recipient. Missouri Western State University will be offering Trenton the $3,600 renewable President’s Academic Scholarship. Trenton plans to finalize a degree at a school of Chiropractic.
Paityn Alberti was our fifth Morgan High School awardee. Along with her Lutheran Church award, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has a scholarship package for Paityn consisting of the renewable $3,500 Scarlet Scholar and the $9,500 Ruth Leverton Award. Paityn will study Political Science and Pre-Law at UNL.
Megan Stevens received a $500 scholarship from the First Baptist Church of Tarkio. Megan is our second “Principal’s Art Gallery” Award winner from elementary school. A $1,000 scholarship from the Army Engineer Memorial, a $500 Association of Marksman in the National Guard, and a $1,000 RMEL Foundation Scholarship will be combined with the $1,000 Nebraska Energy Federal Credit Union for Megan’s use at the University of Nebraska-Omaha where she will study Civil Engineering.
Jackie Bradley, along with the Lutheran, Methodist and Baptist Church monies, was the final ACDC awardee and the fifth A+ student graduating. She was awarded the Tony Gaines Sportsmanship Award at Thursday’s ceremony. Jackie was chosen as our school winner for the Wendy’s Heisman Award. PEO has chosen Jackie as the Phyllis Million Scholarship recipient. Jackie is the fourth Rock Port Recycling winner. Jackie has her sights on Missouri State University to study Exercise and Movement Science and Pre-Occupational Therapy.
Dayle Davis was the 2017 recipient of the Bob Phelps, Sr. Memorial Scholarship of $1,000. She was also the third “Principal’s Art Gallery” award winner. She was the fifth recipient of the Rock Port Recycling award. Along with the Tony Gaines Sportsmanship Award, the Walters incentive and the Baptist Church Scholarships, Dayle will receive a $1,250 renewable Academic Scholarship from Washburn University in Topeka, KS, where she will study nursing.
Journi Burke is our final A+ student to graduate. Journi received the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1061 award of $500. On top of the Methodist Church-Shaw Scholarship, Creighton University has offered Journi the $1,000 Father Joseph Labaj Award and a $17,000 renewable academic scholarship. Journi plans to study nursing with a Pre-Med emphasis at Creighton this fall.
Montana Martin received a $500 award from Atchison County Farm Bureau. Montana was also presented the $100 National Honor Society gift. Earlier in the school year, Montana was chosen for a Missouri Association of School Principals Award. Along with the Lutheran Church scholarship, Montana was the final recipient of the Morgan High School award and the Rock Port Recycling award. The University of Missouri-Columbia has offered Montana the renewable $4,500 Mizzou Curator’s Scholar Award, the renewable Bess and George Corrigan Award and the $1,000 Bright Flight Award. Montana will become a Tiger this fall at Mizzou studying Health Sciences/ Pre-Professional.
The top ten seniors of 2017 were: Melanie Wilson, 10; Juleighanne Adams, 9; Shelbie Gaines, 8; Trenton Oswald, 7; Paityn Alberti, 6; Megan Stevens, 5; Jackie Bradley, 4; Dayle Davis, 3; Journi Burke, 2; and Montana Martin, 1.
Based on a four point weighted scale, this year’s salutatorian, with a cumulative grade point average of 4.6401, was Journi Burke.
The valedictorian, with a cumulative grade point average of 4.6779, is Montana Martin.