Rock Port R-II School Class of 2023 valedictorian was Anneliese Clauson, left. Mikayla Makings, right, was salutatorian.


The top 10 seniors of the class of 2023, from left to right, are: Kylie Beasing, 10th; Kylie Jo Nuckolls, 9th; Kenny Brion, 8th; Jarrett Hunter, 7th; Andrea Dush, 6th; Morgan Cofer, 5th; Phillip Herron, 4th; Aidan Burke, 3rd; Mikayla Makings, salutatorian; and Anneliese Clauson, valedictorian.


Dr. Ethan Sickels was the speaker for this year’s graduating class of 2023. He shared some of his life lessons and reflected on this group of seniors who were seventh graders when he started as an administrator.


The seniors listened intently as Dr. Sickels brought back many memories from their junior high and high school career.


Board member Regan Griffin presents Tyler Cook with his high school diploma.


Jarrett Hunter gives Aidan Burke one last ride out of the gym.

Rock Port R-II School held commencement exercises for the Class of 2023 Sunday, May 14, 2023, at Rock Port High School.

Graduates included: Kylie Marie Beasing, Kenneth Eugene Brion, Aidan Dale Burke, Anneliese Bethany Clauson, Morgan Faith Cofer, Tyler Ryan Cook, Andrea Renee Dush, Phillip Cooper Herron, Kyler Cooper Hughes, Jarrett Joseph Hunter, Zoey Denea Hurst, Jordan Rae Jackson, John Brecken Kelly, Brogan Daniel Krutz, Jayden Michael Krutz, Caleb David Lucas, Micah Owen Makings, Mikayla Lynn Makings, Sara Nicole Newbanks, Kylie Jo Nuckolls, Trulin Kazmir Pankau, and Taylor Paige Pruett.

The class motto was “There are no regrets in life; just lessons.” by Jennifer Aniston. The class colors were royal blue and silver, and the class flower was a spray rose.

National Honor Society members were Kylie Beasing, Kenneth Brion, Aidan Burke, Anneliese Clauson, Morgan Cofer, Andrea Dush, Phillip Herron, Jarrett Hunter, Brecken Kelly, Brogan Krutz, Jayden Krutz, Caleb Lucas, Mikayla Makings, and Kylie Nuckolls.

Class officers were: Brogan Krutz, president; Morgan Cofer, vice-president; Kylie Nuckolls, secretary; Caleb Lucas, treasurer; Jayden Krutz and Jordan Jackson, Student Council; Caleb Lucas, student body president; Phillip Herron, student body vice-president; Brecken Kelly, student body treasurer; and Dylan Kemerling, student body secretary.

Class sponsors were Mrs. Trudy Herron, Mr. Dalton Jones, and Mrs. Jenny Rueckert.

Ushers were Rylee Jenkins, Chaney Vogler, Cade Makings, and Tarver Muntz.

Seniors entered to “Pomp & Circumstance,” played by Lynn Hunter, pianist. Dr. Ethan Sickels, Superintendent, welcomed those present.

Dr. Sickels was the guest speaker.

Scholarships and awards were presented by Dr. Sickels, Mr. Donnie Parsons, High School Principal, and Mrs. Shauna Farmer, Counselor.

The top 10 seniors of the class of 2023 were recognized. They were: Kylie Beasing, 10th; Kylie Jo Nuckolls, 9th; Kenny Brion, 8th; Jarrett Hunter, 7th; Andrea Dush, 6th; Morgan Cofer, 5th; Phillip Herron, 4th; Aidan Burke, 3rd; Mikayla Makings, salutatorian (based on a 4-point weighted scale, with a cumulative grade point average of 4.4628); and Anneliese Clauson, valedictorian (with a cumulative grade point average of 4.5556).

Mr. Parsons presented the Class of 2023, and diplomas were presented by Mrs. Joanna Burke, and Mr. Regan Griffin, school board members.

Members of the Class of 2023, their plans and awards received were as follows:

Taylor Pruett received a two-year Vocational Certificate from Northwest Technical School in Maryville. She began in the Child Development program her junior year and is one of two seniors to attend the Upward Bound Academy during high school. She was chosen through an interview process to attend Upward Bound housed on the campus of NWMSU. Upward Bound has been sponsored by Northwest Missouri State University since 1986 and services selected schools in Atchison, Gentry, and Nodaway counties in Missouri. Upward Bound participants find their academic careers and social lives enriched by Saturday Academies, college visits, and special activities scheduled throughout the academic year. Taylor will be attending Western Governor’s University to major in Elementary Education.

Abby Palmer presented the New Horizons Scholarship to Jayden Krutz. Jayden is an A+ student. Students in 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 fees or the completion of a degree program, whichever comes first. Jayden also received a renewable Vocational Warren and Evalyn Morgan Scholarship. 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. Jayden will enroll in Southeast Community College in Beatrice to study Agriculture and Production Management.

Caleb Lucas received a New Horizons Scholarship, presented by Abby Palmer. Caleb’s FFA awards were presented by Rachel Jenkins and Mary Kahn presented the American Legion Scholarships. Caleb was also awarded the Tony Gaines Memorial Scholarship, the Milton Reid Award and the RPHS Outstanding Male Athlete at the high school awards assembly. Caleb is receiving the $1,000 Atchison County Development Vocational Scholarship. 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. Caleb was the winner of one of the $2,000 MFA Scholarships. The MFA Foundation was established in 1958 with the primary purpose of providing greater educational opportunity for youth in our trade territory. The foundation’s major activity is its scholarship program, which has aided nearly 12,000 college and university students from rural communities since its initiation in 1965. This scholarship is sponsored by Ag Choice of Rock Port and Fairfax and is one of approximately 340 scholarships presented this year by MFA Incorporated, MFA Oil Company, and their affiliates. Caleb is one of three recipients of the Steve and Marie Proctor Scholarship. He was also an A+ Scholarship awardee and received a Morgan High School Vocational Scholarship and the Northwest Sportsmen’s Club Scholarship. Caleb has earned a Presidential Award of Excellence certificate, which was based on scoring at the 85th percentile on the ACT in either reading or math and achieving a 3.67 or higher cumulative grade point average. Caleb plans to attend the State Technical School of Missouri in Linn and work towards an Airframe and Powerplant License.

Micah Makings received a New Horizons Scholarship, presented by Abby Palmer. Micah also received the renewable Warren & Evalyn Morgan Vocational Scholarship and the Steve and Marie Proctor Scholarship. Micah will be attending Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, to study Energy Generation Operations.

Kyler Hughes also received the A+ Scholarship. Kyler will be attending Southeast Community College in Beatrice, Nebraska, to study Agriculture and Production Management.

Brogan Krutz was awarded the Northwest Missouri State University Scholar grant. Brogan is also an A+ student. He plans to attend Northwest Missouri State University and is undecided on a major.

Brecken Kelly was an A+ recipient. Brecken has received a Tower Scholarship from Northwest Missouri State University where he will study Ag Business.

Trulin Pankau was a Vocational Technology student and received a two-year Welding Certificate. Trulin also received the Warren and Evalyn Morgan Vocational Scholarship. Trulin is the inaugural recipient of the Hometown Comfort Crew Scholarship which is given to a student who is planning to attend further vocational education. Trulin will use the scholarships, along with the New Horizons Scholarship presented by Abby Palmer, to attend the Missouri Welding Institute in Nevada, Missouri.

Jordan Jackson was an Upward Bound student and attended Vo-tech for one year enrolled in the Health Science program. Jordan has been given the MWSU Griffon Scholarship and will use the Steppingstones Grant from MOSAIC to attend Nursing School at Missouri Western University.

Kylie Beasing was a Presidential Excellence Award winner. She has also earned the Northwest Missouri State University’s National Merit Scholarship. Kylie will be attending Northwest in the fall and plans to work on a major in Psychology and a minor in Criminology.

Devon Sons presented Kylie Jo Nuckolls with the Liberty Theatre Scholarship, and Pastor Bill Hargis presented the United Methodist Church’s Bunn, Shaw and Walters Scholarships, Kylie received a four-year Warren and Evalyn Morgan Scholarship and  was the awardee of the local Beta Gals Scholarship. Kylie’s new home in the fall will be at MIZZOU where she will major in Business Management & Marketing and minor in Communications & Public Relations.

Kenny Brion is an A+ student and receoved a four-year Warren and Evalyn Morgan Scholarship. After a lengthy application process, Kenny has been notified that he is the recipient of the Hagan Scholarship. The Hagan Scholarship provides up to $7,500 each semester for up to eight consecutive semesters, workshops to learn important life skills not typically covered in the college curriculum, funds to purchase college essentials, an HSF Schwab brokerage account to manage, funds to study and travel abroad, and the opportunity to extend the Hagan Scholarship to obtain a graduate or professional degree. If Kenny can maintain the qualifications set by the committee, he will have a total of $144,100 if he utilizes the grant through graduate school certification. Kenny is the second Rock Port High School graduate in at least the past two decades to receive this award. He will be attending Missouri S&T in Rolla, Missouri, to pursue a degree in Engineering.

Jarrett Hunter plans to attend radiology school at an undecided college.

Andrea Dush received the Shaw Scholarship, presented by Pastor Bill Hargis. Andrea was an A+ student and the recipient of a four-year Warren and Evalyn Morgan Scholarship.  She also received Rock Port’s CTA $500 educational scholarship, and the Jack and Virginia Moore Scholarship from the Fairfax Methodist Church. Andrea will utilize her Jeanette Hoffman Robison Scholarship to attend North Central Missouri College in Trenton and plans to receive an Associate in Education and Science.

Morgan Cofer was awarded the American Legion Citizenship Award and the MSHSAA Female Athlete Award at the high school awards assembly. Morgan is an A+ student and a recipient of the Warren and Evalyn Morgan Scholarship. Morgan plans to attend the University of Nebraska- Omaha in the fall and major in Business.

Phillip Herron received the Tony Gaines Memorial Scholarship, the American Legion Citizenship Award and the MSHSAA Male Athlete Award at the high school awards assembly.  Phillip was also chosen for the renewable Louis Bell Scholarship through Community Scholarships of Northwest Missouri. Louis Bell was a former farmer in the Fairfax, Missouri, area, who established the Louis E. Bell Trust Grants.  It is a scholarship program to honor the hard work of high school and college students from Rock Port, Fairfax, and Tarkio. Phillip also received the Warren and Evalyn Morgan Trust Award. Phillip was the only student of the class of 2023 to have the honor of a Principal’s Art Gallery Award. Phillip was gifted back his artwork that had been hanging in the Rock Port Elementary Hall. Phillip was a Presidential Excellence Award recipient. Phillip will become a Tiger this fall at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he will utilize his MIZZOU Excellence Grant to study Business.

Aidan Burke received the Presidential Excellence Award. He plans to begin online classes through the University of Omaha while coaching junior high football with Coach Gaines in the fall. Aidan plans to pursue his goal of getting his pilot’s license and working in aviation.

Mikayla Makings was awarded the MSHSAA Female Athlete Athlete Award at the high school awards assembly. She is an A+ student, a recipient of the four-year Warren and Evalyn Morgan Award, and an awardee of the Steve and Marie Proctor Scholarship. The Rock Port Youth Athletic Association honored Mikayla with the $500 Bill Andrews Memorial Scholarship. Bill was one of the founding members of the Rock Port Optimist Club and spent many hours supporting youth activities in Rock Port and the surrounding area. Mikayla plans to utilize her academic and athletic scholarships to attend Central Methodist University and major in Pre-Physical Therapy. She also plans to join the track team.

Anneliese Clauson received the PEO Scholarship, presented to you by Mary Kahn. Anneliese received a Warren and Evalyn Morgan Trust recipient, and is the Rock Port National Honor Society Scholarship awardee. Anneliese has also been chosen by ACDC as the four-year college recipient for their scholarship. She also received the Rock Port Baptist Church Scholarship, the Rock Port Rotary Club’s Award, and the Presidential Excellence Award. Anneliese will be attending K-State in Manhattan, Kansas. She will utilize her K-State Arts and Science Award and her K-State Midwest Exchange Scholarship to obtain a Bachelors and Masters in Biochemistry with a Spanish minor.

Zoey Hurst plans to enter the workforce.

Tyler Cook plans to attend Iowa Western Community College and major in Business.

Sara Newbanks plans to attend Southeast Community College at Milford, Nebraska, and study John Deere Technology.

The senior class presentation was enjoyed before graduates left the gym to their class song, “Freedom Was A Highway” by Jimmie Allen and Brad Paisley.

Graduates lined the halls of Rock Port High School where they were congrulated by family and friends.