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TEAM School Honors 53 Graduates in Commencement Exercises

                Fifty-three graduates were honored in TEAM School Commencement Exercises held May 25 at The Heights Church.

                Making up the Class of 2021 are Isaiah Alcala, Angela Alcantara Ramirez, Martin Amaya, Adam Balderas, Jesus Barron Herrera, Riley Beal, Jasmine Blanks, Nevan Boyd, Baylee Britton, Helby Bujenlan, KaNadie Collazo, Durrail Davis Jr., Jasmin Davis, Nash Dawdy, Damian DelosSantos, Kutter Doughty, Michael Dumas, Noah Dykes, Dillon Elliott, Kristen Felan, Jorge Franco-Perez, Cierra Galindo, Alexis Gonzales, Gage Haney, Anthony Herrera, Jade Hilderbrand, Haylee Horton, Natalya Jenkins, Eryn Kripps, Jesse Looney, Morgan MacDonald, Kimberli Martinez, Taylor McCurdy, Leora McMillan, Isidro Natera Jr., Alejandra Neaves, Celeste Ogle, Jose Ortiz, Michelle Ortiz, Austin Pelton, Taylor Price, Lil Omar Pina Rojas, Jonathan Ramirez, Kaytlynn Rasco, Naudia Reyes, Matthew Rockenbaugh, Sara Rubio, Savannah Shaffer, Sasha Smith, Heather Sparks, Estrella Vivanco-Montalvo, Heavyn Ward and Colby Wilkerson.

                Haylee Horton and Jasmin Davis, who finished in the first and second positions in GPA within the TEAM graduating class, were presented with the annual Friendship Circle of King’s Daughters TEAM School Scholarship. Horton plans to enroll in Colorado State University to major in social work, with Davis focusing on a degree in education as a student at Midwestern State University.

                Michael Dumas was announced as the first recipient of the new Servant Heart S.H.I.N.E. Together Scholarship, honoring a graduate who selflessly serves, helps and inspires as a student of TEAM School. The $1,000 award was presented by S.H.I.N.E. Together Founder Shanna Peacock. Dumas plans to continue on to technical college to obtain the electrical lineman certification.

                Dumas, and fellow graduate Morgan MacDonald were also honored as the 2021 recipients of the Servant’s Heart Award, presented in memory of the late Farris Whitehead, longtime pastor of The Heights Church.

                Former TEAM School Spanish teacher and Cleburne High School Assistant Principal Rina Ramos served as guest speaker at the graduation ceremony. Ramos is now a campus administrator in Morton ISD.

                “We are celebrating you,” Ramos said. “But you aren’t just any old graduate—you are a TEAM School graduate. You are part of an amazing group in completing your first major milestone in life, in graduating from high school. You didn’t let obstacles stop you from reaching this goal. You made a date to graduate. You worked hard to get to this day—and you made it.”

                “As a TEAM School graduate, you have learned about the value of a work ethic,” Ramos said. “Every point, every grade, every achievement--they were earned by you, not handed to you. You’ve learned that hard work does pay off.”

                Ramos also praised the honorees on the resilience shown in their journeys to graduation.

                “Each of you can stand up and be proud,” she said. “Metaphorically, you walked miles to school—in the snow. You can tell your kids that. You can be very proud of your TEAM School diploma. You accomplished here what others said you could not.”

                Superintendent Dr. Kyle Heath, who presented each of their graduates with their diplomas, also commended the students on their accomplishments.

                “Neither COVID, Snowmageddon nor anything else slowed you down,” he said. “As you move forward, plan your future and don’t dwell on the past. With a clear plan, things can be accomplished. You did that, in making a date to graduate. We couldn’t be more proud of you and your accomplishments.”