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Some described it as more than just a luncheon, but a gathering of what seemed to be family for the last four years. Tuesday, Little Elm High School top-ten graduating seniors were honored with a luncheon. Each student was accompanied by family members and chose their favorite teacher who had made an impact during their time in Little Elm ISD. Teachers introduced the students and parents gave tearful and emotional speeches as they reminisced about the early childhood of their graduate and praised the young adult they have become.
Little Elm ISD Superintendent, Daniel Gallagher; Deputy Superintendent, Ross Roberts; Associate Superintendent for Finance & Operation Services, Grant Anderson; Assistant Superintendent for School Improvement & Accountability Dr. Cyndy Mika; Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource and Student Services, Cleota Epps; Executive Director for Educational Services, Dr. Ashley Glover; Executive Director for Construction Services, Rick Martin, Executive Director for Marketing & Community Partnerships, Dr. Tony Tipton; Little Elm ISD Board Members, Jason Olson and David Montemayor; Assistant Principal Kyle Heller; and Little Elm High School Counselors Dengiyefa Carter, Michelle Gentry, Kayleen Langat, and Juan Schmidt attended the event to celebrate each student.Little Elm High School Principal, Renee Pentecost emceed the event and said "It's such a special event to honor a hard-working group of students. But it is more than that. It's a culmination of what we do in education. When we see students meeting their goals, hear their parents speaking about how proud they are, it reaffirms we make a difference in public education."
As a twist to the event, Pentecost created a new tradition that will leave a lasting legacy at Little Elm High School for each group of top-ten graduates. "You know, I struggle every year to come up with a memento to give the students. What I really wanted was to give something to the students that was more of a remembrance," said Pentecost.
This year, the top-ten graduates were asked to pick their favorite book. A copy of the book, along with an personal note, was given to the honorary teacher the student chose to accompany them to the luncheon. "We are starting a display in the library of the student chosen book and it will have a plaque inside the book. Every year, when we have a new crop of top-ten graduates, we will add names to the plaque inside the book. Students will be able to read and enjoy these book and share the same connection with generations of top-ten graduates. It's like leaving a little piece of them at the high school they once attended."
Each student received $500 award from Matthews Southwest director of Marketing for the Tribute Lakeside Golf & Resort Community located on the shores of Lake Lewisville.
LEHS Class of 2018 Top Ten:
1. Diego Raygoza Castaños - attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2. Annalise Sumpon - attending Southern Methodist University
3. Taylor Esparza - attending The University of Texas at Austin
4. Carla Reza - attending The University of Texas at Austin
5. Jared Seifert - attending The University of Texas at Dallas
6. Melodie Malithong - attending Southern Methodist University
7. Martha Paz - attending The University of Texas at Austin
8. Jennifer Rolfe - attending The University of Nebraska
9. Cynthia Segura - attending Texas A&M University
10. Sarah Krueger - attending The University of Texas at Austin