Homecoming

2019 Court

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Letters from the court's teachers

 

Lauren Menzina

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I am so excited and extremely honored to write Lauren’s homecoming article. I have loved this girl and her family for a long time.   It has been a joy to have been able to see her grow into the lovely and talented young lady she is today.

Lauren is a dedicated and determined to excel at whatever she does.  She has the most amazing work ethic I’ve ever seen. She gives 100% to whatever she does.  She works tirelessly to achieve her goals and the goals of her team. She has the will to stay motivated even when the outcome seems difficult or impossible, which is probably why she has been recognized as 1st Team All-District in both basketball and softball.  If you’ve ever watched her play basketball or softball, you know how fierce she is!  On the basketball court she is a force to be reckoned with.  She has the natural athletic ability that comes from God and many hours of practice.  She has the energy to keep going and the will to make every moment count no matter how tired or how many extra innings she has to pitch. I have had the privilege of watching her pitch many softball games, but the 2018 LHSAA Division IV State Tournament Championship Game is a memory I will not soon forget.  She was on fire!  She deservedly received the State Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award.  I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes during her college softball career!  GO DAWGS!

Besides playing basketball and softball, Lauren has been a Varsity Cheerleader for the past four years.  Even though her extra-curricular activities keep her busy, she still finds time to manage and maintain her grades at Cedar Creek.  Being an A-Honor Roll student with a 4.0 GPA is hard to do, but she has accomplished it with hard work and time management skills.  She can easily juggle several things at a time.  I am continually amazed at how well she accomplishes everything in her day!  Her dedication and drive are one of the reasons she has earned an officer’s position as a Captain on Varsity Cheer.  She has the ability to motivate her teammates, and she will practice until she has reached perfection. She inspires others to be the best they can be.

Many of you may not know the compassionate and caring Lauren, the one who has a heart for those who are hurting or in need. It’s not her style to sing her own praise, so I will! As busy as she is, she always finds time to volunteer.  In September, she cheers on participants along with Varsity Cheer in the “Race for the Cure” on a Saturday morning when she probably would like to sleep late after a long Friday night of cheering and a week packed with extra ball and pitching practices and schoolwork. She works with young girls at the Ruston Girls Softball Association sharing her talents at pitching clinics.  She and her family generously donate to the “Adopt a Family” Christmas Project as well as other various charitable organizations.  Last April, when THE tornado struck our little town, Lauren immediately sent me a text asking what Varsity Cheer could do to help those in our community.  She motivated me to find out what needed to be done! That afternoon she was out in the community helping in whatever way she could.  She is an exceptional young lady!

I said I wasn’t going to do this, but I can’t speak of Lauren and not mention the precious little girl I taught in third grade.   It was a hard year for our Cedar Creek family, but especially difficult for a 9-year-old child who suddenly lost one of the most important people in her life. My constant prayer was for God to show me who Lauren and the rest of my class, who were also hurting for their friend, needed me to be day to day.  She was loved by her classmates that year and I was so proud of the way they loved her and the way they hurt for their friend.  Her resilience amazed me! She found comfort in reading books and so we read! Thankfully, God had every second orchestrated! All I had to do was show up and be there for her while providing an endless supply of books. 

Lauren,

I pray that you will continue to honor God in all that you do and that He will continue to honor your obedience.  It has been an honor to be a part of your life.  You are a true example of hard work and dedication to many little girls and to me!  I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to know you and love you.  I cannot wait to see all of the wonderful things you and God will accomplish throughout your life.  Don’t forget who you are and where you come from.  Always know that you are loved!  I am proud of you!  I admire your courage, your tenacity and your endurance! Thank you for the memories!  I am humbled and honored to congratulate you, Lauren, on the well-deserved honor of being chosen Cedar Creek Homecoming Queen 2019!

Love you,

Mrs. Kim (Kimmy)

 

 

Dixie Venters

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The Fabergé egg is a beautiful enameled egg made with precious and rare gemstones on the outside. On the inside little gifts are found that are also made of precious metals and diamonds.  Only 52 of these were made, which shows how exceptional and extraordinary they are.  In French 3, we learned about these awesome gifts created by a Russian artist, named Peter Carl Fabergé who made them for the czars of Russia to give as presents at Easter.

On her junior trip to New York, Dixie bought, as a gift, a Christmas ornament replicating a Fabergé egg. I was happy that she thought of me on her trip and the fact that she remembered the story. What I didn’t realize until now was that not only did I see the beauty of the egg and the stories from her trip, I now see the beauty of Dixie both inside and out.

Like the Fabergé egg, Dixie is a rare treasure. Her greatest attribute is how kindhearted she is. I’ve never heard of her asking for more or being disappointed for not having what someone else has; she is always grateful for the things she has.  She is humble and never boasts about her accomplishments. She is honest and accepting of everyone she meets, whether a peer or a teacher. A dedicated and patient student who is always willing to help, she is in the true sense of the word, a friend to all.

One thing that really strikes me about Dixie is that she sacrifices her personal time to participate in school activities and church organizations. She has been on varsity cheer for two years, track for four years and even sacrifices her summers with my Staycation camp for kids. Also, her dedication to developing her spiritual life with First Baptist Church of Farmerville and her volunteer work there make her completely selfless.

I have known Dixie for 4 years, 48 months, 208 weeks, 1,460 days, 87,600 minutes and 5,256,000 seconds, and just as the egg is unique and beautiful inside and out, so is Dixie. It makes me happy to have known her every single day, minute, and second of high school. Simply put, Dixie is Dixie and you will have never known anyone truer to herself and her beliefs as she.

Mrs. Viator

 

Alli Grace Maxwell

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Alli Grace Maxwell’s first day as a student at Cedar Creek was also my first day as a teacher at the school. To be honest, I was worried for her. I moved to Cedar Creek as a student in high school, and it was a difficult transition that first year. Those first few days she was quiet but had a huge smile on her face all day, despite the fact that I know she was overwhelmed. Switching schools in high school is no easy task especially coming into a school like Cedar Creek where everyone has so much history with each other. She was so calm and collected, however, that I forgot many times she was a new student. In fact, there were several times that I forgot to explain how something was going to work because it was so hard to remember that she hadn’t done this before. She fit right in with an ease that I have never seen. If she was rattled those first few weeks, she never showed it. It truly feels as if she has always been here.
 
Alli Grace is one of the most genuine and kind students that I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. Her compassion for others is obvious from the first time you meet her. Over the last three years, I’ve seen numerous times where she took a sincere interest in the well being of the others around her. There have even been times where she reached out to me to check on her classmates. She didn’t want to bother them or seem intrusive, but she wanted them to know she cared. She has a quiet maturity to her personality that shows a confidence that most teenagers do not yet possess. In class, she always had a smile on her face, even on days she was struggling. She always gave 100%, even when faced with a challenge.
 
I know that teachers are supposed to say great things about their students, but it is clear that Alli Grace’s peers feel the same way. Becoming cheerleading captain and being on homecoming court after such a relatively short time at the school shows just how highly regarded she is among her classmates. Coming into a school where other students have been together since Pre-K, it is a very difficult adjustment to develop relationships on the same level as others. For Alli Grace, it proved to be a natural transition that she handled beautifully. To me, it comes as no surprise given her friendly, joyful nature. She possesses poise, confidence, sincerity, compassion, and very fittingly, grace, that others are drawn to.

You are truly beloved by many at Cedar Creek, Alli Grace. You are a student who makes teaching a joy, and one that I know will do great things. We are all so proud of you, and it is an honor to have you represent our school. Congratulations!
 
Caty Simmons

 

Alli Freeman

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When people meet Alli Freeman for the first time, they immediately feel as if they have a new friend. Her big personality attracts others and makes them smile.  I quickly realized this about Alli five years ago when she was a student in my American History class. Even as a seventh grader, she could fill the room with her infectious laugh and giant sense of humor. Alli is one who can find humor in any situation, and she also has the uncanny ability to laugh at herself. Her facial expressions are, without a doubt, one of her trademarks. As a result, she often provides comic relief in what could otherwise become a tense moment.

Although Alli is a light-hearted personality off the court, she is one of the most fierce defenders and rebounders that I have coached. Her unique ability to “flip the switch” and become a tenacious, aggressive player has enabled her to dominate basketball games. As a three-year starter, Alli has earned the Defensive Player of the Year award each season. Her ability to frustrate and disrupt opposing teams has resulted not only in success for the Lady Cougars basketball program, but also in All-District honors for Alli. With her senior season quickly approaching, I am looking forward to watching Alli lead our team.

Alli is blessed with pure athletic ability which serves her well not only on the basketball court, but also on the softball diamond. As an All-State infielder and five-year starter, Alli and her teammates are two-time state champions. Additionally, Alli is a three-year varsity cheerleader.
Alli has obviously mastered the ability to balance athletics with academics because she is also highly successful in the classroom. As an honor roll student, Alli is a member of National Honor Society, Quota Club, FBLA, and French Club. She is also active in the youth group at Temple Baptist Church where she served as both a counselor for WinShape Camp and also as a mission team member in Puerto Rico during the summer.

Coaching Alli for the past three years has been a complete pleasure. Alli is definitely a player that I would describe as a “gamer,” and I am always thankful to have her on my team. She is a person who enjoys life and brings joy wherever she goes. Alli has a desire to work with special needs children in the future. With her big personality, sense of humor, and charisma, I have no doubt that she will be outstanding in this field.

Alli,

I would like to congratulate you on the honor of being selected to Homecoming Court.  I know you will achieve BIG things in the future, and as always, I will be on the sideline cheering you on!

Love,

Coach Van

 

Alys Hamlin

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What an honor it is to be asked by Alys Hamlin to write her letter for the Homecoming Court. Alys has been an absolute joy to work with since she walked into my studio at Cedar Creek. She has a unique voice and a desire to perform at her very best each time.  Alys and her family have traveled a great deal and her life experiences bring a broad area of interest in her music choices. She has sung everything from country and pop to gospel and songs in French. Last year on the “Cougars Got Talent” show she sang a song that one of the judges said sounded “better than the recorded version.”
 
I have been able to observe Alys as she interacts with other students and have found her to be kind and always ready to give a compliment.  She has a way of making those around her feel good about themselves; her positive example and generous nature have been noticed by me, fellow classmates, teachers, and parents.
 
Talking with Alys over the years I have found her to be a fierce and loyal friend. A fellow teacher has commented that “Alys brings out the best in others.” She never meets a stranger and her out-going personality brings a light into any room she enters. She has always treated me with respect and kindness and makes our time in the lesson one I look forward to each week. She has a very firm grasp on her own identity and talent and makes very sound musical choices.
 
One of my favorite characteristics of Alys is the way she speaks of her siblings and parents. Always with respect and love. As a teacher who is with students one-on-one, I often hear teenage comments that are less than positive. This young lady expresses genuine love for her family and speaks of them with the highest regard and respect. (Well done, Mr. and Mrs. Hamlin.)
 
If you have not had an opportunity to meet Alys, stop her on the sidewalk and you will find her to be exactly as I have described: personable, kind, fun, warm, intelligent, and someone you will be glad to get to know. I am thankful to be a part of her school life. Alys will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I am proud to share my positive opinion of her. 

Mrs. Hockenjos

 

Michael-Anne Garlington

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As I ponder the best and most eloquent way to describe Michael-Anne, I find myself back in August of 2009, standing in the front of my second grade classroom meeting the gaze of a tiny little girl with beautiful brown eyes, a slow shy smile, and a heart bursting with kindness and compassion for those around her. From the first time I crossed paths with Michael-Anne, I knew that the halls of Cedar Creek would be blessed to have a sweet soul like hers.

The word that keeps coming to mind as I think of Michael-Anne is steadfast. She is resolute and unwavering in both her academic and personal life. Her humility is unmatched. She puts the well-being of others first, although it may be painful.  One example that springs to mind is her trading a summer of relaxation and Caney Lake sunsets for one of service to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. This time abroad was one of many youth trips in which Michael-Anne has participated through her church, Temple Baptist, of which she is a contributing member having been involved in numerous events.

Michael-Anne’s willingness to serve, however, extends not only to matters of faith, but  also to her academic career. During her time at Cedar Creek, she has been a member of National Honor Society, French Club, Key Club, and Quota Club. Outside of the classroom, she has been involved in several athletic organizations, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Emerald Entertainers, Cedar Creek Softball, and Tennis.

It was only by chance that Michael-Anne was assigned to me this year as a student worker for her Child Development class. It only seems fitting that she would end her time here at Cedar Creek with me in the same building in which she began her journey. Amidst scattered notes and open tabs on my computer screen, I search for the perfect phrase to conclude this, my open letter, but each one falls short.

Michael Anne,

What strikes me the most about you is that you possess qualities that can’t be taught, but are characteristic of those with a level head and a kind heart. I consider it a true blessing to have had the opportunity to both teach and observe you as you have evolved from that shy, little brown-eyed girl into the beautiful, steadfast, and kindhearted young lady most lovingly referred to as MAG, or, in my case, MAGS.

Love,

Amy J.                                                                                              

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