37 PAHS seniors to get diplomas Friday
The 37 seniors, their families and friends will gather for the ceremony at 8 p.m.
Stephanie Meagan Jones will give the valedictory address and Elaine Franco will give the salutatory address.
Commencement speaker will be Gary Mott, high school theater arts, English and criminal justice teacher. Seniors select their commencement speaker.
Jones has participated in academic and athletic competitions throughout her high school career.
She is a distinguished advanced placement (AP) scholar, and was a finalist for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times fine arts award.
As a senior, she has served as vice president of the PAHS National Honor Society (NHS), of which she has been a member for two years.
As a freshman and sophomore, Jones competed in University Interscholastic League (UIL) in news writing and feature writing. She advanced to the regional level in news writing as well as Lincoln-Douglas debate her sophomore year.
Her senior year, Jones advanced to region in social studies and cross- examination debate, and competed in current issues and events, and accounting.
A member of the Marlin band for four years, Jones has held first chair clarinet for three years. She made ninth chair in area band as a freshman, 12th chair at region as a sophomore, fourth chair at area as a junior, and third chair in the north zone of the area band as a senior. She has advanced to state in solo and ensemble two out of three years.
Jones has been on the varsity tennis team for the past two out of three years. She placed fourth at district this year. She also has been on the Port Aransas swim team since third grade.
A member of the Interact Club for three years, Jones has served as historian and treasurer.
As a sophomore, Jones was class president.
She has been employed as a lifeguard since the end of her sophomore year.
Jones has volunteered in the community as well. She helped on planting day at the Wetlands Education Center under construction at The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute here, helped paint a home, tutored, participated in the General Land Office Adopt-a-Beach cleanups, video taped the Lady Marlins home basketball games for two years, planted trees at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, assisted with the Keep Port Aransas Beautiful Adopt-a- Plot and volunteered at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
The daughter of Ida Jones of Port Aransas, she plans to attend Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., where she will major in political science.
Jones has been designated a Presidential Scholar for the Gettysburg College Class of 2012, the highest merit scholarship offered by the college.
"We were impressed with your academic performance during high school and know that you will make a significant contribution to the academic community that exists at Gettysburg College," wrote Barbara B. Fritze, vice president for enrollment and educational services at Gettysburg College.
The designation includes an annual award of $15,000, renewable annually based on successful academic performance.
Salutatorian Franco has participated in basketball, cross country, softball and track as well as UIL academic competitions. She has been active as a member of the NHS, student council, band and as a class officer.
An AP scholar, she was a 2007-08 scholar finalist in the National Hispanic Recognition Program for 2006 PSAT (preliminary scholastic aptitude test) scores.
She has been a member of the NHS for two years, was a regional qualifier in literary criticism all four years of high school, and a regional qualifier this year in headline writing and ready writing. Last year she was a state qualifier in literary criticism.
Senior class representative to the student council her senior year, Franco was vice president of her sophomore class and secretary of the junior class.
A member of the Lady Marlin statequalifying basketball team in 2007, Franco was co-captain her senior year. She made first team all-district as a junior, and was district defensive most valuable player her senior year when she was also named to the academic all-state team. She was named to the academic all-district team as a sophomore, junior and senior.
Playing on the Lady Marlin varsity softball team all four years, Franco made second team all-district as a freshman, the academic all-district team all four years and first team all-district as a sophomore, junior and senior.
Franco ran cross-country all four years and was a regional qualifier each year, and a state qualifier as a sophomore.
A member of the varsity track team for three years, she was a regional qualifier her senior year.
Franco earned the Millie Wise Sportsmanship Award her junior and senior years when she was also a nominee for Female Athlete of the Year.
Class favorite for four years, Franco was homecoming queen her senior year and was named Ms. PAHS.
Franco has helped teach basketball skills to second and third grade students and volunteered at the concession stand for middle school basketball tournaments.
In addition, Franco has been a member of the Marlin band throughout her high school career.
Outside of school, Franco has been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since her sophomore year, and has been a leader in the organization each year. She was co-captain her senior year.
Also off campus, Franco distributed Christmas stockings to residents of an Aransas Pass assisted living facility, helped with canned food drives, various fundraisers for Project Graduation and volunteered at the Animal Rehabilitation Keep (ARK).
The daughter of Manuel and Jeri Franco of Port Aransas, the salutatorian plans to attend Texas A&M University, College Station in the fall.