DESOTO, TX — With the sun setting west of Eagle Stadium and a light breeze, DeSoto High School graduated the Class of 2017 on May 30 – the largest class ever with 643 students walking across the stage to receive their hard earned diplomas!
With the traditional Pomp and Circumstance entrance, seniors poured into Eagle Stadium as the stadium reached capacity crowd of over 11,000 guests. The program included a welcome by Senior Class President Gregory Oliver, Salutatorian address by Joyce Akinnibosun and Valedictorian address by McKenzie Washington. Both Akinnibosun and Washington received the TCU Community Scholars award for a full ride to Texas Christian University in the fall!
Washington plans to obtain her degree from TCU and become a biomedical engineer. She thanks her parents, teachers and softball coach Ashli Wigington for sticking with her and supporting her goals. She received the DHS SOAR Award, CMP Academic Achievement Award, was Vice President of the Spanish National Honor Society, and a member of the National Honor Society.
Akinnisbosun, whose family is Nigerian, plans to obtain her TCU degree then become an orthodontist who is able to assist less fortunate families. A member of National Honor Society, Joyce is also a member of Mu Alpha Iota, PTK Honor Society, HOSA and Student Council. She volunteers at Goodwill, Inc., Methodist Charlton Junior Volunteer, and the DeSoto Library. She earned A Honor Roll, SOAR Award, CMP Leadership Academic Achievement Award, and the DHS Math Citizenship Award.
This year’s Summa Cum Laude was a unique element – with all ten spots occupied by ladies! Three are attending TCU as Community Scholars, two will head to UT in the fall, one to Baylor on a track scholarship, and one on a full ride to her dream school NYU!
The event also had a somber moment, emphasized by Ms. Washington’s speech reminding everyone that not every person made it today – some didn’t achieve their goals, but for Deonte ‘DJ’ Johnson’s family today was the graduation day that wasn’t. His life was cut tragically short in 2011 when he was just in the 7th grade and hit by a vehicle fleeing a scene. On hand were his mother and a member of No More Violence to accept his honorary diploma.
Diplomas were presented by DeSoto HS Principal Arista Owens-McGowan, and Dr. David Harris, DeSoto ISD Superintendent, before students turned their tassels and celebrated the big day.
Eagle Award – Most Outstanding Senior
• Shadarian Carter – she earned her Associates Degree and her Certified Nurse Aide certification before earning her HS diploma; succeeding in spite of many odds that were stacked against her.
Summa Cum Laude
• Joyce Akinnibosun (TCU)
• Kialond Bronson-Smith (Texas)
• Rozahnea Charles (Texas)
• Kennedy Harrison (Howard)
• Lauren Jackson (TCU)
• Crystal Marquez (UT-Dallas)
• Toi Montgomery (NYU)
• Cynthia Tamez (Texas)
• Samone Turner (Baylor)
• McKenzie Washington (TCU)
Senior Class Officers
• President – Gregoery Oliver
• Vice President – Zacharia Washington
• Treasurer – Kemonte Yow
• Secretary – Elizabeth Pryor
• Historian – Xavier Newman