There will be 485 Lufkin Panthers who will graduate at 8 p.m. Friday at the Abe, and it will be the last time I’ll have the honor to address them as a whole. They were freshmen when I started my position at Lufkin ISD and I’ve had the privilege of getting to watch them mature into young adults with their dreams and hopes now in grasp. The 2017 graduates are an impressive group, and here are just a few reasons why:
Five students received a Smith-Hutson Scholarship — one student will attend Sam Houston State University, three will attend Stephen F. Austin State University and one Angelina College. The scholarship fully covers tuition, books and fees.
One student received the Mirabeau scholarship for a full ride to Lamar University. There are 14 graduates going out of state, with seven going to California including Pepperdine University in Malibu.
There are 202 students that will attend Angelina College, 31 Stephen F. Austin State University and 25 will attend Texas A&M University. Ten athletes are playing football. Seven students will play for a junior college, two students for Division II and one for Division I. One Lady Pack volleyball player will play at Wylie College.
Three students are Dell Scholars, a national scholarship program that awards each student $20,000 over four years. Two students will be on the swim team at Southwestern.
One Pack cross country athlete is going into the Army Reserves and will attend Sam Houston State University. Three students are National Merit Scholars, with one being National Merit Finalist and two National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars.
Four students will be on the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University. Two Lady Pack basketball players will play at junior colleges. Three athletes will play soccer at Angelina College. One Pack baseball player will play at LeTourneau and one will play at Angelina College.
It’s obvious by all of these accomplishments that the Class of 2017 is one talented and smart group of young men and women. As further proof of such, 188 seniors were honored at our recent LHS Scholarship Night for a total of $4.4 million dollars with 142 different scholarships. What I am most proud of is that 100 percent of this senior class has been accepted and admitted to a college, university or the military. As the superintendent of schools for Lufkin ISD, I can’t think of anything better. Congratulate a graduate on their success and let them know just how proud we are of them.