As the Excelsior Springs High School graduating class of 2012 prepares for commencement this Friday evening, they first attended baccalaureate services on Wednesday at the Performing Arts Center. The Excelsior Springs Christian Ministerial Association sponsored the services.
Mike Boudreaux, pastor of Crescent Lake Christian Center, welcomed seniors and their families at the beginning of the service with prayer.
The ESHS Black and Gold Band gathered for a rendition of “Encanto,” by Robert W. Smith. With seniors in the audience, it took a minute to adjust as several graduates first had to join the stage for one of their final performances with the high school band.
The same can be said for the ESHS Spring Singers, who followed the band’s performance. Graduating seniors also left their seats in the PAC to join fellow choir members to perform “He Never Failed Me Yet,” by Robert Ray. With several soloists performing, the act warranted a standing ovation from the class of 2012.
ESHS teacher and coach Terri Irons then took her place at the podium to present the Jason Simmons Award. The late Kim Simmons and her husband, Dave, created the Jason Simmons Award after a tragic car accident took Jason’s life. Having been inspired by baccalaureate services during Jason’s graduation, the Simmons family created the award, which is given to a deserving senior who represents the giving person that Jason was.
“It is an honor to present this award to a deserving senior this evening. After Kim’s passing, when Dave asked me if I would present the award, I was so honored,” said Irons. “There were nine seniors who were recommended for the award this year, and for the first time ever, we had a tie. This award is given every year during baccalaureate and usually we take the recommendations and narrow it down to three candidates, but this year it was a total of four.”
Irons explained that students have to be recommended by a teacher in order to be nominated for the award. This year’s 2012 Jason Simmons Award Finalists were: Lane Aldrich, son of Darrel and Pam Aldrich; Wendy Chuning, daughter of Bob and Cindy Chuning; Trevor Douglas, son of Tim and Tonya Douglas; and Jena Rosenboom, daughter of Arnie and Jill Rosenboom.
Though all four nominees were meritorious, the winning recipient was Wendy Chuning.
“I know Wendy very well,” said Irons. “And I can say that she is very deserving of the Jason Simmons Award.”
For more on this story, see the print edition or e-Edition of the Friday, May 18, Standard.
By Jae Juarez • email@example.com