A Pat On The Back!

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with Patsy Nobles Jones

Exciting Jacks Creek News – Class of 2021 graduated May 17 at Freed-Hardeman University Auditorium. Jacks Creek residents are happy for all 185 students. The numbers are impressive — 38 Honor Scholars; 15 with a 4.0 average; and Jacks Creek School Teachers produced 4 of those Honor Scholars with a 4.0 average with Megan Greenway being the 2021 Valedictorian! Jacks Creek teachers can stand proudly for an applause. Four students from Jacks Creek School are Honor Scholars — Megan Greenway; Raamiah Pattenaude; Austin Vest; and Rayna Lynch.
Last week Megan Greenway was honored with a Pat on the Back called, “I Can Do Anything You Can Do.” Megan has two supportive parents and an older encouraging brother who leaves clear footsteps to follow. Megan gave up a year of gymnastics for the early enrollment of college. Megan’s Nana teased her about being double-jointed. I saw her as Tarzan’s “Cheeta” on school monkey bars – never dropping but going from one end to the other. Megan loves gymnastics, but she used wisdom to take advantage of an early enrollment at Jackson State Community College. Ralph Mays has watched Megan’s growth since third grade. He presented Megan with the Kathy Bailey Mays Memorial Scholarship (article and picture elsewhere in this paper). This $1,000 scholarship will help Megan follow her dream. Megan is admired for a good name; stable home; enduring relationship with brother (Drew); caring grandparents; and a weekly job cleaning her church. Responsibility was taught early in life with examples of having good work ethics and dependability. Most important was keeping eyes on Christ and His teachings. It is often said it sometimes only takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but the entire life to forget them. Megan, I saw you in your cap and gown, but you are still “Peanut” to me never to be forgotten.
Raamiah Pattenaude loved her kindergarten teacher, Nancy Davis. She was pushed to succeed even at a young age. Her parents, Greg and Sherry, were huge motivators. Her grandparents, Betty and Garold Parks, were good teachers as well. They told her to keep going no matter how hard things got because it would pay off at the end. Jacks Creek teachers cared about her personally; she felt that student-to-teacher relationship. Raamiah had great childhood friends. One friend was Megan Greenway and her mother, Melissa Greenway. They helped keep her on track. Jacks Creek was a small town school in the middle of nowhere! She learned it improved the classroom by making it more student-oriented. Individualized attention is encouraging — feedback is immediate. In high school family was still major motivators. Mr. Todd Beaver was her teacher, taking title of “favorite” teacher. Beaver wanted all to succeed but left it up to students to strive for it. Teachers can only take you so far, but you have to want it in order to be successful. Raamiah’s last year was busy by taking college classes – saves money and receiving pre-recs for college while also getting high school credits. Raamiah said, “Thank YOU for helping me.” We only live once, but if we work it just right, once is enough.
Austin Vest said all of his teachers inspired him. He is a future teacher. Austin has always looked up to teachers as mentors and is glad to have had good inspirations in his life. His senior year was exactly as he imagined it. This year was shaped by friends at his side. His future is filled with much fun and learning as the past 12 years. Going to college seems stressful, but he will be able to manage it like putting a raging fire out safely.
Rayna Lynch obtained a 3.792 average. Regrettably, one of us went fishing in the creek; thus unable to meet. We are proud she is one of the four Chester County High School Honor Scholars. Being an honor student can enable the mind to be wise in the art of knowing what to overlook. The future holds a lot of choices. One can think the world is round and a place which could seem like the end – it could be the beginning of new choices. Rayna will go for the fullest brightest moon. If she doesn’t reach it, then she’ll see that she is still near the stars. Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day or hitch your wagon to that brightest star and go, Rayna, go. Later think of the various stars creating the big dipper. That is a big choice, but an honor student like you will continue to succeed. Send invitations to your next graduation covered with star dust.
Tidbit: CCHS Graduates graduating in 2021 (185); 2020 (190); 2019 (216); 2018 (205) and 2017 (204) shared by a proud Nana in Jacks Creek.

SOMEONE CARES – Having read some of the graduating students’ hand-written words my heart was touched. Two groups meant the most to them. Most important was having PARENTS who motivated and supported them in their own areas of interest. These parents made sacrifices, and these graduates bathed in it. They know their parents “have their backs!” TEACHERS became the next group who motivated and encouraged them to pursue their passion in life. Good teachers use wise words to help their students think on their feet. Teachers say it is one thing to dream, but reaching those dreams needs wide strides and hard work in chasing them. It takes effort, passion and hard work for a dream to come true, and dreams do come true! A graduate’s grandmother shared wise words as someone caring — “Engineers make bridges; Artist make paintings; Scientists make rockets; but teachers make them all.” All is well that ends well can be a deep feeling of success.

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