NHHS names Megan Lehr valedictorian, Cayla Newkirk salutatorian

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

May 22, 2008 - North Hopkins has announced Megan Lehr and Cayla Newkirk as the 2007-2008 senior class's top students. Lehr earned the valedictorian distinction with a 5.0729 weighted grade point average, while Newkirk was named salutatorian with a 4.8404 weighted GPA.

Lehr, the daughter of Janet and Barry Lehr of Sulphur Springs, plans to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she will major in finance.

This year's valedictorian has been a member of Beta Club all four years of high school, serving as vice president her senior year.

She has made the superintendent's Honor Roll every year, beginning in pre-kindergarten and continuing through 12th grade.

Lehr participated in University Interscholastic League competition all four years of high school, and reached the state competition in headline writing in 2004.

She also was very active in school sports, particularly basketball and track. In basketball, she was named 2nd Team All District in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 and was Academic All State this year. She also was a regional track qualifier in discus and shot-put in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years.

Newkirk is the daughter of Cindy and Thurman Newkirk of Sulphur Springs, sister of Colton, and granddaughter of Thurman Sr. and Rubie Newkirk. She has been accepted to Texas Woman's University in Denton, where she plans to obtain a bachelor's of science degree in nursing and eventually become an obstetrics nurse. She has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship from TWU.

The salutatorian also has been very active in sports, UIL and other extracurricular activities, and is active in church.

Newkirk is a four-year member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has been a Beta Club representative for four years, serving as treasurer as a senior. She also earned first place in character skit at the state Beta contest this year. She also was this year's Prom Queen, earned the Panther Spirit award from 2005-2007, and was a Homecoming Princess in 2005.

She has participated in UIL all four years of high school, competing at the state contest in news writing in 2006, and the past two years went to state in cross examination-debate.

Newkirk played volleyball for two years, played varsity basketball the last three years, and was on the varsity cross country and softball teams all four years of high school. The cross country teams she ran on were named district and regional champs from 2004-2006, were the runner-up team to state in 2005, and ranked fifth in state in 2006. In basketball, she was on the 2nd Team All District in 2006, 1st Team All District in 2007, and was named co-defensive player and made Academic All State as a senior. In softball, she made 2nd Team All District as an outfielder in 2006, and 1st Team All District outfielder and Co-MVP of the district champions in 2007. She ran the 800-meter, 400 meter relay and 800 meter relay in track from 2004-2007, was a regional qualifier in the 1-mile relay in 2005 and ran the 800 meter run in 2005.

In addition to school, she has helped with the bus ministry at Central Baptist Church since 2006. She also has been a Caraway worker, a program for children's church offered Sunday mornings, since 2006. She has been Awanas leader on Sunday nights.

Newkirk is also been a member of the co-ed Boy Scouts program Venture Crew since 2005, serving as treasurer during the 2005-2006 year.

In addition to those accomplishments, both are also BETA honor graduates, Texas Scholars and distinguished graduates. Other NHHS seniors named as honor graduates, Texas Scholars and distinguished graduates are Brandi Loper, Ashley Deaton, Ashlie Newman, Roger Sancho and Angelina Ugalde. Robert White was named both an honor graduate and a Texas Scholar, and Jessica Mannis is among this year's honor graduates as well.

The senior class will be honored with a baccalaureate service at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 1, and with a commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 7, both in the school gymnasium. Cody Stewart of Eternity Creations will give the baccalaureate address, and seniors will present their moms with roses. A reception will follow the June 1 service. The NHHS graduation program will close with the traditional candle-lighting ceremony.

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