By Libby Cluett
Both students admitted they were nervous before hearing their names called; in fact, they each said they expected to hear other names, but Leticia Martinez and Marshall Bumpus soon discovered Tuesday morning that they were the two seniors dubbed 2008 Elite Rams.
“I felt surprised and honored,” said Martinez. “There is a great happiness to know you are chosen and respected among the whole faculty,” she added.
“To be voted by your faculty is really something. It means they believe in me,” said Bumpus.
Both echoed similar thoughts simultaneously and said they wanted to say “thanks” to their teachers and families for supporting them.
Martinez said she looks forward to attending Angelo State University to eventually become a pediatric nurse practitioner. Bumpus said he plans to major in finance at Baylor.
Martinez and Bumpus join pairs of students who were selected to “best exemplify ‘loyal’ Rams … because they represent Mineral Wells High School’s standard of excellence,” according to the Elite Ram program flyer.
Eight students comprised the list of Elite Ram Society finalists. These also included Carsyn Crawford, Amanda Eller, Hillary Gibson, Mark Jones, Kyle Kelly and Lacreshia Small.
Students are also seen as “models of outstanding character” as well as “leaders, scholars, athletes and good citizens.”
After hearing class of 1962’s Dr. Jessie Teddlie as the guest speaker, participants heard from the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Dr. Patricia Waddy of Washington, D.C.
Waddy remembered her teachers and camaraderie with students from her MWHS class of 1959 – a few of whom were present at Tuesday’s ceremony. She graduated as valedictorian of her class.
From there, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University, master’s degree from Tulane and doctorate from New York University. She studied two years in Rome and continues to study there as an architectural historian.
During her career Waddy served as a professor at Carnegie-Mellon University and Syracuse University and visiting professor at Cornell and University of Louisville during the course of her career.
She told students about her evolution from student to professional – university professor and author – which combined her love of history, art and architecture. She shared that what she liked about her career was working with colleagues from foreign countries.
Waddy encouraged students to prepare and act on their interests. She concluded with the thought that even though she is retired as a professor, her career is still open-ended.
MWISD Public Information Officer Mary Creighton contributed to this article.