Rich East Holds 56th Commencement Exercises

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Graduating seniors Alyssa Hernandez, Jasmine Murphy, Adra Grant, and Valedictorian Mercedes Collopy. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Rich Township High School, East Campus, held its 56th Commencement Exercises Sunday, May 17, 2009, at the Tinley Park Convention Center in Tinley Park. The class Valedictorian was Mercedes Collopy.

There were 335 graduates in the class. The class earned over $1 million in scholarships.

Johnathan Decoy Adams, Mahogany My’sha Adkins, Shanell Kimberly Agee, Thomas Jordan Aguirre, Dale Christian Alexander, Latia Shante Alexander, Summer Marie Allen, Brandon Christopher Amos, J?van Pierre Amos, Erin Nichelle Anderson, Anthony RJ Arebalo, Divine S?séj Arnsby-Boykins, Artesia Marie Austin, Eduardo Bahena, Kenneth Ivan Bailey, Je’Mia Antionette Baker, Andrew Jerome Banks, Jasmine Cassandra Barnes, TyKeith Dianta Barnes, Michael Aaron Bauseman, Marquita Sheares Bell, Darianté O. Benford, Jabril Khelis Billingsley, Ashleigh Lauren Bingham, Jordan Andre Blaylock, Timothy Ryan Boler, Samantha Rose Bona, Sharita Renee Booth, LaDarius Michael Borner, Tinikwa Shakela Bowden, Kevin Maurice Terryone Bowman, Danielle Joy Briggs, Nehemiah Gabrial Brooks, Jenina Monique Brown, Leslie Denise Brown, Nedra Lyndwanette Brunt, La’Shaun Monique Bryant, Jose M. Burke, KyJuan Tramaine Burt, Marcellus Roy Butler, Reggie Keith Byrd, Marquis Thomas Calicott, Sean Michael Cameron.

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Class Valedictorian Mercedes Collopy. (Photo: Alyssa Hernandez)

Regina O’Delia Campbell, Nickolas Anton Carney, Kammia Iameshia Carroll, Cierra Naomi Carter, Johnston C. Carter, Telisa Carter, Kathrina Janea Carver, LaVasha Izora Chambers, Alyssa Jonquise Chappell, LaSean James Clark, Richard Clark, Shannan Marie Clark, Nicolas M. Clemons, RayShonn Lamond Clemons, Ramon Isaiah Clopton, Logan Michael Bevan Coan, Thaddeaus A. Cochran, Annie Candice Lee Colbert, Derrick Donté Coles, Bruce D. Collins, Jasmine Danielle Collins, John Collins, Mahogany Nichole Collins, William Kenneth Collins, Mercedes Mae Collopy, Michael Thomas Collopy, Kiarra Dominique-Gervaise Colquitt, Danielle Monique Cook, La’Tesa-Diana Nicole Cook, Kamisha LaTrice Cooper, Randi Layne Cooper, Darius Rashad Cotton, Marcus J. Crews, Stanton M. Cruse, Marcus R. Cruz, Mary Margaret Rose Crylen, Brian Culley-Tatum, Tiffannie A. Davenport, Cornelius Darrell Davis, Kristina Renee Davis, Maria LaShawndra Davis, Neal Davis, Trenton Davis, Kurt Dushawn “Day, Jr.”, Steven Michael Dees, Andrew Philip Deitch, Sterling Xavier DeLoatch, Caryn Lynn Demchuk, Jeffrey Scott “Dent, Jr.”, Jamere JaJuan Dismukes, Charles Dixon, Daniel Jonathan Doerr, Peter Thomas Doerr, Jasmine Alicia Dorsey, Robert “Doss, III”, Teairra VerSetta Doss, Jessica Lynn Douglas.

Mandel Verne Elam, Arial Michelle Ellzey, Lisa Ann Estrada, Corbin Eubanks, Amy Marie Falkenthal, Christopher Michael Fisher, Ryan Joseph Fitzsimmons, Qiana Lafrita Flowers, Steven M. Flowers, T’Keyah Karenina Ford, Daniel James Francesconi, Christopher Aaron Butler Franklin, Myteria Sennette Franklin, Andres Angel Garcia, Jonathan Isiah Garcia, Demetrius Sinclair Gibson, Charlene Denise Goings, Adra Bernice Grant, Madalia Ashley Symone Gray, Zachary Marcus Gray, Cameron Green, Lydia Noel Green, Nina NaTara Green, Jayme Lynette Greer, Myles Anthony Greska, Vontrell Lashaun Griffin, Christina Carmen Guzman, Demsow Negash Hailu, Gizachew Negash Hailu, London David Hall, Samantha LaShonda Hardin, Lesley McCraven Hardney, Courtney Lamar Hardy, Ellis “Hardy, Jr.”, Gerard Hardy, Mariah Lashaun Harper, Julian Christopher Harrell, Breauna Ashley Harris, Daniel T. Harris, Michael Christopher Harris, Mark L. “Harvey, Jr.”, Kevin David Hathaway, Terrika Gabrielle Hawkins, Kwinton Marcellus Heath, Donald Dominique Henderson, Tanika Cherry Henderson, Peter Hendricks, Adam Dale Hering, Alyssa Larene Hernandez, Brian Hicks, Shantell Marie Hicks, Kyisha Hodges, Kyrain Lamar Hodges, Rida Yasmeen Hodges, Samantha Elizabeth Hofsommer, Cody Lynn Hoger, Jasmine Noel Holiday, Mark Anthony Holmes, Paul A. “Hood, Jr.”, Andre Lyn Foster-Hubbard, Cori Alexander Hughes, Ashley Ugochukwu Ibe, DeAndrea Shawnteia Ingram, Roderick Andrew Jackson, Ryan R. Jackson, Wendynn Miguel “Jackson, Jr.”, Jovan Dante James, RaShon Thomas James, Brittany Christine Jimenez, Crystal Monique Johnson, DeAndre A. Johnson, Deonte L. Johnson, Imia Tiara Johnson, Jessica Carletta Johnson, Joshua Christian Johnson, Terrell Tashon Johnson, Travell Tavon Johnson, Alyce Sharronne Jones, Danielle Yvette Jones, Donte Marrio Jones, Glover Bob Jones, Sandra Zari Jones, Stephen Alec Jones, Brittny Patrice Jordan, LaDonna Jordan, Stacey Jo Jowers.

Tomesha O. Kalfus, Jiana Saeedah Karim, Ta Neah Kennedy, Gabriel B. King, Ashley Patrice Knight, Alexis Monique Kyles, Matthew Raymond Lagermann, Dominique Lakhiah Lane, Terry Dale Lane, Jerrica Lizette Laws, Niaja Brion Lawson, Freddie Lay, Malcolm Mandela Lee, Melvin Eugene Lee, Ariana Leeann Liberty, Vanessa M. Luna, Joy L. Lynch, Christopher Anthony Mall, Galicia Umeca Malone, Raquel Arielle Manson, DeAngelo LeVell Martin, Joaquin Martinez, Derrick Clifton “Mayes, II”, Jaellien Skyy Mays, Danielle Dominique McCray, Courtney Megan McCurn, Devon Lamell McGee, Lorryn Nichole McNair, Porshia Marie McPherson, Jason Robert Mesick, Lawrence Joseph Mikrut, Otis Miles, Dominique Dwayne Miller, Kirsti Lyn Miller, Jasmine Symone Mills, Mercedes Alex-Lashé Williams-Mills, Naje Montgomery, James Charles Moody, Brandys Mercedes Moore, Randy Allen Moore, George Earl Moragne, Darion Moses, Tyler Murillo, Jasmine Diane Murphy, Tyler Lynn Murray, Raven LaSalle Nance, Isaac Neal, Brittany Nicole Nelson, Ebony TaShé Nelson, Lauren A. Newson, Michael Lavell Norman, Anthony Alex O’Neal, Stephen Kendell O’Neal, Anthony Martin Ocanas, Tilewa Odedina, Zainab Temitope Odu, Dalonda L. Walton-Page, Renata Elizabeth Patterson, Matias Jamal Peace, Yoruba Ellis Pharms, Heather Marie Phillips, Nick Kyle Priebe, Kyle Rada, Thomas J. Reams, Michael LeRoy Reed, Reginald Jevelle Richmond, Jose Carlos Rios, Darek E. Roak, Lavall Roberts, Deon Anthony Robinson, Dyneshia Robinson, Monica Caprice Rose, Antonie Bernard Roseman, Cecil Royster.

Elliot Robert Salinas, Selton J. “Sampson, Jr.”, Brandi Simone Sampson, Deanna Sanders, Jabari A. Scott, Ronzerra Scott, Tonisha Nicole Shadd, Nicholas Eli Shanafelt, Markeita Loray Shell, Briana Talia Short, Brittany Shy, Shauntay Sade Silas, Jeremy D. Simmien, Channel Lorielle Simmons, Chalynda Fianna Simpson, Fantasia Tequila Simpson, Justin Zachary Sims, Crystal Shawn’ta Yvette Smith, Demetrieus D. Smith, Fashanet Shardia Smith, Joshua Deonte Smith, Toya Nicole Smith, Rachel Snoddy, Miya Denae Spearmon, Angela Renee Steels, Kimberly Lynn Stege, Sirnia Tané Stephenson, Brittany Alis Stewart, Toshiba Shatoni Stewart, Sydney Marie Streater, Milton Kelly Summlion, Shea Austin Sumpter, Lasante Marcel Sutherland, Cameron Layton Sweatt, Matthew Leeann Sweet, Jonathan George Sykes.

Shameika Chinta Taylor, Tanesha L. Taylor, Melvin J. Tellis, Anthony Shay Terrell, De’Ronye Nicole Thomas-Robinson, Christopher Thomas, Colby Jevon Thomas, Donte Lebron Thomas, Tracy Ashley Thomas, Jared S. Thorns, Kyle Nolan Travis, Amanda Monique Truly, Stephanie V. Turner, Gina Arlene Tyms, Nina Aline Tyms, Deandre Walker, Taimané V. Walls, Breyana V. Washington, Harold James Watt, Brandon Ahmad Weatherspoon, Denika Renee Wells, Ceara Dominique Williams, Cherese Erica Bernice Williams, Dina Rashell Williams, Dominique L. Williams, Jarrell Malcome Williams, Juna Elizabeth Williams, Kenya Marie Williams, Lemel C. Williams, Ariel C. Wilson, George Fenton “Wilson, III”, Kapri M. Wilson, Arthur James “Wimberly, III”, Robert James Wise, Kristine Michelle Woolf, Errick Turrell Yance, De’Ann Danyal’ Yarbrough, Ashley L’oreal Younger.

The following is the Commencement Address of Valedictorian Mercedes Collopy of the class of 2009:

First of all, I would like to say that I am honored to be a representative for the Class of 2009, it has been a long, tough road but we made it!

As I talk about taking the long, hard journey through high school, I think it is an appropriate time to mention Rich East’s greatest strength.

I don’t think our greatest strength has been in behavior, athletics, talent, or even academics. I think our greatest strength is the Rich East family.

Instead of the usual sense of ‘entitlement,’ Rich East students have a sense of respect that extends to everyone, whether it be towards the administration, staff, the Alpha program, or towards fellow classmates.

Beyond the students, we have an amazing new Principal and an amazing staff of teachers who have not only taught me everything I know, but are also people who truly care about you as a student and as a person, and have helped me in ways that I can never fully thank them for. Rich East is a tight-knit family that has accepted me and everyone else despite any differences.

Besides being a tough family, we are a tough family that has stuck together through hard times, like that of our cherished dean and coach’s unexpected death on his way to school March 27…

We have been through rough times together, but we’ve also shared joyous times, such as last year when our class’s outstanding PSEA and ACT scores saved the school from being taken over by the state.

I hope I have spoken for everyone at least a little bit in saying that the people of Rich East have made it as our greatest strength, but I truly believe that and I truly believe that we will have an advantage over many others in sharing this experience. I know I never thought and I am sure many of you never thought the day would come when we would look back fondly on memories of Rich East, but I sincerely from the bottom of my heart, will miss my tight-knit family not only at home but at school.

I think we should end this chapter of our lives by thanking the friends and family that supported us these past four years, and we should give those here with us today, and those here in spirit, a round of applause. Well, one last big congratulations to the graduating class of 2009, and I wish you the best of luck and good health.