Future Sweetwater class graduates

The Future Sweetwater class of 2012, consisting of 13 Sweetwater High School sophomores, graduated on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at Texas State Technical College. Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Jacque McCoy welcomed everyone to the event and Kirby Andrews led the invocation. Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce President Rodney Foster made introductions and remarks were made by Sweetwater Independent School District Superintendent Terry Pittman. A video of the students’ many adventures, created by Joel Duffield, was shown and the mission statement written by the class at the beginning of the school year was read by Leah Andrews. Foster presented the students with certificates. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with SISD, the program is designed for students to learn in a hands-on, interactive environment which allows them to have fun and bond while they learn and problem solve. The Future Sweetwater program follows the same basic setup and curriculum as Leadership Sweetwater, but is geared towards the youth. Future Sweetwater received first hand knowledge of city/county issues, quality of life, the economy, health issues, education, local and state government and the military as they progressed through the program. They were allowed to tour the fire station and water treatment facility, as well as sit it on court sessions. Members also headed to Austin and Dyess Air Force Base to get more hands-on experience with state government and the military. Session chairs included Melissa Howard, leadership/team building; Tom Henderson, quality of life; Eddie Brown, City Manager; Carolyn Lawrence, City Comptroller; Tim Fambrough, Nolan County Judge; Jim Kelley, Sweetwater Chief of Police; Ken Becker, Executive Director for Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development; Donna Boatright, Rolling Plains memorial Hospital; Kathy Smartt and Rene Ralston, education session; Roy Utley, Dyess Air Force Base; and Rick Rhoades, coordinator for the Austin trip.Shown above are Future Sweetwater Class of 2012 members (back row) Greg Aiken, Quentin Wetsel, Stephen May, Mason Andrews, Kaleb Hoover, Allison Winslett, Larissa Locklar, Rachel Gray (front row) Austin Marlett, Caroline Lawrence, Kayla Chowning, Megan Carney and Taylor McPherson.