Denison salutes Top 10, Class of 2021

DISD
In spite of challenges caused by the nation’s worst pandemic in history, Denison High School’s Class of 2021 graduating seniors are looking forward with great excitement to Saturday May 22nd at 8:30 p.m. when they’ll make the time-honored trip across Munson’s historic graduation stage to proudly accept their diplomas

In spite of challenges caused by the nation’s worst pandemic in history, Denison High School’s Class of 2021 graduating seniors are looking forward with great excitement to Saturday May 22nd at 8:30 p.m. when they’ll make the time-honored trip across Munson’s historic graduation stage to proudly accept their diplomas. Because the ceremonies will be outdoors, masks will not be required, but social distance guidelines will be enforced. Only graduates will be seated on the field.

In case of rain on Saturday, graduation will be moved to Sunday night at 8:30. If it rains on Sunday night, the program will be moved to the DHS gymnasium and each senior will be issued four tickets to distribute to family.

“We have so many smart, talented and gifted students in our Class of 2021 who also have amazing work ethics and big hearts, as evidenced by the resumes of our esteemed Top Ten graduates,” said DHS Principal Dr. Cavin Boettger. “They have taken the most rigorous courses, studied hard, stayed focused, maintained extremely high Grade Point Averages – while also finding time to give back to our schools and community. I’m extremely proud of them and their many achievements. Great futures await them as they continue their educations, assume positions in challenging careers and become our future leaders. It is with great pride that I commend them and thank them for all they’ve accomplished, for the pride they have brought to our school and community, and the amazing young adults they have become.”

Denison High School’s Top Ten graduating seniors are:

DHS 2020  Valedictorian Kaden Dunn

Valedictorian Kaden Dunn is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a Texas Scholar, a Socrates Scholar, and a recipient of the prestigious Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Award. During his four years at Denison High School, Kaden has served as President of the National Honor Society, a member of the Student Council Board of Directors, and a member of DenTeens. Kaden has also been actively involved in his community throughout his tenure at DHS, including Denison Youth Leadership Academy, Denison Helping Hands Food Pantry, Denison ISD 5K for Kindness, Denison Dance Academy, tutoring at Denison High School and Mayes Elementary, Four Rivers Outreach, and the North Texas Regional Airport. Kaden is the son of Rick and Liz Dunn. Following graduation, he plans to attend Texas A&M University in College Station and major in Economics, followed by Law School and a professional career in Corporate Law.

DHS 2020 Salutatorian Avery Encalade

Salutatorian Avery Encalade is an AP Scholar, a National Merit Scholar Qualifier, a Socrates Scholar and a Texas Scholar. During her four years at Denison High School, Avery was an active member of the National Honor Society, DHS Drama Club, International Bar Thespian, DHS Spanish Club, Thespians Society, and Morale Chairman for the Denison Theatre Board of Directors. Extracurricular activities have included DHS Theatre for four years and UIL One-Act Play for four years. Avery has also been very active in her community, including Denison Youth Leadership Academy, Habitat for Humanity, Bole’s Children’s Home, Nashville Inner City Missions, visiting nursing homes, Meals on Wheels, and the Grayson County Homeless Shelter. Church involvement and service at Park Avenue Church of Christ has included mission trips to Casa de la Esperanza in Mexico, the Titus Project, Bole’s Children’s Home Mission Trip, Nashville Inner City Ministry Mission Trip, Park Avenue Fall Festival worker, Christian Theatre Workshop as a camp counselor and actress, church nursery worker, teaching 3rd and 4th grade Bible classes, Preston Trail Community Church as a leader for Early Childhood Worship, and making Bible Class videos for online members. Avery is the daughter of Naomi Detro and Wesley Encalade. After graduation, she plans to

attend Pepperdine University, major in Psychology, attend graduate school, then work as a Pediatric Psychologist in an inpatient facility at a children’s hospital.

Abigail Errico ranks #3 in her class, is a National AP Scholar with Honors, an Academic Letter recipient, a Socrates Scholar and a Texas Scholar. During her four years at Denison High School, she has served her school as President of the DHS Student Council, President of DenTeens, Senior Class Treasurer, a member of Hope Squad, a National Honor Society member, and an active participant in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Extracurricular activities have included Track and Field for four years, Basketball for two years, Musical Theatre for three years, and UIL Writing for one year. Abigail has also actively served her community through Denison Helping Hands, Denison Youth Leadership Academy, Denison Homeless Shelter, Youth Missions in Houston and San Marcos, Texas, and the City of Denison Trash Pick-up projects. Active involvement in Waples United Methodist Church has included Waples Youth and HS Missions, and Legacy Student Ministry. She has also done mission work, including hurricane relief and home reconstruction in Houston and San Marcos, TX. Abigail is the daughter of Debbie and Al Errico. Following graduation, she plans to attend the University of Oklahoma and major in Biology on a Pre-Med track with the goal of attending Medical School.

Canaan Thomas ranks #4 in her class and is an AP Scholar, a Socrates Scholar and a Texas Scholar. During her tenure at Denison High School she has served her school as Vice President of the National Honor Society, a member of the DHS Student Council and BOTA Canned Food Drive Coordinator, Student Body Vice President, Theatre Historian, Morale Committee Chairman, Denison Youth Leadership Academy, DenTeens, DHS Drama Club and the Improv Club. Extracurricular activities have included One Act Play for four years, Production Theatre for four years, Musical Theatre for four years, and Volleyball for one year. Additionally, Canaan has served her community through the Youth Leadership Academy, Titus Project and Habitat for Humanity. Canaan has also been actively involved in Sherman Bible Church, including service in the nursery as well as a week-long mission trip to an orphanage in Mexico. Canaan is the daughter of Laura Thomas and Tate Thomas. Following graduation, she plans to attend Marymount Manhattan College and study for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting. After college, she plans to audition for Television and Film roles and work as an actress or in some area of theatrical production.

Mercedes Reed ranks #5 in her class and is an AP Scholar, Texas Scholar, Socrates Scholar and National Merit Qualifier. During her four years at Denison High School she has served her school as Freshman Orientation Chairman for the DHS Student Council as well as an active member of the National Honor Society, DenTeens, DHS Spanish Club, DHS Drama Club and the Thespian Society. Extracurricular activities have included Shawnda Rains Entertainment Stage Struck group for seven years as an Advanced Performer, Production Theatre for three years, and Musical Theatre for three years. Mercedes has also actively served her community through participation in Denison Youth Leadership Academy, Helping Hands Food Pantry, tutoring at Mayes Elementary, Her Virtue Internship, and the Boys and Girls Club. She has also been involved in Victory Life Church as a Worship Leader and Small Group Leader. Mercedes is the daughter of Dave and Mindy Reed. After graduation, she plans to attend Dallas Baptist University to pursue a degree in Business Finance with the goal of becoming a Chief Executive Officer.

Nathan Branson ranks #6 in his class and is an AP Scholar, a recipient of the UTA Presidential Honors Scholarship, a Science Award recipient, a Texas Scholar and a Socrates Scholar. During his years at Denison High School and Sherman High School, Nathan served on both Student Councils, was a member of both the DHS National Honor Society and SHS National Honor Society, and a member of the SHS Leo Club and Comedy Club where he served as Vice President. Extracurricular activities have included DHS Robotics for one year, SHS Band for three years with Top Band honors all three years, Texas Boys State

for one summer, and John Ratcliffe’s Congressional Student Leadership Program for one semester. Nathan has also served his communities through Adopt-A-Highway program, Masterkey Ministries, Sherman Housing Authority, Operation Christmas Child, Upward Bound, BOTA canned food drives, and volunteering at area nursing homes, animal shelters, and at an elementary school summer program in Commerce, Texas. Nathan is a Baptist who has worked with three different churches as a Vacation Bible School volunteer, for Operation Christmas Child, and as a member of Trinity Baptist Church’s Youth Leadership Council where he helped run backpack drives, clothes drives and the annual TBC Halloween Carnival. Nathan is the son of Kally Branson. After graduation, he plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science followed by Law School with the goal of becoming a Civil Rights/Political Activist Lawyer and possibly seeking local or state political office.

Lillian Nunn ranks #7 in her class and is an AP Scholar, an AP Biology Letter Recipient, a Texas Scholar and a Socrates Scholar. During her four years at Denison High School, she has served her school and fellow students through active participation in the National Honor Society, the DHS Student Council, the DHS Drama Club, En Croix, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Extracurricular activities have included the DHS Drill Team where she has served as Captain for all four years, Musical Theatre for four years, Thespians for three years, and a dancer at Dance Xplosion for ten years. Lillian has also actively served her community through participation in Denison Youth Leadership Academy, the Jacket Greeter program, and Drill Team activities. Lillian is the daughter of Jeff and Toni Nunn. Following graduation, she plans to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara and major in Aquatic Biology with the goal of becoming a Marine Biologist and Conservationist.

Evamicaela Macedo ranks #8 in her class and is an AP Scholar, a Texas Scholar, and a Socrates Scholar. During her four years at Denison High School, Micaela has actively served her school as a member of the DHS Band where she served as Flute Section Leader for one year and Drum Major for two years, National Honor Society Parliamentarian, Fellowship of Christian Musicians Chaplain, InterAct Club Secretary, Tri M Honor Society Secretary, DenTeens and HOSA. Extracurricular activities have included the DHS Band for four years during which time she served as a Section Leader and Drum Major. Micaela has actively served her community through participation in the Nautilus 10th Annual Workout for a Wish, Fall Festival with HOSA, Vacation Bible School at St. Patrick’s Church, and the annual Fish Fry at St. Patrick’s. Micaela is the daughter of Esperanza and Orlando Macedo and a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Following graduation, she plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin to major in Public Health on a Pre-Med track.

Cheyenne Grant ranks #9 in her class and is an AP Scholar, Academic Letter winner in Algebra, a Texas Scholar and a Socrates Scholar. During her four years at Denison High School, she served her school as an active participant in the National Honor Society, Denison Youth Leadership Academy and HOSA. Extracurricular activities have included Volleyball for six years, Basketball four years, Track five years, and Band for three years. Cheyenne has also served her community through Youth Leadership projects, Women Rock, InterAct and tutoring. She is the daughter of Jessica Hardcastle and Roger Grant. Following graduation, she plans to attend the University of San Francisco to major in Biology. Her goal is to study medicine and learn about the chemical makeup of the body and how it really works so that she can help make medicine advance and be more accessible to everyone.

Micaiah Wetzold ranks #10 in his class and is an AP Scholar, Socrates Scholar, Texas Scholar and an Honor Roll student. During her tenure at Denison High School, she has served her school as an active member of the National Honor Society. Extracurricular activities have included DHS Tennis for four years, DHS Band for four years, and DHS Soccer for one year. Micaiah has also served her community

through participation and volunteerism with Denison Animal Welfare Group and Texoma Outpatient Rehabilitation. Micaiah is the daughter of Mari Anne Wetzold. Following graduation, she plans to attend Austin College, followed by enrollment in a university that offers a Doctorate degree in Veterinary Medicine.