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Memorial student made senior year memorable

By JULIAN CAVAZOS
June 4, 2010 at 1:04 a.m.

Alanna McCurry hugs a fellow graduating senior at the last graduation ceremony for Victoria's Memorial High School.

Preston Turner

Preston excelled not only academically, but also athletically. Besides being in the National Honor Society and graduating magna cum laude, he was voted all-district and all-area for football.

In powerlifting, he set 19 world records, 23 national records and 26 state records. He was also crowned prom king, homecoming king and "Mr. MHS."

He will be attending The University of Texas and study sports management and exercise science. Preston will also be on the powerlifting team.

"I'm real excited and it's just another chapter of my life," he said about graduating. "I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things. I'm excited for what's ahead."

Danielle Donovan

Danielle, who got straight A's all year, was president of the Foreign Exchange Club, where she got to fellowship and make lifetime friendships with students from around the world.

"I got time to enjoy the people I went to school with and made good friends," she said. "I met some amazing people, both American and foreign."

Also an artist, she qualified for state for the Visual Art Scholastic Event and was a finalist for the art show that was part of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Danielle will attend Florida College, a private Christian college just near Tampa, Fla.

Araceli Zubieta

Araceli was president of the MHS National Honors Society, and organized many service activities throughout the year. She was also crowned Queen Victoria for the Victoria Jaycee Livestock Show in January. She has chosen to attend Victoria College to fulfill her duties as queen and participate in service projects throughout her term as queen.

She plans to study broadcasting and psychology.

Other clubs she was in included the Key Club, Interact Club, Leo Club and was a mentor to freshmen through the Peer Assistant and Leadership program.

Araceli will miss Memorial High School.

"I'm hoping I'll be the last Viper to walk the stage," she said, since her last name starts with a 'Z'. "I'll be making history, I guess."

Jayron Boston

Jayron was part of the step team this year, and spent the rest of his time concentrating on work and school.

He will attend the University of Houston this fall and study physical therapy.

He will work at a hospital this summer to save money for a car before moving to Houston, where he says there are more opportunities for jobs and education.

The last class of MHS will go down in history as one of the most remembered, he said.

"I'm kind of glad we're the last class. I'd rather be the last class graduating than the first class graduating from the new school," he said. "You remember the last class."

LAST CLASS OF MHS

CLASS COLOR: blue, black and silver

CLASS FLOWER: stainless daffodil

CLASS SONG: "If Today Was Your Last Day," by Nickelback

CLASS MOTTO: "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today" - James Dean

CLASS SIZE: about 700

Memorable quote from Valedictorian Adam Groenhuyzen, "We are the finale to the 10-year legacy of the Memorial Vipers."

Memorable quote from Salutatorian Jacob Motl, "Success and be successful are two different things altogether. Success is one instant in time in which the goal you have set is achieved. But being successful is a continuous process by which we are studying and accomplishing goals."

Alanna McCurry did everything she could to make her senior year the best year of her life.

Besides keeping up with her grades, she made sure to go to prom, participate in extra-curricular activities and spend plenty of time hanging out with friends before they all go different ways.

"I had so much fun my senior year. I went to all the school events and sports events," she said. "I wanted to remember how my life has been before I go off and start new in college."

The 2010 class was the last class of Memorial High School before it closed down to become the Advanced Learning Center and Special Events Complex in August. The majority of Victoria high school students will either go to Victoria West High School or Victoria East High School.

High school was when Alanna went from being a quiet, reserved girl her freshman year to a social butterfly by the time she graduated.

"It's very exciting to see how much you change throughout the four years," she said. "I branched out and learned to connect with other people outside my group. I've really learned to become more vocal and more social."

She had a busy senior year. Alanna played varsity volleyball, varsity track, participated in Health Occupations Students of America, worked part-time at Hastings, and took a full load of Advanced Placement courses.

Alanna's positive attitude stood out to Jayme Pauley, her volleyball coach.

"She's passionate about the things she does in life," Pauley said, who has known Alanna for a year. "Whether on or off the court, she was always a positive person. She brightens up your day. She's always smiling, no matter what it is."

Alanna was also president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club this year.

The club helped her stay grounded in her faith in God, she said.

"FCA helped me stay focused on God because there's so much going on with school and with sports," she said. "FCA helped me to stay very focused on God through all of my extra-curricular activities."

Through FCA she helped organize service projects, such as a field day for children at Northside Baptist Church, and sorting cans for the local food bank. She also helped organize Field of Faith, where area athletes united at the MHS stadium and shared testimonies of God to each other.

Victoria Gonzales, the MHS FCA sponsor, has always admired Alanna's faith in God.

"I have seen her grow up into a beautiful young lady," Gonzales said. "Her faith and her family are a big part of her upbringing, which I think are very good foundations for any young person to have."

Alanna also had a fun time with friends at her senior prom. Friends gathered at her house to get ready before taking off to prom.

"It was really fun getting dressed up and going to the dance and seeing all the cute dresses, and just dancing and having fun," she said. "It was definitely a night to remember."

But now, all her school classes and extra-curricular activities have come to an end. She is preparing to attend Texas State University this fall to study something in the medical field.

Alanna's dad, Gregory McCurry, is ready to see his oldest daughter move on to the next chapter in her life.

"We've invested 18 years in her in the right way, in a Christian and Godly manner," her dad said. "Now it's just time in the process for her to go on. We're excited to see how she responds to life's challenges and think she'll do well."

Now that Allana's high school career has come to an end, she can look back with many memories of high school.

"I wanted to have something of high school to remember and to look back on before I graduate," she said. "I finally did it."

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