Tuttle’s Class of 2021 featured 146 graduates, including 14 Valedictorians who were Jacob Abston, Cade Seay, Lane Andreas, Emma Shepherd, Paige Coble, Madalyn Stone, Claire Hardin, Ryan Tinder, Zachary Kamm, Tyler Waitman, Whisper McDoulett, Alyssa Wilson, Taylor McGill, and Ian Woodall.
An invocation from Matelyn Jones kicked things off at the graduation, which was held in Tuttle Friday at Brian Stewart Football Field, where the Tigers’ football team won all seven of their home games this season.
The Class of 2021 went on to win state championships in softball, cheer, wrestling, and girls basketball, while putting up an impressive playoff run in every other sport.
The Tuttle Academic Team won state.
The Pride of Tuttle Marching Band and its concert band saw to Superior ratings throughout the year to win the ever-coveted Sweepstakes Award.
Tuttle Choir had 14 students named to the All-State Choir.
While underclassmen contributed to this long list of achievements, and the many achievements of many other programs, the Class of 2021 provided much of the senior leadership required to continue the outstanding legacy of Tuttle’s education system, which continues to grow.
Kinsey Taylor performed a solo, “Wherever I Go,” by Hannah Montana.
Nicole Wilson performed “I Hope you Dance,” by Lee Ann Womack.
National Merit Scholar Ryan Tinder gave a speech, saying, “On behalf of the class of 2021, I’d like to welcome our Board of Education, Superintendent Sinor, assistant principal Harris, principal Matt Surber, and our counselors Mrs. Traxler and Mrs. Tucker to the class of 2021’s graduation ceremony. I’d also like to apologize to our English department. This is the first writing assignment in four years that hasn’t been graded. I’m taking full advantage. These past four years have been the wildest of our lives. Without a doubt, we’ve all had our fair share of conflict and division whether it be physical, mental, emotional, political for sure, but we’ve learned how to overcome those obstacles, we put those things aside, we came together as the class of 2021 for our graduation day and I think that’s something to be proud of. On August 16th, 2017, we walked through the doors of a brand new high school for the very first time, ready to take the world by storm as the first class to be here for all four years. We experienced 22 home football games under these blazing friday night lights, and as a class we won over 25 state championships. As I look back on where we came from four years ago, I can’t help but feel a sense of optimism on where our future leads. Four years ago, we came to this high school as small, shy kids and over these four years, we grew into strong, confident young adults and its a credit to our school system, our teachers, our administrators, and our supporting faculty that we’ve made it this far. But make no mistake, The road ahead will not be easy, and as we transition into our futures, that Safety net gets removed. There won’t be any more encores, there won’t be anymore tissue box donations or other extra credit opportunities to help raise your grade. The training wheels are coming off. There’s two things that each and everyone of us on this field share in common. The first of which, some point in your future, the world is going to punch you in face. The world is going to sock you in jaw, some of you already know that feeling. The second thing that we each have in common, whether you’ve been at Tuttle your whole life or joined us along the way, we all share the Tuttle character and the principles that are built up within the walls of that high school. We care for one another, we fulfill our promises, and we take pride in our work. Those same qualities that got us through high school and across this stage today, will be the reason that history looks back on the class of 2021 as the most successful class ever. So, my challenge for you today is as we go forward into the next chapter of our lives, as we transition into our futures, don’t forget where you came from.”
Tuttle High School Counselor Jennifer Tucker presented academic awards, and honored the valedictorians each by name.
After winning a dozen consecutive state championships for Tuttle Wrestling, first-year Tuttle High School Principal Matt Surber presented the class.
“Seniors of Tuttle High School, class of 2021, we made it,” Surber said to the grads. “Neither quarantine, ice storms, nor snow storms could stop you, just like your senior prank and big brown hay bales in front of the school couldn’t stop us. We arrive here at the ending of one chapter with much gratitude and many wonderful memories, also at the beginning of another chapter with many incredible opportunities ahead. This season of light, this year, will be embedded in our hearts for many years. These times have prepared you. Moving forward, I truly believe that if we can successfully work through the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can handle any type of adversity that comes our way. The perseverance required by you this past year should bring a bee level of confidence about handling diversity. Seniors, I know many of you have concerns and apprehension about the uncertainty or unknown of your future. That’s normal. What Career to seek, what workforce to join, what education to pursue. Some of you may be concerned that you’ll still be living at home ten years from now. But hear me, listen; my advice to you, what I found is this. Move forward, continue to learn, and do not be concerned with making the perfect decision. If so, too many of you will let the fear of failure or uncertainty derail you. Know this; if it is the wrong decision, you can always regroup, change course, and head in a new direction. Let me make this clear, you must continue to move forward, and continue to learn. We’ve learned many things this past year. Most importantly, we’ve learned that nothing can replace the experience of school activities and especially personal interactions and relationships. Nothing can replace the cheers, the applause, the encouragement. Nothing can replace being together. We’re so glad to be together tonight to celebrate the accomplishment of graduation.”
Superintendent Keith Sinor presented the diplomas, and every member of the Tuttle Board of Education was on stage to personally congratulate the graduates as they walked across the stage.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021.
Tuttle High School Counselor Connie Traxler provided a statement, saying, “Like everyone else, school functioned much differently as they entered the doors last August. Teachers, students, and staff could barely recognize each other behind masks as they entered the classroom last August. For those that chose in person learning, school had its challenges, learning to social distance, understand teachers through muffled mask
s, sanitize, sanitize, and sanitize some more. School looked different, but teachers, faculty and staff were glad to be back in the classroom, no matter how challenging. The loss of time from school seemed to motivate our students to try harder and perform better. The pandemic did not hinder our students from achieving much success in any activity that they took on. Tuttle High School received many honors, state championships, and sweepstakes awards in every area of extra-curricular activity. It has been a great year to be a Tiger. Tuttle Schools is proud of each and every student that walks the halls of this school. Each student may brighten your day in their own unique way, it may be by holding an open door to welcome you, or by leading you in the Pledge of Allegiance and starting your day with an encouraging greeting, “Have a great day, Tigers.” We celebrate all our students and their many accomplishments as the Class of 2021. Tuttle High School students have been offered over one million dollars in scholarship funds from all across the United States. Ryan Tinder received recognition as a National Merit Scholar and Paige Coble received recognition as Commended National Scholar. In a year of a pandemic, our students overcame and proved nothing is going to hold this class back from going for what they want and achieving their goals. It’s called Tiger Pride.”
Tuttle recognized 18 students as Honor Graduates (Top 10% of graduating class): Jacob Abston, Taylor McGill, Kambrye Vermillion, Lane Andreas, Cade Seay, Tyler Waitman, Emily Blakey, Emma Shepherd, Alyssa Wilson, Paige Coble, Kolten Spencer, Ian Woodall, Broady Heltcel, Madalyn Jones, Chloe Garrett, Ryan Tinder, Matelyn Jones, and Ethan Tripp.
Tuttle High School also recognized 18 students that met the criteria to be called Oklahoma Academic Scholars. These students received a composite score of 27 or higher on the ACT, had a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.7 or higher, and met the rigor and requirements set by the state of Oklahoma to meet graduation requirements.
Jacob Abston, Zachary Kamm, Madalyn Stone, Lane Andreas, Jaycee Mathews, Ryan Tinder, Allyson Cannon, Whisper McDoulett, Tyler Waitman, Paige Coble, Taylor McGill, Alyssa Wilson, Zaine French, Cade Seay, Nicole Wilson, Claire Hardin, Emma Shepherd, and Ian Woodall.
Special recognition and scholarships presented to the Class of 2021
Masonic Lodge Student of Today: Nicole Wilson and Brody Heltcel
Masonic Lodge Teacher of Today: Carolyn Rowbottom and Beth Robertson
American Legion Award: Emma Shepherd and Cody Williams
Charlotte Hacker Memorial Scholarship: Ethan Tripp
Brian Stewart Memorial Scholarship: Claire Hardin and Bode Brooks
Catherine Drummond Make a Difference Memorial Scholarship: Morgan Match and Madalyn Stone
First National Bank & Trust Scholarship: Madalyn Stone
Sallie June Bryant Scholarship: Nolan Kelley
Virgil Voigt, Class of 1943, Math & Science Scholarship: Ryan Tinder
Fred & Adda Voigt Math & Science Scholarship: Ethan Tripp
Virgil Voigt Math & Science Scholarship: Matelyn Jones
Marilyn Pierce Memorial Scholarship: Bryce Legg
Joshua Taylor Young Memorial Scholarship: Caleb Hinckley and Whisper McDoulett
OCCF Carrie Ann Blakey Memorial Scholarship: Whisper McDoulett