CHS students honored at Decision Day event

by May 1, 2018COMMUNITY sgadugi

DECISION: Macie Welch (right) receives a Certificate of Recognition from Kelley Canaday, CMS and CHS family and consumer sciences teacher, during the school’s first annual Decision Day event at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center on the morning of Tuesday, May 1. Welch, one of 30 students recognized during the event, has committed to attend LSU (Louisiana State University) this fall. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather)





Cherokee High School held its first annual Decision Day event at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center on the morning of Tuesday, May 1 to honor the seniors who have committed to a college or university, technical school, or military service after graduation.  A total of 30 seniors were recognized during the event.

“Once a Brave, always a Brave,” said Craig Barker, Cherokee High School assistant principal, as he opened the program.  “As you enter this next phase of your life, always remember who you represent and always know that we will support you in any way that we can.”

Deb Foerst, Cherokee High School principal, noted, “Today marks a momentous occasion for Cherokee High School as we host our very first Decision Day event for our seniors.  A few individuals here at CHS had a vision for an academic-type signing event for graduating seniors, but Sky Sampson, of the WCU Cherokee Center, played a major role in bringing this vision to fruition, and we certainly appreciate their efforts.”

Speaking to the family members of the students, Foerst said, “You are the main reason these students are taking this step.  Your support of their efforts is incomparable.  You had dreams for your child from the moment you held him or her in your arms or the moment they stepped into your lives.  Today marks the culmination of some of those dreams.  Thank you families for allowing us to work with your students and helping us to grow Cherokee High School academically, athletically, culturally, and artistically.”

To the seniors, Foerst commented, “You have worked for years to reach this pinnacle, and we all look forward to your continued success beyond Cherokee High School.  Of the 77 students slated to graduate on June 2, 30 of you are here making a commitment and 12 more of you are awaiting acceptance confirmation or delayed admission until 2019 or are still making a final decision.  At a time when college attendance rates are dropping across the country, our college attendance rate is increasing.  Last year, it was around 30 percent, and this year it’s over 50 percent.”

The following CHS seniors were given a Certificate of Recognition during the event:

  • Nolan Arkansas, Yale University
  • Isaiah Bowman, U.S. Army
  • Demetryus Bradley, Mars Hill University
  • Marlee Bradley, Young Harris College
  • Chance Bryant, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Matthew Climbingbear, Guilford College
  • Ayla Cruz, Southwestern Community College
  • Will Davis, Brevard College
  • Eason Esquivel, AMDA (American Musical & Dramatic Academy)
  • Nate Evans, Cape Fear Community College
  • Latika French, Southwestern Community College
  • Scarlett Guy, Duke University
  • Joanna Kalonaheskie, Southwestern Community College
  • Samantha Lee, Southwestern Community College
  • Byron Locust, Brevard College
  • Tye Mintz, Kennesaw State University
  • Zak Perez, Brevard College
  • Robin Reed, Lincoln Memorial University
  • Andrew Reese, U.S. Coast Guard
  • CeAnna Saunooke, N.C. Wesleyan College
  • Ashley Shaal, Southwestern Community College
  • Seth Sneed, Lincoln Tech
  • Natasha Walk, Southwestern Community College
  • Anya Walsh, Appalachian State University
  • Macie Welch, LSU (Louisiana State University)

Several students were unable to attend Tuesday’s event but were recognized as well including:

  • Jonah Bernhisel, Fire Academy
  • Gavin Squirrel, Southwestern Community College
  • Shanenon Wolfe, Western Carolina University
  • Holden Straughan, Lenior-Rhyne University

Following the presentation of certificates, Sampson praised the students for their hard work and dedication.  “We’re really proud of the students today and the decisions they have made in choosing their futures.”

To view or purchase photos from this event, visit: