DHS Academic Signing Day 2022

DHS Academic Signing Day: DeSoto High School Class of 2022 Seniors Prepared to Embrace the Future
Posted on 05/06/2022
DHS Students and District Leaders at 2022 Signing Day Event

 Cheers, smiles, and applause arose from the risers in the Chris Dyer Gymnasium from family and student supporters as several DeSoto High School Class of 2022 seniors publicly declared their post-secondary commitments and the announcement of their receipt of full-tuition scholarships during the DHS Academic Signing Day on April 29. 

The tables clad in the college or military paraphernalia enclosed by balloon towers and other decors lined the perimeter of the hardwood floor as evidence that this senior class celebration was comprised of students pursuing post-secondary education at a mix of NCAA Division I universities, HBCUs, and the U.S. Navy and Marine military branches.


“We are here celebrating academics and I am so proud. This is the number one goal for us, as educators, for you to be sitting in the seats that you are sitting in right now,” said Dr. James McBride, DHS senior principal as he gazed across the room at the students alongside their parents, some of whom he knew as a middle school administrator. “All of the other things, like prom, are nice but this is the highlight of the work we do.”

DHS senior Mikayla McNutt, who is one of four seniors attending Texas Christian University as a Community Scholar and also received the designation as National College Board Scholar earlier this school year, has etched this day in her memory.

“It was amazing to see all of my peers being recognized for the hard work they have done. To witness this and be a part of it is something that is very memorable for me,” said McNutt, still smiling in awe about the reality of this event.  

Ms. Kesha Fuller, the mother of Mikalya McNutt, was full of pride as she recounted the moment her daughter signed her college letter of intent to become a TCU Horned-frog. 

“Oh, it was one of the proudest moments I have had in my life next to giving birth to her. I am proud of her and all of these students because their hard work and dedication are paying off,” said Fuller as she continued speaking about the value of Mikayla’s attending school in DeSoto since middle school. “I feel that DeSoto ISD is doing a wonderful job and has plenty of role models to lead students and prepare them for their future. Mikayla is more prepared than I ever was to attend college. I believe that she is “all the way” ready and I have no worries about her stepping onto the TCU campus.” 

DeSoto Early College High School Class of 2022 senior Javion Looney is not only attending Prairie View A&M University to major in computer science, but he is also making the leap from the DHS Eagle Band to join the pride of the PVAMU Panthers -The Marching Storm band.

“This event made me realize that I am really close to the next chapter, and in all the ways that I can be, I am ready,” said Looney, who will receive his associate degree from Dallas College, Cedar Valley campus. “DeSoto has given me the experience of taking college courses and the rigor of the teaching, being on time and staying on schedule and prepared.” 

Looney and his mom, Michelle embraced twice as they discussed the reality of this next journey. “This is a bittersweet moment for us. Javion is our last son going to college and we will soon be empty nesters,” said Ms. Looney looking at her son. “I love my baby so it is a rollercoaster moment, but I am so excited for him and I think he is ready.”

In addition to receiving full-tuition scholarships, many of the students were also preparing for their future through their involvement in several student organizations, CTE certification training, and athletic and academic programs offered through the district.

DHS senior Cidney Wash, the soon-to-be Texas A&M University Aggie, has served as a student athletic trainer since her seventh-grade year and is now an all-state student athletic trainer, a senior class officer, and National Honor Society treasurer, and former fine arts dance student. 

Clad in full A&M Aggie attire and holding up the famed “gig’em aggie pose, Wash says that she  will miss her days in the land of the green and gold, but knows DeSoto ISD has prepared her to succeed in college as a Kinesiology major.

“At first, it felt like a normal day but when they started making the announcements, I began to get emotional and had to hold back tears,” shared Wash who has attended school in DeSoto since sixth grade. “I feel that DeSoto played a huge role in helping me get a full-tuition scholarship to this school. And I am appreciative of the help and encouragement I received from teachers, especially Ms. Dewberry and Ms. Anderson.”  

Both Wash and McNutt spoke about the victory of their high school journey and hope other students will persevere to reach this treasured milestone. “Take your grades seriously and don't give up no matter how hard it feels,” said Wash. “I promise, you will look back when you get to this moment and be so glad that you did.” 

McNutt encouraged, “You may not know where you are going or what you plan to do, but think of all the things that you can accomplish and know that regardless of your choice you are going to make an impact.”

DeSoto prides itself on creating pathways to future readiness for its students with dual credit, early college, advanced placement, and career technical education programs and is constantly working to increase the percentage of students who graduate college, career, and military ready. This focus helps DeSoto ISD to continue fulfilling its mission to ensure that every student can learn and grow at their highest levels.

The following students participated in the DHS Academic Signing Day:

  • Kejuan Burnett - Texas Southern University (AP Program, Top Ten Student, A-Honor Roll)
  • Dynasty Coe -Texas Christian University (AP/Dual Credit Programs, Top Ten Student, TCU Community Scholar, Varsity Volleyball - 1st team, All-District and All-State Academic, National Honor Society, Bright Future Organization-Founder)
  • Rachel Compton - Texas Southern University (Early College High School -Associate Degree)
  • Diamond Diaz - U.S. Marine Corps (AP Programs, Athletics, Varsity Soccer)
  • Angelique Flowers  -  Texas A&M University (CTE Program - Health Sciences - Phlebotomy, Top Ten, National Honor Society)
  • Stephanie Gonzales - U.S. Navy (AP/Dual Credit Programs, Top Ten, National Honor Society, JROTC)
  • Christopher Hamilton - Tennessee State University (Early College High School, Academic Merit Scholar)
  • Olivia Harper - Tuskegee University (Early College High School/ AP/ Dual Credit Programs)
  • Winter Harris - Texas Christian University (AP Program, Career and Technical Education - Certified Nurses Assistant and Floral Design,  Student Council Treasurer,  TCU Community Scholar, Future Farmers of America - Vice President, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, DeSoto Teen Council, Theater Club,  Early Graduate ( 1 year ahead), 150+ Community Service Hours, Partnered with American Red Cross to host blood drives for sickle cell African American patients, and helped Desoto become #2 in the USA with the most African American donors. )