Promise kept during the 14th annual EHS academic signing day
El Dorado High School held its 14th annual academic signing day on Wednesday.
The ceremony celebrated 300 senior graduates receiving the El Dorado Promise scholarship offered through the school district’s partnership with the Murphy Oil Corporation.
EHS Director Sherry Hill read each senior’s names as they walked to their seats, where they found their academic letters of intent waiting for them.
El Dorado Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer read a proclamation she signed officially declaring on Wednesday April 28 that Academic Signing Day in El Dorado rekindled the festivities.
Next, Sylvia Thompson, director of El Dorado Promise, addressed all of the attendees, reading a number of the promotion’s accomplishments. Among those accomplishments, nearly 40 seniors received literate jackets, and student Ella Langridge was named a National Merit Finalist.
After thunderous applause in recognition of the achievements read, R. Madison Murphy, member of the board of directors of the Murphy Oil Corporation. Before he could get into his remarks, Murphy coughed several times and joked, “I promise I don’t have COVID,” eliciting laughter from the audience.
He spoke about the economic challenges that Murphy Oil has recently faced and the difficult decision to consolidate and move its offices to Houston. He also spoke about the importance for the company to keep its promise to El Dorado.
“It was important for the company to put this in the press release,” Murphy said. “It was important for our management and board to keep our promise. Plus, in your final year, you would all have the reassurance and certainty of the El Dorado promise.
Arkansas House of Representatives Speaker Matthew Shepherd R-El Dorado introduced keynote speaker, University of Arkansas men’s basketball head coach Eric Musselman.
Shepherd, who is an EHS graduate himself, began by thanking Murphy and the Murphy Oil Corporation, and asked the audience to do the same with applause. As the applause began, members of the audience began to stand, culminating in a standing ovation, leaving Murphy visually touched by the gesture.
“We should never take this for granted,” Shepherd said. “Not a month goes by where I have another lawmaker or someone outside of Arkansas asking me how they can make a pledging program where they are. The answer is they can’t, because we have something rare and unique. “
Shepherd said the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had not approved Musselman’s in-person appearance at the ceremony. He went on to express his frustration with the decision.
“Coach Musselman wanted to be here today,” Shepherd said. “The University of Arkansas wanted him to be here today… It’s unfortunate the NCAA didn’t approve this request, and I made sure to let the NCAA know what I thought of their decision. . Coach Musselman and the University of Arkansas believe in the El Dorado promise and they believe in the students here today.
After Shepherd’s remarks, the lights were dimmed and a video was shown outside the auditorium showing Coach Musselman in what appeared to be his varsity office dealing with the EHS class of 2021.
“As I learned more about the El Dorado promise and the academic prowess they represent, the more excited I became,” Musselman said. “Anyone who knows me knows I’m an analyst, I love studying the numbers, and as I started writing my screening report on this group, I was blown away by what you and your comrades did. class were able to accomplish. Together you have achieved an exceptional graduation rate of over 90%. Over 85% of you will go to college. Many of you will be the first in your family to do so. In fact, some of you are the first in your family to graduate from high school. It’s extraordinary. “
After Musselman’s speech, El Dorado Public School Superintendent Jim Tucker came to the podium to lead the signing of the academic letters of intent.
“Parents, you should be extremely proud,” Tucker said. “The El Dorado promise will save you $ 50,000. Thanks Murphy Oil Corporation. “
“If every student sitting in front of me took full advantage of the El Dorado promise, we are looking ahead of me to save $ 14 million. That’s a pretty large number of guys, ”he added.
Tucker then told each student to pick up their letters of intent and sign them to his account of three. After the letters were signed, another round of applause followed.
The seniors then stood up and gathered for the senior group photo, which is an annual tradition on signing day. There was even a cardboard cutout of Eric Musselman held by President Matthew Shepherd to make sure he was included in the tradition.
See more pictures here.