Inagural class inducted for Wall of Honor
In the Main Street hallway, just inside the entrance to the school, hang nine new plaques with the stories of nine alumni who went on to achieve greatness in their respective fields.
“What a great honor it is to be inducted,” retired NFL player and class of ‘96 graduate Josh Williams said during the first Wall of Honor induction ceremony Friday night. “These other honorees are great men and women and I feel blessed to be here.”
The plaques solidify the alumni into Cy Creek history. They represent dreams that turned to reality.
Like the careers of the nine former graduates recognized, the new Wall of Honor started off as a dream for former principal Jim Wells, who retired in 2012.
“Long ago we vowed Cypress Creek High School and its community deserves something like this to preserve its rich history and the legacy of numerous outstanding student bodies,” Wells said. “This wall will perpetually serve as a tribute to those former Cougars who have gone forth in the world, and accomplished remarkable things after they left the confines of Cypress Creek High School.”
Despite a scratchy voice, the result of a recent cold, new Principal Sandy Trujillo welcomed the honorees, family members, staff, students and other invited guests to the dinner and ceremony.
“This wall shows the students who came before them and what they did,” Trujillo said. “It gives students encouragement to continue to reach their goals.”
Student council members introduced each inductee, culinary arts students prepared the meal and band members played the school song as the plaques were unveiled.
During the ceremony, broadcast journalist and ‘92 graduate Rachel McNeill said she found herself and came out of her shell in high school.
“I had great encouragement here,” she said. “I learned about leadership and creativity that got me to the level I wanted to be at.”
Now an anchor and reporter for KPRC-TV Channel 2 News, McNeill said it was overwhelming to be back on campus and inducted onto the wall.
“It makes you reflect on your days when you were figuring out the person you wanted to be,” she said. “I really feel that Cy Creek was the place I realized I wanted to go into television news.”
The Wall of Honor class inducted also included:
musician Richard Stout, Class of ‘82, who performed with the Cleveland Symphony, one of the four top-tiered symphonies in the country;
environmental scientist Erin Christine Pettit, Class of ‘89, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Alaska and renowned explorer;
football players Sam Adams, Class of ‘91, who won Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens, and Dan Neil, Class of ‘92, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos;
dancer and actor Nick Drago, Class of ‘99, and son of librarian Gail Drago, who co-hosts “Nick and Desiree’s Infinite Dance Cast” on iTunes and has appeared on shows like “Glee” and “How I Met Your Mother;”
U.S. Air Force Academy graduate Katie Dildy Goossen, Class of ‘00, director of human resources for Scaled Composites of Mojave, Calif., creators of the first-ever privately funded spaceship;
baseball player Paul Janish, Class of ’01, a starting shortstop for the Atlanta Braves.