And in last week’s story, The Progress got the names of the 2014 TRHS valedictorian and salutatorian wrong. Reversed, as a matter of fact.
But here is the correct information, offered with full editorial apologies: Sheaniece White, 18, made valedictorian, and Mikaila Rushing, 18, salutatorian.
Despite the error, Sheaniece was in good spirits Friday. Her victory was excellent news for her, because her status provides her with the means—in the form of a special scholarship—to pay for a fifth year of college.
“It’s great,” she said with a smile. “But I was pretty nervous for awhile.”
The race was insanely close. Victory was achieved by less than one point.
“It was .06 I think,” Sheaniece explained Friday as she prepared to cross the stage at graduation. “That’s like nothing—nothing.”
For some time, the valedictorian-salutatorian results were too close for administrators to tell. During initial interviews with these two top brains weeks ago, school officials were still in the process of reviewing and re-evaluating scores and grades on both students.
Name reversal is not unheard of—especially in U.S. elections.
In 1948, for instance, the Chicago Tribune incorrectly announced that New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey defeated incumbent Harry S. Truman in the race for president. The opposite was true.
And in 2000, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram prematurely—and at that point, incorrectly—announced that George W. Bush had won the presidential election outright. (Later, calculations determined Bush was the winner. But at the time of the original 2000 election, scores were being sifted through, and the results were too close to tell.)
Of course, those presidential races were fueled by votes, not grades.
Sheaniece starts majoring in accounting at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall. She hopes to eventually become an accountant or at the very least have a CPA-type of career.
Meanwhile, Mikaila, 18, said she was happy the waiting is over. It had started to become stressful—even though Sheaniece is a close friend she has known since fifth grade.
“This has been in the background of our friendship the entire time,” Mikaila said.
In the fall, Mikaila plans to major in journalism at the University of Texas in Austin.
The Sheaniece White-Mikaila Rushing reversal is not the only misstep in the 2014 graduation coverage.
Cecilia Lynn Benavidez, 18, graduated from George West High School last week. But her photo was accidentally left out of the special graduation tab.
A photo of Cecilia is included along with this story.
(Some excerpts of Sheaniece’s and Mikaila’s interviews are available for viewing in online video presentation on www.mySouTex.com.)