High School Seniors Recognition Service – May 16, 2021

Congratulations Class of 2021 Aubrey Rene Alvarez, Cecily Renee Gibson, Sydnee Kae Haley, Victoria Suzanne Lee, Ella Savannah Shires, and Jack Callen Watlington on your upcoming graduation! On behalf of the First UMC, we are so proud of you and your accomplishments! We wish you the best in your future endeavors!

On Sunday, May 16, 2021, our seniors will be recognized during our 9:00 a.m. worship service. A brunch reception will be held immediately following our worship service. Family, friends and our church congregation are invited to attend Senior Sunday as we honor and recognize our graduates!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Aubrey Rene Alvarez

Aubrey will graduate from Cy Woods High School in Cypress, Texas on June 1, 2021.

Aubrey is the daughter of Rene Alvarez and the late Amber Howard Alvarez Grandparents are Alice Alvarez, and Kenneth and Kathy Hardy

She played on the Volleyball team 2 years, was a member of the choir all 4 years, and was a member of Paws (working at a dog shelter), and Photography.

Aubrey has been accepted to Baylor University and will begin classes in the Fall majoring in Biology.

Aubrey is a member of First United Methodist Church Center, Texas. She also attends church at Bayou City Fellowship in Cypress, Texas.

Cecily Renee Gibson

Cecily Renee Gibson entered the world on June 11, 2003, at 9:42 am in Humble, Texas.  In her first portrait, taken mere moments after her entry into the world, a crying Cecily was covered with this mysterious white, goopy substance.  Cecily had a powerful set of lungs as a child but did not say much.  However, she said enough to earn the eponym “Squawking Crow”.   And, to perpetuate her silence, Cecily would often be found with her middle and ring fingers of her right hand inserted into her mouth.

Cecily was always one of those quiet kids whose brain was always turning.  For her third birthday, she wanted to get married.  When asked to whom, she said no one! – she just wanted to get married.

Her first school was Little Lamb Learning Center in Humble and then Trinity Episcopal in Marshall.  The family moved to Center in 2011 where she has been in Center schools and will graduate in 2021.  Cecily has helped with the church’s sound system since December 2019.

Cecily will be attending the University of Texas at Austin in the fall as part of the Plan II Honors Program.  She will also be part of the Jefferson Scholars program and will major in Anthropology.  Once done with her bachelor’s degree, Cecily wants to apply to medical school. 

Cecily is the daughter of Jim and Janelle Gibson and sister to Celeste.  Her favorite movie is the Twilight Saga, her favorite character is Draco Malfoy.  Her favorite band is The 1975 and her favorite TV show is Parks and Recreation.

Sydnee Kae Haley

Sydnee will graduate from Center High School on May 27, 2021.

Sydnee is the daughter of David & Shelli Haley. Grandparents are Charles and Pat Hall, and Peggy Haley and the late Gene Haley Jr.

She was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, member of FFA, and served 1year in Floriculture.

Sydnee plans to attend Panola College to begin her studies and then transfer to Stephen F. Austin to complete her degree in Education.

Sydnee is a member of First United Methodist Church Center, Texas.

Ella Savannah Shires

Ella began attending FUMC Learning Center at just 16 months old. She had some wonderful teachers and made lifelong friends there. Ella has been a curious and independent child from day one, and her strongest personality traits are her creativity and her sense of humor.

She has tried her hand at many different things over the years, including gymnastics, softball, piano, tae kwon do, tennis, drawing, painting, knitting, and sewing. She has also held a few roles in the church family, including acolyte, MYF member, and music tech volunteer.

Ella has been fortunate to receive support and encouragement from so many people in her life, including former youth pastor Sarah Odom and role model Louise Belcher. 

After graduation, Ella plans to attend the University of Texas and major in Philosophy. Ella is the daughter of Sarah Shires and Stephen Shires.

Victoria Suzanne Lee

Victoria will graduate from Center High School on May 27, 2021.

Victoria is the daughter of Melissa Lee and the late Ric Lee. Grandparents are Gary and Sue Chapman, Bobby Lee and Sue Smith

She played the clarinet in the High School band for 2 years and received 1st place in ensemble, was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, member of FFA where she showed 2 years, earned 3rd place in Market Rabbits and 1st place Grand Champion, served 3 years in Floriculture, 1 year in Skills Team, and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Victoria plans to attend Panola College to begin her studies in Pre-Veterinary.

Victoria is a member of First United Methodist Church Center, Texas.

Jack Callen Watlington

Jack Callen is a complete-package product of Center Schools.  He attended Center Christian Academy for Pre-K and for Kindergarten, then transferred to FL Moffett for first grade.  It was nip-and-tuck for a while there, but he did learn to read in elementary school.

In Middle School, he began his career-long school pursuits, joining the Roughrider Band drum section and the UIL Academic team in 6th grade and the tennis team in 7th grade.  

In high school he continued those passions:

He made the varsity team as a freshman, won the Regional Championship and advanced to state team tennis as a junior, won the District and Regional Championship and will appear in the state tournament with his doubles partner this Wednesday.

Was section leader this year, won awards as the drummer for the jazz band, two years. Used those skills to play in the youth praise band at First Baptist Church and in the First UMC Christmas orchestra.

Appeared in the cast of four one-acts, won multiple appointments to District and post-District All-Star Casts, won one District Championship in debate, won multiple District Championships and National appearances through the National Forensics League, advancing to the national round-of-64 as a junior.

And, according to rumor, was Rowdy the Roughrider (the CHS Mascot) for four years.

He is the son of Chris and Kathy Watlington. He plans to attend Texas A&M to study psychology in the fall.