Each year, the Waxahachie Symphony Association (WSA) hosts a program for high school juniors and seniors which is known as the Belles & Beaus Program.
It is designed for students to further their appreciation of the arts, community service, interview skills for both job and scholarships, and social/life skills.
The goal of the program has been to offer fine arts related activities and experiences for young people that will give a comprehensive overview of music, arts, history and architecture while offering them an opportunity to give back to their community through service projects.
After completion, the Belles & Beaus act as ambassadors, representing the symphony throughout our community and in their futures.
WSA hosted a gala at the end of the program to recognize the Belles &
Beaus at the Waxahachie Civic Center, and a short biography on each student is featured in this article.
Events hosted throughout this year’s program were a trip to Bass Hall and dinner in Fort Worth to see “The Nutty Nutcracker;” a downtown Waxahachie scavenger hunt ending at the Ellis County Museum where Larry and Glinda Felty hosted a very informational session about our community.
Each year Laura Sanders hosts the students to teach “Manners Matter.” This year the association added “Dress Matters,” which was hosted by Rainey Hicks and Caroline Ford.
Edwin and Carol Farrar were on hand to teach students to write the proper thank you notes and social etiquette.
Jennifer Rash taught a class on scholarship skills, followed by Cindy Smith, EVP of CNB of Texas, teaching job interviewing skills.
Smith gave some great tips on what to and what not to wear, texting vs. emailing; ending with basic manners for the person you are interviewing with for a job.
Mike Lee taught a class on “Money Matters,” budgeting and preparation for leaving to attend college.
At WHS, Sean Cagle taught about art appreciation, and how to make a simple clay object with emphasis that all have a creative side, you just need to find it.
Hosts for this year’s program were Lorinda Yates, Jackie Wray and Melissa Ballard.
Learn more details about the program at www.waxahachiesymphony.com. If you are interested in participating in next year’s program, contact Jackie Wray at 214-212-1784, who will host the program for 2013-2014.
2012-2013 Belles & Beaus
Meagan Sias is the daughter of Andy and Mary Sias.
She loves to study theater in school, and was so proud to receive her class ring. Helping homeless people at Christmas time is her favorite community service project.
Sias loved going to see the “Nutty Nutcracker” with Belles & Beaus.
She believes that everything she has learned through Belles & Beaus will be useful to her in the future. She wants to thank Ballard for making Belles & Beaus FUN!
Dalton Bradbury is the son of Chris and Rachel Bradbury and made the decision to participate in the program to be more involved in the community, see new things and learn life lessons that he will need for his future.
Bradbury is a member of the WHS varsity baseball team and is an active member of the Future Farmers of America.
During recognition of the Waxahachie FFA District Convention, he was a recipient of the Lone Star FFA Degree.
Bradbury enjoyed every part of the program because he realized the value of what the program was all about.
He would like to thank his parents for the values and support they give him. Also being a member of the FFA program has been beneficial to his future.
Jaymie Kendrick is the daughter of James and Vicki Kendrick. Her favorite class in school is agricultural education because of the responsibilities that she has learned which will benefit her future and life in general.
The proudest moment in high school has been winning fifth place in the San Antonio Livestock Show because it is very hard to win at major shows.
Her Belles & Beaus favorite activity was art appreciation taught by Sean Cagle of WHS.
“I made a clay elephant and saw my creative side come out,” Kendrick said.
Another important part of Belles & Beaus was learning how to dress for interviews and managing her money when she goes to college and becomes an adult. She stated that she will remember how important this is.
Kendrick wants to thank her mom and dad for chasing her around in all of her different activities, their love and support, and just being there for her.
Tanner Land is the son of Mike and Jennifer Frisbee, and loves history at school.
Land shared that his favorite high school moment has been placing in the top five in state competition for speaking.
His favorite activity was the scavenger hunt and learning how important interview skills are and will be in his future.
He would like to thank the Waxahachie Symphony Association for making this possible and all of the people who worked so hard to make it an awesome experience.
Hailey David is the daughter of Larry and Anna David. For her 16th birthday, she asked all of her friends to bring unwrapped children’s toys that could be donated to CASA instead of gifts for herself.
She realizes that we are all faced with unfortunate things in our lives, and this was a way to give back to her community in a meaningful way.
David is an avid soccer player for the varsity WHS team and participates in select soccer.
She would like to thank her parents for the opportunity of participating in Belles & Beaus so that she can further use what she has learned for her future college and adult years.
David loved seeing “The Nutty Nutcracker” and being able to share time with her friends and chaperones. She thanks Ballard, Yates and Wray along with the Waxahachie Symphony Association for an opportunity and will encourage others to participate.
Ann Churchill is the daughter of Tina Delange. Ann was a varsity cheerleader and graduated in May 2013.
Churchill joined Belles & Beaus looking for an opportunity to learn more about culture, arts and etiquette. She was excited about the fun this program brought, and realizes that all of these things are vital for her future.
Summer Stevens is the daughter of Paul and Jennifer Stevens and musical theater is her favorite school subject.
In high school, Summer’s proudest moment has been when her theater group was nominated for Best Musical two years in a row.
For community service, she has been on a mission trip with her church and that has made her more proud of her community by seeing so many needs of others.
If asked what was her favorite Belles & Beaus experience has been, she said going to see “The Nutty Nutcracker” at Bass Hall.
By being in Belles & Beaus, Summer will use her table etiquette, manners and how to waltz in the future.
Summer would like to thank Yates, Wray and Ballard for making this opportunity so enjoyable and her parents for allowing her to participate.
Tyler Johnson is the son of Bryan and Beth Johnson and is proud to be a member of the WHS varsity baseball team.
His favorite subject in school is ag mechanics.
He said that while working in community service at a clinic last year he helped kids learn the game of baseball.
His favorite activity of Belles & Beaus has been seeing “The Nutty Nutcracker,” and he will use this experience in his future by treating people with respect and be proper when introducing himself.
Tyler would like to thank Wray, Yates and Ballard for volunteering their time to help the students and make Belles & Beaus possible.
Ava Landis is the daughter of Robert and Michelle Landis and loves English at WHS. Her favorite pasttime is her animals.
She is proud that her parents and brothers are role models and set a good example for her every day.
Carolyn Van Zandt
Carolynn Van Zandt is the daughter of Don and Constance Van Zandt. While in high school, she loved English, anatomy and physiology. Her proudest high school moment was during her sophomore year and she was the first student to successfully direct a play in the Black Box. The play was titled “A Typically Atypical Day.”
Van Zandt loves to participate in “Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat” through the WHS Interact Club to collect canned foods instead of candy and all is donated to Waxahachie CARE. She also enjoyed Mums for Emily, where students make mums and garters for special needs kids at the school.
She also participates in D.E.A.R. Day, and loves the mission trips at her church.
Van Zandt would like to thank her parents for convincing her to participate in this program. She also would like to thank the sponsors, especially Ballard, Yates and Wray for being so helpful and enthusiastic during this program as well as all of those who donated their time and resources to hold a class, or to anyone who helped making this program a success.”
She also wants to thank her sister for her beautiful dress, her boyfriend for being so supportive and my brother for dressing up.
Celi Bruce is the daughter of Rick and Angy Bruce.
She loves science at school, and her proudest moment was making the volleyball playoffs. “It was exciting,” she said.
When the Waxahachie Symphony Association held a concert at the Country Lanes Senior Center she said that being there with all the sweet people, it made me very proud.
Bruce loved going to the “Nutty Nutcracker” and out to eat in Fort Worth.
She values learning from Belles & Beaus about the tips on managing money and several things she needs to know before going off to college.
Bruce would like to thank her mom and dad for always being there for her, and her Papa and Gran because they are so special to her.
Kaily Yates is the daughter of Brad and Lorinda Yates. Her favorite school subject is agriculture, which is something she shares with her brother and dad.
Yates’ proudest high school moment was when she was elected district officer for FFA.
“It showed me that if you have confidence in yourself, anything is possible,” she said.
As far as community service, her proudest service moment would be Special Olympics. She said, “I love seeing the kids enjoy the simplest things.”
Yates said Belles & Beaus has taught her the essentials to be prim and proper in a glamorous way.
She enjoyed the “Nutty Nutcracker,” because they got to dress up, eat at a nice restaurant and watch a funny play.
She would like to thank her parents and all of her family for their support. “Also, I would like to thank my friends and especially my best friend Molly,” Yates said.
April Goss is the daughter of Karl and Annette Goss. Her favorite subject in school is English, and she is proud of participating in “Kiss Me Kate,” which was performed on the stage at the Dallas Summer Musicals award show. That made her very proud.
Goss’ proudest community service moment was doing mission work with her church’s youth group (Central Presbyterian Church).
“My favorite memory is going to the ‘cardboard’ cities under the bridges of downtown Dallas and feeding, visiting and praying with the homeless,” Goss said.
Her favorite Belles & Beaus activity was attending the “Nutty Nutcracker” and dancing with the senior citizens at the Senior Citizens Center during the holidays.
“I have learned a lot of good tips on how to present myself when interviewing for scholarships,” Goss said.
She would like to thank her mom – “Because she is the most supportive person I know. She has been there for me through everything this year, the ups and downs. I always know she will be there for me.”
Molly Jeffcoat is the daughter of Terry and Margie Jeffcoat. Molly’s favorite school subject is English, and her proudest high school moment was being selected as captain of the volleyball team for the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
She loved going to the Bass Hall and seeing the “Nutty Nutcracker.”
For her future, she will always remember learning proper table manners from Sanders.
Ortiz would like to thank her parents for all of their love and support and her best friend Kaily Yates for always being there for her.
Ariel Ortiz is the daughter of Eloy and April Ortiz. Her favorite school subject is anatomy.
She is proudest of committing to playing college softball at Texas State University. She loved being able to participate in the WSA concert at the Country Lanes Senior Center and dancing with the seniors. She also loved the scavenger hunt.
Learning to manage her money from Lee was something she will always remember to use in the future.
Ortiz would like to thank her dad, Eloy, for being the best coach she has ever had.
Zoe Noonkester is the daughter of Scott and Christie Noonkester. At WHS, Zoe is a varsity cheerleader and a member of the Waxahachie FFA program. Zoe was also recognized at the Waxahachie FFA District Convention where she was a recipient of the Lone Star FFA Degree.
Noonkester would like to thank her parents for their continued love and support. As an only child, she has a strong relationship with her family, but knows they will continue to support whatever she chooses to pursue.
Chase Barksdale, the son of Jay and Monique Barksdale, said that his favorite school subject is history. He is most proud of earning his Eagle Scout rank.
He works on church mission trips and said his proudest community service moment was serving others.
Barksdale’s favorite activity of Belles & Beaus was the downtown scavenger hunt, and he will be able to take part of his manners class into the future with him, which included learning to use a soup spoon.
He would like to thank his mom and dad for supporting him in all that he does.
Logan Dorsett is the son of Scott and Johnna McCutchen Dorsett. His favorite subject in school is English, and his proudest moment is being a part of the WHS Indian baseball team.
Dorsett’s proudest community service moment has been to interact with the Waxahachie Symphony Association, and especially the seniors at the Country Lane Senior Center.
“It was very exciting to see how happy they were, and I was honored to be a part of that celebration,” he said.
He has learned a lot from this experience, but the one he will use the most is how to deal with interviews.
He would like to thank Ballard, Yates and Wray for volunteering their time this year.
“None of this would be possible without them,” he said.
Logan also would like to thank his family and most importantly, his parents for the examples they have set. “I wouldn’t be where I am today or the person I am without them,” he said.
Joseph Rawls is the son of Don and Rhodie Rawls. Josephs’ favorite subject in school is math, and his proudest high school moment is having the highest average in chemistry class.
When you ask Joseph about his proudest community service moment, he shares feeding the homeless in downtown Dallas and talking with a homeless man about attending AA.
To learn how to waltz (while dancing alone at practice) was Joseph’s favorite Belles & Beaus activity and learning from Lee’s money management class.
Rawls said Belles & Beaus taught him how to better become an adult.
He would like to thank his parents for adopting an angry little boy and showing him their Godly example of how to be the kind of person he wants to be.
Conner Maines is the son of Mike and Ginger Robinson and Joe and Marcy Maines. Connor loves math and is proud that he is in the top 10 percent of his class.
Conner shared that his favor
ite community service moment was WOW (Worship outside the Walls) at First United Methodist Church.
“WOW has helped me to realize we don’t have to travel around the world to help others who are less fortunate. We have members right here in our community who appreciate and need our support.”
His favorite activity was money management by Mike Lee. He hopes it will stick with
“Everything we learned from Belles & Beaus we can use in the future. All of the classes were great! I can use my new interview and resumé skills as I prepare for college interviews. I have learned how to dress for success and now I know how to eat properly and how to use all the utensils.”
Maines would like to thank all the adults who put in their time and hard work to make this year possible and for being fun chaperones. He said that he had a great time. He also thanks his mom for being the best dance partner in the world.
A Rotary Exchange Student Thibaut Chavet, from Belgium, is the oldest of four siblings and his father is in the medical field. His mother is an educator.
Chavet loves the theater and placed All District in the One Act Play while at WHS. Returning to Belgium, he will continue his studies at university after he has officially graduated high school there. Chavet had the privilege of staying with host families Mike and Ann Lee and Bob and Sherry Dyess.
Courtney Stripland is the daughter of Elizabeth Stripland. Not growing up in Waxahachie, Courtney did not realize what a great community it would be. She joined Belles & Beaus in order for further her life skills and brighten her future.
Courtney is a varsity cheerleader for WHS and loves to be with her friends.
Her participation in Belles & Beaus has been a fun thing and helped her to meet more friends. She loved the “Nutty Nutcracker” performance and hanging out in Sundance Square.
Stripland also would like to express her thanks to her sponsors, and that everyone should do a “downtown scavenger” hunt to learn more about Waxahachie.
Laura Fortuna is a Rotary Exchange Student from Sicily for the 2012-2013 school year. While at WHS, she made the varsity tennis team, was very active in the Interact Club and loved making new friends.
Her host families, Rotarian Nan Udell and Rotarians Vicki and Glen Rowe, were honored to have Laura in their homes while here in America for exchange.
After the school year, Laura took a Rotary Exchange trip across the United States and soaked up everything she could about America.
Her mother came to Waxahachie during spring break and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Tierney Thomison is the daughter of Dr. James and Geri Thomison. She loves high school English and her proudest moment has been being selected as the 2013 District 28-4A MVP.
In community service, she is proud of her accomplishment of coordinating a book drive and establishing a library at the Tori-Tori Elementary school in the Phillipines.
She has enjoyed Belles & Beaus, but her favorite thing was dance practice with her dad.
Thomison learned that Belles & Beaus has given her the ability to use social etiquette and professional elements that will apply to her everyday life.
She would like to thank the Belles & Beaus committee Ballard, Wray and Yates for giving her the opportunity to be a part of such a great program.
She would also like to thank her parents for inspiring her to work hard in everything that she does and to never give up.
“They are always there for her and without them, I would not be the young lady that I am today,” Thomison said.
She would also like to thank God for all of the blessings in her life.
Lisa Trevino is the daughter of Lupe Roselinda Trevino and enjoys English as her favorite subject.
Her proudest high school moment was defeating the Red Oak varsity volleyball team last year.
While doing community service, she loves the feeling of knowing that she has made a difference in the lives of others.
The “Nutty Nutcracker” was her favorite Belles & Beaus activity. Learning how to do a successful interview from Smith and Rash for jobs or scholarships is what she knows she can take in the future with her.
Trevino would like to thank her parents for always supporting her in everything she chooses to do, and the sponsors of the Belles & Beaus program for making this experience enjoyable.
Manners matter was her favorite Belles & Beaus activity, and learning how to conduct herself properly at an interview. She said she has learned a great deal about scholarships and feels more comfortable stepping out of her comfort zone and knowing which fork to use.
Beth Davis is the daughter of Patti Collier. History is her favorite subject in school, and she loves being in the WHS Band. Her proudest high school moment is performing with the band when they earned sixth place at the 4A state competition.
Her proudest moment of community service is working with her youth group on mission projects. She loved the dance lessons through the Belles & Beaus program, and the thing she will take with her from this experience will be how to write thank you notes.
She would like to thank her grandmother, Ann Shank, as she encouraged her to participate in Belles & Beaus and inspired her to learn how to be a proper young lady.
Mica Mottla is the daughter of Anthony and Laura Mottla and English is her favorite subject in school.
She plays soccer and making the varsity soccer team has been her proudest high school moment.
Mottla loves volunteering for Meals on Wheels and talking to the elderly people.
While participating in Belles & Beaus, her favorite activity was the Scavenger Hunt. She also has learned that interviewing skills are something you will need your whole life, either in scholarships or jobs.
She would like to thank Yates and Ballard for taking the initiative to set up certain situations and planning the meetings to prepare for a successful future. She also wants to thank her mom and dad for encouraging her to follow her dreams.
Jake Loose is the son of Greg and Julie Loose.He is an avid baseball fan, playing varsity on the WHS team.
Loose volunteers for many community service projects, and is proud to be involved with Belles & Beaus.
He said he is proud that his parents give him the support to succeed in everything he does.