LaVerne Roach & Nelda Laney Award Nominees

Ten Plainview High School senior girls have been selected as nominees for the Nelda McQuien Laney Award.

This prestigious award, established this year in memory of the “First Lady of West Texas” Nelda McQuien Laney, recognizes a senior girl who is in good standing at PHS, exhibits the traits of leadership and good citizenship, and is involved in student organizations at Plainview High School.

The ten nominees for this year’s award, selected by a vote of the senior class, include Lauren Alderete, Abby Cain, Julissa Chavez, Alyssa Gonzales, Amanda Holt, Lauren Hukill, Alyssa Hurta, Jesse Long, Sayler Scarborough, and Kayla Soto. The award recipient will be determined later this week by vote of the whole PHS student body.

Nelda Laney graduated from Plainview High School in 1961 and with honors from Texas Tech University in 1965.  She was married to former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives James “Pete” Laney for 53 years. She served as National President of the Texas Tech Alumni Association and Chair of the Merket Alumni Center expansion. She created a series of collectible Texas Capitol ornaments for the continued preservation and educational programming of the Capitol. Between 1996 and 2002, Nelda handled all phases of the project and sold more than 300,000 ornaments generating more than $2 million for the Texas Statehouse. She served on the boards of The Texas Book Festival, Friends of Texas Library and Archives, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,  and Greater Texas Community Partners.

Nelda was a member of numerous organization including Kappa Alpha Theta, the Omega Delphi Study Club, and Caprock District Women's Club. She served as co-chair of the Capitol Fund Drive, which raised private funds for furnishing the renovated Texas Capitol, and as vice chair of the Texas Capitol Restoration Celebration. Nelda was honored with the Lauro F. Cavazos Award by the Texas Tech Alumni Association, was a Texas Tech University College of Education Distinguished Alumni and was the first recipient of the Woman of Achievement Award from the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs. She also received a Special Recognition for her work on the Capitol Restoration by the Texas Women's Alliance and was a recipient of the Star of Texas Preservation Award for Capitol Restoration. She was named Woman of the Year in Plainview and Hale Center, inducted into the Future Homemakers of America Texas Hall of Fame and honored as a Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts. 

Profiles of the nominated seniors:

Lauren Alderete, daughter of Rick and Jan Sanchez, plans to attend Southwestern Assembly of God University to major in Special Education and play softball. She has been active in softball. She has also participated in FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), PHS Ambassadors, and FAC. 

Abby Cain, daughter of Meredith and Chad Cain, plans to attend Texas Tech University and major in Kinesiology on a Pre-Occupational Therapy track. Abby plans on becoming a Pediatric Occupational Therapist.  At PHS, she has participated in varsity cheerleading and Acappella Choir.

Julissa Chavez, daughter of Martin and Sandra Chavez, plans to attend West Texas A&M University and major in Education. She has participated in varsity volleyball, varsity basketball and varsity track. She is a member of NTHS (National Technical Honor Society).

Alyssa Gonzales, daughter of Ninfa and Joe Gonzales, plans to attend South Plans College until she completes her basics and will then transfer to Texas Tech University where she will major in Kinesiology. Alyssa wants to have a career in Occupational Therapy. She has participated in Varsity Cheerleading.

Amanda Holt, daughter of Kent and Donna Holt, plans to attend Texas Tech University and major in Biology. She plans on having a career in the medical field and help others. At PHS, she has been involved in band, NHS (National Honor Society), NTHS (National Technical Honor Society), FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), and Snack Shack.

Lauren Hukill, daughter of Kregg and Lezlie Hukill, plans to attend Texas Tech University and pursue a degree in Communication Studies. Lauren plans to pursue a career in Event Planning. She is involved in Student Council, NHS (National Honor Society), Acappella Choir, and Chamber Singers. 

Alyssa Hurta, daughter of Dina Savage and Kirby Hurta, plans to attend Baylor University to major in Psychology and Nueroscience on the Pre-Physical Therapy Track route. Alyssa plans on becoming a Physical Therapist. Alyssa has been involved in Band, Acappella Choir, Student Council, Debate, Academic UIL, NHS (National Honor Society), Texas Future Music Educators Association, and FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America).

Jesse Long, daughter of Rachel and Blaine Long, plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in English to eventually work towards a medical degree. She has been involved in Basketball, NHS (National Honor Society), Acappella, Chamber Singers, and One Act Play. 

Sayler Scarborough, daughter of Jennifer and John Scarborough, plans to attend the University of Texas in Austin where she will major in Corporate Communications and minoring in Journalism. She has participated in FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), Varsity Tennis, Varsity Cheerleader, DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), Plainview High School Young Republicans, NHS (National Honor Society), NTHS (National Technical Honor Society) and Student Council.

Kayla Soto, daughter of Kristen Rodriguez, plans to attend South Plans College and major in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She has participated in Volleyball and Track for all four years of High School, two years of FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), and half a year in Student Council.

Ten Plainview High School senior boys have been nominated for the 2018 LaVern Roach Memorial Award, the most prestigious honor given to a PHS male graduating senior. 

The award is named in honor of LaVern Roach, a 1943 PHS graduate and welterweight boxing champion who died from injuries received in the ring in 1950. 

Roach’s widow, Evelyn Roach Trice, established the award in 1950 to promote clean living, good citizenship and sportsmanship.

Nominees are selected by vote of the senior class. The award recipient will be determined later this week by popular vote of the entire student body.

This year’s nominees are Brian Abanonu, Josue Alonso, Isaac Castillo, Adrian Gill, Logan Patrick, Matthew Perry, Ruben Salinas, Joshua Snellgrove, Andrew Villa, and Cody Wright. 

Bryan Abanonu, grandson of Felicia Emeshae, plans to attend West Texas A&M where he will major in Pre-Med. He participated in Varsity Football, NHS (National Honor Society), Varsity Basketball and CNA (Certified Nurses Assistant) courses.

Josue Alonso, son of Esmeralda and Santiago Alonso, plans to attend South Plans College and become an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse). He participated in CNA (Certified Nurses Assistant) courses, Powerlifting, Football and FCA (Future Christian Athletes). 

Isaac Castillo, son of Nissa Castillo and Greg Castillo, plans to attend West Texas A&M University and major in mathematics and receive a coaching certificate. He played football and participated in Instructional Practice of Education and Training. 

Adrian Gill, son of Amalia and Rolando Gill, plans to attend South Plains College in Lubbock for one year, then transfer to Texas Tech to major in Psychology. Adrian participated in football, Track, Powerlifting, and Theatre. 

Logan Patrick, son of Jennifer and Kevin Patrick, plans to attend Miami University where he will major in Physics and Engineering to eventually have a career in Theoretical Physics. At PHS he participated in Football, FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), NHS (National Honor Society), FTC Robotics, and Basketball. 

Matthew Perry, son of Denita Smiley and Carl Smiley, is undecided about where he will attend college but will be majoring in accounting. He has participated in UIL Math & Science team, Band, Cross Country, Track and Anime Club. 

Ruben Salinas III, son of Diana and Navor Ochoa, plans to attend South Plains College and major in Criminal Justice. He played on the Varsity Football Team for PHS. 

Joshua Snellgrove, son of Julie and Brad Snellgrove, is undecided about where he will attend college but will be majoring in Business Management. While at PHS, he participated in Hale County Jr. Literacy Council, Varsity Track, Varsity Football, Varsity Basketball, Acappella, and NHS (National Honor Society). He also participated in Harvest Christian Fellowship's Kid City Team, Greeting Team and Youth Leadership Team.

Andrew Villa, son of Sandra and Enrique Villa, plans to attend Wayland Baptist University and play football. He will be majoring in Biology in hopes of becoming a Pediatrician. While at PHS, he played Varsity Football and Varsity Baseball. He also participated in National Honor Society. 

Cody Wright, son of Randi and Brett Wright, plans to attend Texas Tech University where he will study Biology to earn a medical degree and become a surgeon.  While at PHS, he participated in Band, NHS (National Honor Society), Pharmacology, Football, Powerlifiting and Jazz Band.