Retiring Assistant Principal Has Picture Perfect Last Day

" We need to get the National Honor Society coming in," says Julie Davis as 342 graduating Nacogdoches High School students parade into the gym for a senior picture. Oh, how many times has Davis said that? Twenty four to be exact.  " Get close together here," chimes out Davis over a microphone. Any graduate knows that adds up to  "between 7-8,000," said Davis, who calculated it out the night before her last day.

Davis has been conducting high school graduation pictures and rehearsals so long that she knows exactly where to tell the graduates to sit so they won't end up in the crease of the yearbook.   Controlling excited graduating seniors is like wrangling cats, but Davis has it down. Over the speaker Davis attempts to control some unruly senior men.  " Hey guys, listen to me. Pay attention. Come here." And they do listen. Davis is the kind of principal kids want to please. Graduate Jill Kiesel said, " She always has a smile on her face and is always willing to help out." Another honor student, Justin Noroozian said, " I got to be really close with Mrs. Davis. She always helped me. I feel honor and privileged. I love you Mrs Davis, thank you."

Davis handled her last graduation picture with ease, but she's certain emotions will take over at Friday night's ceremony.   With a quiver in her voice she answered,  " Can't even talk about it. I know when they play the graduation march, I'll start crying." She is capable of talking about the confidence she has in Nacogdoches High School graduates. Davis said, " I tell the kids all the time they're my future and I love to see my future."  She advises parents, " To always stay involved, up to their senior year."

The days before this dedicated educator may no longer be in the classroom, but she'll always remain a NHS Dragon at heart. With a shaky voice, Davis said with a smile, " I'm going to miss the kids." Then she looked back to the graduates in their caps and gowns and instructed them to smile on the count of three.