, Muskogee, OK

May 1, 2013

Roughers gain honors as volunteers

Nine seniors earn silver cord for 300 hours

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Mission trips, golf tournaments and working at city hall were some ways Muskogee High School students helped their community and world.

Such projects also helped 33 MHS students earn credits for the school’s Rougher 300 program. The students, who earned nonacademic credit hours for community service and church projects, were honored Tuesday at the annual Roughers 300 Banquet.

Rougher 300 encourages students to volunteer for nonprofit organizations, churches or other projects. Seniors who gain 300 or more hours of service through their high school years are designated as Rougher 300 honorees and wear a silver cord at the commencement ceremony.

Nine seniors will be the first ones to have gone through the program their entire high school career and to wear the silver cords, said MHS Principal Dewayne Pemberton. He said many earned more than the 300 requirement.

“It’s amazing to me the number of hours some of these students give to the community — 500, 600 hours,” Pemberton said.

Senior Dominique Embry tallied at least 615 hours of community service. She said she performed most of that during her junior year, helping at city hall through the DECA program.

“I made copies, printed papers, worked on bids, surplus items,” Dominique said. “I’d leave school at 2 p.m. and work to 5. Some days, I’d also work from 5 to 8 p.m., if there was a council meeting.”

Dominique said she would have done the city volunteer work even if she hadn’t received Rougher 300 credit for it. She plans on going into business management in college.

“This helps me to learn about the work force,” she said. “I had earned more hours this year, but I didn’t turn them all in. I helped with 2 Much 2 Lose and Teens for Christ.”

MHS sophomore Miranda Walters already has surpassed 300 hours. She said she earned many of those hours by going on mission trips last summer and the previous summer. She said she also earned them by teaching vacation Bible schools and volunteering with the International Order of Rainbow for Girls.

Miranda also said she’d do the service even without the Rougher 300 credits.

“I like to serve,” she said. “We’re serving others and representing Jesus.”

However, Miranda’s father, Mark Walters, said he sees value in the program.

“Rougher 300 inspired her to be an example for others,” he said.

“We see who else has served,” Miranda said.

Tanner Felts said he earned credits by helping at the Patriot Cup, a golf tournament benefiting the Folds of Honor Foundation.

“Folds of Honor is a nonprofit organization to help children of wounded or killed in action veterans get scholarships,” Felts said. “I marshaled at the tournament, looking for golf balls when they were in trouble.”

Felts has earned 249 hours so far. His sister, MHS freshman Brittany Felts, earned 77 hours.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or


The following students participated in the Rougher 300:

• Freshman — Brittany Felts, 77.

• Sophomores — Chris Gilmartin, 217; Alyson Hill, 152;  Hayden Jacobs, 86; Breanna Jones, 240;  Jeran McGill, 251; Daniel Van Kirk, 316; Miranda Walters, 405; Talon Watson, 110.

• Juniors — Khi Tiana Ashley, 317; Ashlee Fletcher, 302; Tanner Felts, 249;  Laura Jardine, 413; Patrick Kays, 360; Katie Matthews, 477; Phylisia Mayfield, 513.5; Michelle Perkins, 381.5; Sara Rosson, 200; Sydnie Rosson, 200; Ryan Summerhill, 192; Ashlee Tull, 354; Zachary Wilhite, 95.75.

• Seniors — Dominique Embry, 615; Taylor Bratcher, 184.5; Natalie Cooper, 310; Lauretha Davis, 370;  Paige Green, 302; Zuri Holder, 101; Aliyah Howard, 307; Hollie Moore, 559; Dylan Oney, 585; Ashley Skaggs, 397;  Tristan Watson, 327.