Class of 2021 College Academic Signing Day

DeSoto High Class of 2021 College Academic Signing Day
Posted on 05/11/2021
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DeSoto ISD held its annual Academic Signing Day  event for the DeSoto High School Class of 2021 seniors inside Chris Dyer Gymnasium in similar grandeur as the athletic signing ceremonies. This academic celebration gave seniors the opportunity to publicly declare their post-secondary plans of attending college, going into the workforce, or the military. 

Students and their families were stationed behind college-colored, balloon decor and university paraphernalia adorned tables and clad in college gear, waiting to sign their letters of intent after hearing inspiring words from district and community leaders.

This special signing ceremony focused significantly on the seniors whose tuition and expenses were 100-percent covered by scholarships, grants, or military benefits. Held virtually, last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and students were truly proud of the opportunity to come together briefly to celebrate this moment.

DeSoto High School parent Patrica Mowoe was holding back her tears after the celebration which included her daughter, DHS senior McKenzie.

“I am so excited and overwhelmed with joy. I am appreciative of the opportunities that McKenzie has had and so glad that she took advantage of them. I am so amazed at this young lady that we are raising and appreciative of the opportunity to watch her bloom.” said Patricia Mowoe, “Now, I am just ready for graduation.”

Like her mom, McKenzie Mowoe was so overjoyed at this experience and the educational experiences that are occurring for students in DeSoto ISD. 

“This experience was amazing! It is great to see black excellence and to see my fellow classmates go above and beyond is so amazing. The fact that we were able to receive so much money during the pandemic is outstanding. I am so excited for us,” said the younger Mowoe who will attend Miles University and major in Communications with a focus on Videography and Sports Journalism. She also shared that she wants to be a role model and inspire other young women to create visual content for the national leagues. 


Jaron Fobbs, a DHS senior who will attend Sam Houston State University, was happy to experience academic signing day.

“My family was here to support me and I had fun,” said Fobbs as she spoke to this experience compared to the virtual option deemed necessary for last year’s seniors. “I am just glad we were able to do something.” Fobbs plans to major in Psychology and Criminal justice and to continue her education to the doctorate level.

DHS Principal Shon Joseph addressed the crowd and commended the students for their commitment to creating a great future for themselves.

“I tell all of my freshman students that you have 4 years to impact the next 60 years of your life. What we see today are students who have taken this challenge seriously and understand that their education is important. They have also put in the extra work to decide where they want to attend school, put in the applications, and obtain those scholarship dollars,” said Mr. Joseph. “As a high school principal, this is one event that I am truly proud to a part of.”

Just prior to the actual signing event, the students were inspired by DeSoto ISD School Board President Amanda L. Sargent to continue to self-advocate and have a learning mindset.

“Prior preparation prevents poor performance,” began Sargent. When I say this, I am speaking about your mindset. You have tools and skills that you can transfer to your new learning environment, whether it is a college or university, the military, or the workforce. Your high school experience is a launching pad and you can do anything that you want to do from here. In order to succeed, you must also have the confidence to remain teachable and commit to being a lifelong learner.” Sargent also encouraged students to give back and help others coming behind them.” 

During the event, DeSoto High School senior and The University of Texas at Austin signee Nancy Ayanugo received the DeSoto Emerging Women scholarship from DeSoto mayor, The Honorable Rachel Proctor. Three DeSoto High School seniors also received additional gifts for the most college acceptances, most scholarships received, and the most engaged student from College Go Center Advisor Taylor Terry. The recipients were Jasmin Jackson, McKenzie Mowoe, and Devin Thomas respectively.  

DeSoto ISD College and Career Readiness Coordinator and Academic Signing Day event coordinator Iesha Jackson was excited to be able to bring this event back to an in-person event this year.

“This event was virtual last year and also included all students. In order to really host this event safely, we narrowed the focus this year. This approach was also beneficial because it gave us the opportunity to really highlight the value of obtaining scholarships, grants, or military benefits to fund post-secondary options such as college or university attendance,” said Jackson. “It also gave us a great opportunity to show the strong college-going culture at DeSoto High School and how our students are avoiding going into debt by putting in the work to apply for scholarships.”

List of Participating Students with 100% of post-secondary tuition expenses covered with scholarships, grants, or military benefits:

Nancy Ayanugo

The University of Texas at Austin

Sarah Bryant

Sam Houston State University

Latayveya Burns

Texas Woman’s University

Kaley Chalmers

Texas State University

Taylor  Dunn

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Jaron Fobbs

Sam Houston State University

Krishiria Freeman

Grambling State University

Erin Faith Green

Texas Woman’s University

Christian Griffin

Lamar University 

Destini Hayes

Texas Woman's University

Jazmine Jackson

Clemson University 

Jazzie Jackson

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Shaniyah Jones

University of North Texas at Denton

Michelle Kalu

Stanford University

Jordan Keys

Texas Tech University

Aysia Levine

The University of North Texas at Denton

Jaylon Looney

University of Houston

Kennedy Malone

 Texas A&M University

Camara Mathis

The University of Texas at Arlington

Jonathan McCoy Jr.

Dallas College

Jayla Moore

The University of Texas at Austin

McKenzie Mowoe

Miles College

Laci Nelson

The University of North Texas at Denton

Camryn Petty

Texas A&M University

Lauryn Piggatt

Rice University

Ireland Robinson

Prairie View A&M University

Meagan Robinson 

Texas A&M University

Kayla Spears

Southern Methodist University

Devin Thomas

University of Houston

Jayde Williams

Sam Houston State University

Mariah Williams

Abilene Christian University

The Department along with LETS GEAR UP will host a general scholarship event for all DeSoto High School seniors on May 13.

Learn more about DeSoto ISD is helping to prepare students for the future at