2003 Graduate – Devon Taylor Mills
Crossett is located in Ashley County in southeast Arkansas between El Dorado and Hamburg along U.S. Highway 82 near Saline River and the Louisiana Stateline.
The largest city in Ashley County is Crossett. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, timber supplies in the Lake States were nearly exhausted, and many companies began moving their logging operations to the South — a land of virgin, yellow pine forests. In 1899, a young lumberman, E. W. “Cap” Gates, persuaded one of his relatives, C. W. Gates, and two Iowa investors, Dr. J. W. Watzek and E. S. Crossett, to purchase 47,000 acres of virgin timberland in southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. Crossett began as a company town near the Louisiana state line in about 1900 as a result of logging operations in the virgin pine forests of southern Arkansas.
With the new landowners’ blessings, “Cap” Gates supervised the construction of a sawmill and a small town nearby. Residences for employees, a church, a school, and a large company store were built, and Gates was appointed to serve as manager of the newly formed Crossett Lumber Company and the company-run town.
The amount of land area in Crossett is 8.7square miles, and its distance to the Arkansas state capital is 112 miles.
Today, the population of Crossett is approximately 6,282, with the approximate number of families about 2,530.
Citizens’’ High School would like to introduce you to one of Crossett’s proudest residents. Please meet Ms. Devon Taylor Mills. Devon Graduated With us in November of 2002.
Devon was not happy with public school and begged her parents to allow her to home school. Her loving parents granted her wish. Devon made a convincing argument for home schooling by referencing a good friend of hers that used Citizens’’ High School curriculum to homeschool and quite well. Devon also pointed out that even though she had some good teachers in public school, most just didn’t seem to care about her education.
Devon completed her 11th and 12th grade requirements for her diploma at home, at her own pace, with Citizens’’ High School curriculum. “ I really enjoyed reading and teaching myself.” I made better grades with Citizens’’ than I ever did in public school.” She did graduate with a very respectable 3.7 GPA overall.
We asked Devon to tell us how she feels now that she is a high school graduate. Her are her comments: “I love being able to say I am a graduate. When I run in to people and they ask me what I’ve been up to, I really love to tell them. Being a graduate and earning this diploma the way I did has made a big difference in the way I feel about myself. I now have the confidence to continue my education and I know I can do anything I put my mind to. “
“ I am fortunate to be in a family oriented environment. My dad, mom, and step dad have been and are very supportive. They have been behind every decision I make. I am now attending Forest Echos Vocational School where I am training to be a nurse. With the love and support of my family and the confidence I have gained, I know I can and will do this too.”
The staff at Citizens’’ High School is grateful that we can play a small, but critical role in the development of our young people. All the credit for Devon’s success goes to Devon and her family. Devon is a wonderful ambassador for homeschoolers in general and Citizens’’ High School specifically. We could not be more proud of her and her accomplishments.
Ms. Devon Taylor Mills is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for June 2003.