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2007 Graduate – Julie Simmons


Julie SimmonsNacogdoches is the “Oldest Town in Texas.” Yet, what really distinguishes a town is not age. It is the importance of the people who lived there, the history that was made there, and the continuation of vitality there.

Of the things most travelers associate with Texas — oil, cattle, wheeler-dealers, independent nation status –they all started in Nacogdoches. No one can write a history of Texas without Nacogdoches. Today, Nacogdoches is truly one of the best-kept tourist secrets in the state.

While Cabeza de Vaca explored the interior of Texas in 1528, maps do not show the Spanish in Nacogdoches before 1542 when DeSoto arrived. The first descriptions of the town date from the Frenchman LaSalle’s stay in 1685.

Ponce DeLeon, in 1690, made the first attempt at colonization and education, but Nacogdoches was little more than a pawn in the French and Spanish imperial rivalries at this time. When the French explorer St. Denis mapped out El Camino Real across the state from the Rio Grande to Nacogdoches in 1713 and 1716, the Spanish decided to establish permanent settlements in the area with a series of missions.

Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de los Nacogdoches was one of these missions, as was Mission Conception later relocated when San Antonio was established. In 1779, Don Antonio Gil Y’Barbo built the Old Stone House, laid out the modern streets, and wrote the first law code.

Nacogdoches remained an important Spanish and Mexican colonial outpost, the capital of East Texas, until the Texas Revolution. A total of 26 Texas counties have been carved out of the Nacogdoches province, from Sabine to Dallas.
And, speaking of discoveries; we would like you to discover Ms. Julie Simmons from Nacogdoches. She is a recent graduate of Citizens’ High School. Julie was able to complete all four years of high school requirements almost a full year early.

Although Julie had attended public schools prior to enrolling with Citizens, she was much more capable than the group paced level there. Julie decided, with the support of her parents, to try home school.

Julie earned her diploma Last March and is now enrolled in Star College. Julie reports that having her diploma has made her feel very proud. She also is grateful to have a diploma, for entering college without it was not a possibility.

Ms. Simmons has 2 brothers and an older sister. Her sister has 5 children she home schools. After the success Julie has enjoyed, her sister is intent on enrolling her kids with us when they’re ready. We appreciate the recommendation. We also appreciate the difference in Julie’s life a diploma has made. Finally, we are grateful for Julie. She has made us very proud.

Julie Simmons is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for February 2007.